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Multicultural Education: Piecing Together The Puzzle Essay

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Multicultural Education: Piecing Together the Puzzle

When a child opens his (or her) first puzzle and the pieces fall to the ground, it may seem very confusing. What are they to do with this pile of shapes in front of them? It often takes a parent to explain to them that all the different pieces fit together into one whole picture. Although every piece is different and unique, when they are all put into their place they form one whole picture. In the same way, teachers can teach multiculturalism in the classroom. Although every member of our society is unique, with different cultural backgrounds, we all fit together to form one unit. As stated by Noel
(1995), “Understanding our own identity and the culture
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Multiculturalism promotes positive change for persons of all cultures. It involves not only teaching majority groups about minorities, but also teaching minority groups about the majority groups. It has its base in democratic ideals such as equality, freedom, and justice. Multiculturalism will unite our divided nation into one unit which will have no mainstream culture, but many diverse subcultures which will cooperate for the good of everyone, not just the majority or the minority.
I feel very strongly that multiculturalism should be included in all curricula. My school experience (until college) didn't include multicultural perspectives and I feel as if I missed out on some important things. I often feel a little clueless when confronted with situations involving people different from me. Without some knowledge of our surroundings, how can we be expected to survive in society? This question reveals one of the purposes of education, survival. Learning about the other people who share our community is an essential part of this survival in modern society. Multiculturalism becomes increasingly important as our society becomes more diverse.
In the past (Lynch, 1989), efforts to provide multicultural content to students have, as critics feared, created more diversity and tension among groups. However, more recent methods are
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