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By surrounding children in the ideas and customs of othercultures, they can better understand what it is like to be removed from oursociety altogether, if only for a day.
Byengaging students in activities that follow the lines of their multiculturalcurriculum, they can open up young minds while making learning fun.
in onefirst grade classroom, an inventive teacher used the minority students to heradvantage by making them her helpers as she taught the rest of the class somesimple Spanish words and customs.
Teachers certainly will pick up on educational aspects from othercountries.
If, for instance, a teacher has a minority student from a differentcountry every year, he or she can develop a well rounded teaching style thatwould in turn, benefit all students.
While it is common sense that one could not have a trueunderstanding of a subject by only possessing knowledge of one side of it,this brings up the fact that there would never be enough time in our currentschool year to equally cover the contributions of each individual nationality. The first would be to lengthen theschool year, which is highly unlikely because of the political aspects of thesituation.
The other choice is to modify the curriculum to only include whatthe instructor (or school) feels are the most important contributions, whichagain leaves them open to criticism from groups that feel they are not beingequally treated.Nonetheless, teachers are at the top of theagenda when it comes to multiculturalism.They can do the most for childrenduring the early years of learning, when kids are most impressionable.A national standard is out of the question because of the factthat different parts of the country contain certain concentrations ofnationalities.An example of this is the high concentration of Cubans in Florida or Latinos in the west.The number of foreign born residents alsoreached an all time high of twenty million, easily passing the 1980 record offourteen million.Most people, from educators to philosophers, agree that animportant first step in successfully joining multiple cultures is to develop anunderstanding of each others background. One problem is in defining the term “multiculturalism”.This has, in turn, spun a greatdebate over multiculturalism.Some of the issues under fire are who isbenefiting from the education, and how to present the material in a way so asto offend the least amount of people.They felt that this type of teaching denied studentsthe knowledge of contributions by people of color, women, and otheroppressed groups.In 1987, the faculty voted 39 to 4 to change thecurriculum and do away with the fifteen book requirement and the term“Western” for the study of at least one non-European culture and properattention to be given to the issues of race and gender (Gould 199).