Essay about Dr. James Banks on Multicultural Education

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As we proceed further into the 21st century, multiculturalism becomes more relevant to obtaining a truly global society. Dr. James A. Banks defines the meaning of multicultural education and its potential impact on society when it is truly integrated into American classrooms. In his lecture, Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice: Education in a Global Age, Banks (2006) defines the five dimensions of multicultural education that serve as a guide to school reform when trying to implement multicultural education (Banks 2010). The goal of multicultural education is to encourage students to value their own cultures and the diverse cultures of those around them without politicizing their differences but rather, as Banks passionately …show more content…

Does the content perpetuate racism, sexism or hegemonic pedagogy? The teacher is responsible for helping students determine how any such “biases within a discipline influence the ways in which knowledge is constructed within it (Banks, 1996)” (Banks, 2010, p. 20). Teachers can challenge students to use this strategy when they study topics in Social Studies such as the European discovery of the New World. Is the point of view of all groups represented? Banks’ (2010) third dimension of multicultural education is prejudice reduction wherein teachers organize activities or lessons that help students form a positive attitude toward cultural groups different from their own. During his University of Washington faculty lecture, Dr. Banks (2006) tells a story of a three-year-old girl who is told to take her cot and lay down for naptime. The little girl refuses. When the teacher asks why she will not lie down for naptime, she says she cannot sleep next to a black girl because “Blacks are stinky.” As shown here, many students innocently arrive at school with negative attitudes about different racial and ethnic groups. Since schools are the point of contact where many children interact with the many diverse groups of society, teachers have a duty and a very special opportunity to help students develop positive interracial attitudes. When multicultural education is integrated into the curriculum students engage in discussions and solve complex

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