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Multiculturalism :

Multiculturalism A New Word for an Old Problem


1840’s— With the origins of urban public education comes the first “great school war” when Catholic leaders called for equal treatment for Catholic students in public schools


1880’s— Bitter public disputes broke out about the rights of the children of German immigrants to receive instruction in German

1916—John Dewey speaks to the National Education Association: :

1916—John Dewey speaks to the National Education Association: Such terms as Irish-American or Hebrew-American or German-American are false terms, because they seem to assume something that is already in existence in America, to which the other factors may be hitched on.

Dewey (cont.):

Dewey (cont.) The fact is, the genuine American, the typical American, is himself a hyphenated character. It does not mean that he is part American and that some foreign ingredient is in his make-up. He is not American plus Pole or German. But the American is himself Pole-German-English-French-Spanish-Italian-Greek-Irish-Scandinavian-Bohemian-Jew—and so on.

Dewey (cont.):

Dewey (cont.) The point is to see to it that the hyphen connects instead of separates. And this means at least that our public schools shall teach each factor to respect every other, and shall take pains to enlighten us all as to the great past contributions of every strain in our composite make-up.

Post WWI—:

Post WWI— Wave of postwar sentiment that led Americans to deport East Europeans to Bolshevik Russia, to ban mass immigration, and to revive the Ku Klux Klan grows through the 1940’s


WWII— Arguments for cultural pluralism emerge again in response to Hitler’s belief that one race and one people was superior and should be dominant

1950’s & 1960’s—:

1950’s & 1960’s— Cultural pluralism is pushed aside by the shock of Sputnik and the issue of desegregation

late 1960’s—:

late 1960’s— “Black Power” movement, black Muslims, and other manifestations of black nationalism challenge the assimilationist civil-rights leadership Civil rights laws that guaranteed equality were interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean that equality for those speaking a foreign language could require instruction in that language Bilingual education is established

1970’s-- :

1970’s-- Through the 1970’s bilingualism and the acknowledgement of distinctive group cultures and histories in social studies and history classes spread and established themselves in the public schools

Concern Emerges…:

Concern Emerges… Why has the multicultural debate over the past 20 years escalated? Probably not because of the large new immigration of mostly Asian and Hispanic/Latino immigrants…

For critics of multiculturalism:

For critics of multiculturalism The issue that ultimately determines its acceptability is a judgment as to the underlying purpose of the curriculum reform: Is it to promote harmony and an acceptance of our society? Or to portray our society as so fatally flawed by racism, so irredeemably unfair and unequal that it must be rejected as evil?

Objective of Multiculturalism:

Objective of Multiculturalism Critics fear that the second vision underlies multiculturalism: on one level, they are right But if we look more deeply into the objectives of those who promote multiculturalism, it is not because they aim at divisiveness and separation, but because they aim at a fuller inclusiveness of deprived group. Ask yourselves, how does this relate to Imago Dei?

Evolution of Multicultural Education:

Evolution of Multicultural Education First, there was the ethnic studies movement Next, there was multiethnic education The third phase included other groups who viewed themselves as victims of the society and the schools The fourth and current phase is that of developing theory, research, and practice that interrelate variables connected to race, class, and gender

Multicultural Education . . .:

is an idea . . . an educational reform movement . . . a process whose major goal is to change the structure of educational institutions so all students will have an equal chance to achieve academically in school. an opportunity for us to embrace all of God' Multicultural Education . . .

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