What does multicultural education looks like in a classroom?
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A multicultural classroom embraces the differences between the individuals within the walls of the classroom. A teacher in the multicultural classroom recognizes the differences between students and teaches the students to be open, understanding, and accepting of the differences.
The teacher of the multicultural classroom must be open to differences between the students and mirror the behaviors desired (openness, acceptance, and understanding).
The multicultural classroom will typically contain students of different cultures, ethnicities, and religious ideologies. A teacher must be sure to understand the cultural behaviors of students (so as to embrace their differences). For example, one culture may not allow students to look teachers in the eyes, while another culture may promote close physical relationships (holding a hand, touching an arm when speaking, etc.).
This type of classroom will contain multiple learning patterns, learning strategies, and learning styles. A teacher must be open and prepared to promote these different aspects. While much harder than the typical classroom, the multicultural classroom's diversity helps students to become far more rounded and understanding.
Having taught in a multi-cultural classroom, I agree with literaturenerd's answer. However, I would go further in saying that the appearance of the classroom should reflect different cultures when teachers hang posters or quotations or whatever is on their walls. The curriculum also must reflect the diversity such as teaching Native American stories in the winter because that is the only time of the year they should be taught to be respectful of their beliefs. Even having a Native American student who is a fancy dancer bring in a headdress is something to consider. Using music from other cultures is another way to keep the students aware of what other cultures offer. Teaching the literature from the countries the students are from is affirming to the diversity.
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