Educational Psychology Multicultural Education: Enhancing Essay

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Educational Psychology

Multicultural education:

Enhancing the educational experience of all students

Multicultural education "is a field of study and an emerging discipline whose major aim is to create equal educational opportunities for students from diverse racial, ethnic, social, class, and cultural groups. One of its important goals is to help all students to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to function effectively in a pluralistic democratic society and to interact, negotiate, and communicate with peoples from diverse groups in order to create a civic and moral community that works for the common good" (Multicultural education, 2011, NCREL). This quotation stresses the fact that multicultural education does not mean educating all children in the same fashion. It requires that teachers acknowledge every student's unique gifts, differences and challenges for the teacher to be fully effective in the classroom.

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For example, presenting a lesson plan to a group of students requires acknowledging the students' pasts and what experiences they bring to the classroom. When presenting a topic relevant to socioeconomic concerns of the labor movement, a teacher might relate the experiences of 19th century workers demanding their rights to the concerns of a classroom mainly made up of working-class students, while a group of relatively affluent students might need more extensive background to understand the commonalities between their experience and working-class individuals. But this is not only true of a higher-level educational environment. For example, even teaching a class of third graders, children who have personally experienced prejudice may have different experiences to bring to the classroom when discussing the topic of Martin Luther King Jr. versus children who have not. The teacher must 'make space' for the children's personal input, given the emotional relevance of their feelings.

TOPIC: Essay on Educational Psychology Multicultural Education: Enhancing the Educational Assignment

Socioeconomic sensitivity also requires an awareness on the part of the teacher to the challenges of students' everyday lives. Students from less affluent backgrounds may not have access to a computer at home and require 'computer time' or 'research time' during the school day when a long-term research paper is assigned. Teachers must be aware of the difficulties that students from households that lack certain basic necessities, such as a secure source of nutrition and a stable home environment, may suffer. They must attempt to ensure that children receive the support they require to flourish. Although it may not be in a teacher's job description to ensure that a child's parents are aware of free school lunches or afterschool programs that can provide children with additional tutoring and assistance, doing so can substantially enhance a child's ability to learn in the classroom.

Ethnicity is another concern when conveying a truly multicultural education to children. Perhaps the most obvious differentiator is that of language. Even if students who are classified as ESL receive outside… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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