Multicultural Education in the Middle Years Social Studies Curriculum
Social Studies Methods
September 22, 2009
Multicultural Education in the Middle Years Social Studies Curriculum
1) Definition of Multiculturalism
The three basic forms of multicultural education
iii. socially orientated
2) Issues of Multiculturalism
3) Relations to the Manitoba Social Studies Curriculum
i. GLO - Identity, Culture, and Community
ii. SLO - a number of points throughout the curriculum
4) Class Activity: Hello in different Languages
5) web link resources
6) Class Discussion and Question Period
1. Multicultural Education in the Middle Years Social Studies Curriculum
Multicultural education is part of a larger complex of policies and programs meant to address social and cultural inequality. It originated in the United States in the 1960’s in response to the Civil Rights Movement and as a reaction to the United States’ “melting pot” immigration policy (Burnett, 1996). Although heavily influenced by the events and experience in the United States, Multicultural Education in Canada has evolved in its unique way, probably as a result of existing multicultural policies. For example, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988 which legislated multicultural education into the curriculum (Dewing and Leman, 2006). Another unique feature of our multicultural education programs is the emphasis that we place on Aboriginal Peoples perspectives and experiences.
There are three basic forms that multicultural education assumes to meet this goal (Burnett,1996). The first is a content-oriented approach. In this approach, students undergo cultural sensitivity training. Backed by the curriculum, students learn about other cultures and are challenged to view issues and events from the perspectives of groups other than the dominant culture. The current Manitoba Middle Years curriculum has a strong content component.
The second form is a student-oriented approach. Essentially, it is a system of supports for minority students to improve academic achievement and foster success in the education system. Education is seen as a vehicle of social mobility and proponents of this approach want to ensure that our educational system is accessible to all students. The student-centred approach attempts to achieve equality of opportunity in education through a system of supports put in place to increase minority student success rate.
The third approach is socially-oriented. It aims to reduce bias and increase cultural and racial tolerance by fostering interactions and relationship building between different cultural groups. The content and social approach hope to bring about social/cultural equality by creating students that are sensitive and aware of other cultures and who are able to function in a culturally diverse society.
Unfortunately, diversity programs such as multicultural education do not receive much support these days. Critics of the programs and policies cling to the myth that Canada is a meritocracy and that equality of opportunity exist. They attack diversity programs for upsetting this balance by giving minority groups special privileges or advantages. Others question the effectiveness of multicultural education. Has society moved closer to an egalitarian model since the inception of multicultural education policies and programs?
Relationship of Multicultural Education to the Manitoba Social Studies Curriculum
The Manitoba Social Studies Curriculum has a strong content-approach to multicultural education, which is evident in the GLO: “Identity, Culture, and Community: Students will explore concepts of identity, culture, and community in relation to individuals, societies, and nations.” There are also numerous Specific Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that incorporate multicultural content. The following are a few examples of SLOs that address content-oriented multicultural education:
• 6-KI-010 Describe various challenges faced by new immigrants to Canada
• 6-KH-032 Identify contributions of Aboriginal leaders from 1867 to 1914
• 6-VI-006 Value the contributions of various groups to the development of Canada
• 6-VI-007F Value French language and their francophone heritage and culture
• 7-S-307 Compare differing viewpoints regarding global issues
• 7-KI-006 Identify diverse cultural and social perspectives regarding quality of life
• 7-VI-007 Appreciate the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity in the world
• 8-KI-006 Describe influences that create differences in world views
The Manitoba Social studies curriculum has very few SLOs that would fall under the social or student-oriented approach. In the middle years, under Active Democratic Citizenship, the following SLOs are socially-oriented:
• 6-S-100: Collaborate with others to establish and carry out group goals and responsibilities
• 6-S-104: Negotiate constructively with others to build consensus and solve problems
• 7-S-400 Listen to others to understand their perspectives
• 7-S-401 Use language that is respectful of human diversity
• 7-VC-001 Respect inherent dignity of all people
• 8-VI Respect others’ ways of life and beliefs
Whereas content-based multicultural education initiatives are imbedded in the curriculum, the social and student approaches speak more to the way in which the curriculum is implemented. Student-oriented approaches include differentiated learning and using the various frames that we used in Success for all learners. Socially-oriented goals can be incorporated into the curriculum by choosing activities that foster interaction such as jigsaws, group projects and social learning.
Multicultural Education Class Activity: Hello in different Languages
The goal of this game is to heighten cross cultural awareness and gain an appreciation of language. Bruce will lead steps 1-4 and Elise will lead steps 5-7. Stacie will lead the class discussion to follow.
1) Break the class up into groups of 3 or 4 students. (1 min.)
2) Ask each group to brainstorm as many different ways to say hello in different languages.
3) Compare with other groups how many different languages they came up with to say hello. (1min.)
4) Each group member writes down one of their hellos on a cue card. (1min.)
5) Have the class form a circle. Beginning with the group leader each student in turn will greet the student to his/her left. Each student will say their hello followed by “my name is ___” The person to the left will repeat the hello in the language they just heard and introduce themselves. Then, that person, using his own cue card repeats the introduction to the person on his left. Continue until everyone has had their turn. (3 min.)
6) Now, each student finds a partner (from a group different from their own). Swap cue cards and write down what language they think their hello is. They will then write the hello and the language they think it is on the board. (1 min.)
7) As a class we go through each hello on the board and see if the correct language is matched up to the correct hello. (3 min.)
1. Brigham Young University: http://education.byu.edu/diversity/activities.html
This website offers information on the importance of multicultural education activities and how to incorporate them into the everyday classroom.
2. International Journal of Multicultural Education: http://www.ijme-journal.org/index.php/ijme
This is the International Journal of Multicultural Education’s online database of articles. From here teachers can get new information on Multicultural Education.
3. Multicultural Education and the Internet: http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/education/multi_new/activities.html
This site offers various multicultural education games and how to properly implement them in the classroom.
4. Multicultural Education Internet Resource Guide: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/Multi.html
This website is done my Dr. Jon Reyhner, and consists of general information and history about multicultural education along with many links to other websites.
5. Multicultural Pavilion: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/
This site specifically offers multicultural education information directed at teachers. It primarily consists of workshops.
6. National Association for Multicultural Education: http://www.nameorg.org/
This is the National Association for Multicultural Education’s website where teachers can become members and join local chapters.
7. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/educatrs/presrvce/pe3lk1.htm
Located here is an in depth definition of multicultural education along with various links.
8. New Horizons for Learning – Multicultural Education:
Here is a vast resource of articles and recommended readings on Multicultural Education.
9. The Educator’s Reference Desk:
This site provides teachers with multicultural education lesson plans for grades K-12.
10. Multicultural, Cross-cultural & Intercultural Games & Activities:
This site contains a number of activities and additional links on multicultural education.
1)Burnett, G. (1996) Varieties of Multicultural Education: An Introduction. ERIC Digest 98.
Retrieved September 13,2009 from http:// http://www.nameorg.org/
2) Dewing, M. and Leman, M. (Revised 16 March 2006) Political and Social Affairs Division: Library of Parliament- Parliamentary Information and Research Services. Retrieved September 21, 2009 from http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/libraryPRB pubs/936-e.htm