According to Banks (1996) multicultural education has five interrelated dimensions: content integration, knowledge construction process, prejudice reduction, equity pedagogy, and an empowering school culture and social structure (pp. 336-338). I feel that these five dimensions are strong foundational pieces in creating my personal MCE manifesto.
- I will use examples and content from diverse ethnic and cultural groups.
- I will use culturally relevant curriculum and material that reflects my students’ racial backgrounds.
- Furthermore, using a diverse curriculum will allow for the opportunity to view ideas, history, and social relations in new perspectives.
- I will recognize that learning is strongly influenced by cultural background. I will utilize their background in the learning process. This is to establish a connection between the curriculum and the students own experiences.
Knowledge Construction Process:
- I will teach transformative knowledge. In order to help students understand how knowledge is constructed and how the creators experiences, values, and perspectives are reflected. I will also use multiple perspectives to portray the viewpoints of various cultures.
- I will help my students construct their own knowledge and point of view. This will be achieved through cooperative learning, discussions, and problem solving.
- I will promote and maintain high standards and expectations regardless of ethnic, cultural, or language background.
- I will be aware of my own bias and how it may affect my opinions, perspectives, and most importantly how I communicate or interact with my students.
- I will identify and dispel the stereotypes and biases used by the students. In addition, I will recognize the stereotypes within lectures and/or textbooks.
- I will modify my teaching to equally adapt to the needs of my diverse classroom in order to facilitate academic achievement.
- I will create a culturally compatible learning environment for each student.
- I will respects the students for who they truly are – where they came from, what they wear, or how they look like will not affect my teaching.
Empowering School Culture and Social Structure:
- I will promote and encourage equity for all students. This is not limited to within the classroom, but throughout the school as well.
- I will create a safe and comfortable learning environment, where students are able to culturally express themselves without any fears.
- I will empower students to be confident and proud of their cultural heritage and to not be ashamed in showing it.
Banks, J. A. (1996). Transformative knowledge, curriculum, reform, and action. In J.A. Banks (Ed.), Multicultural Education, Transformative Knowledge, and Action (pp. 335-348). New York, NY: Teacher College Press.