The classroom dynamic is ever-changing. Research by the National Center for Educational Statistics suggests that 33 percent of all U.S. students are considered racial or ethnic minorities. This number is set to grow by more than half by the year 2050. These figures represent an urgent need to incorporate an environment that is inclusive of all cultures. The United States needs more educators to recognize that students from all backgrounds need to feel safe, represented, recognized and welcomed in the classroom. The notion that one teaching modality fits all is no longer relevant or effective. According to Paul C. Gorski & Seema G. Pothini in Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice “There are no perfect answers or solutions when it comes to the complexities of diversity and social justice.” However, educators can make it their duty to prepare themselves to welcome and embrace diversity in their classrooms. This post will explain what a multicultural classroom is and explore ideas and tips for being more inclusive to help you facilitate a multicultural classroom environment.
What is a Multicultural Classroom?
A Multicultural Classroom refers to any classroom where teachers incorporated the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds. Why does this matter for educators? Because our classrooms are filled with a diverse student population Teachers can no longer educate their students with a one-size-fits-all model. In today’s society teaching for change must be emphasized in all classrooms throughout America.
8 Real Examples Of a Multicultural Classroom.
- Celebrate different cultural festivals: you can choose to celebrate different activities that we celebrated throughout the year of your students, or it can be as simple as celebrating your student’s family dinners by having the students celebrate the history of their meals.
- Strategically plan Your Lessons: Allow your students to explore their cultures by assigning lessons that allow for your students to relate the lesson back to their own heritage and the importance of their heritage.
- Allow students to create: Assign lessons for your students that incorporate their home life, and allow your students to create a mural, or art activity and display their creation throughout the classroom.
- Incorporate a Culture Corner: Create a Library area in your room with books from your student’s cultures and backgrounds.
- Person of the Day: Allow students to choose a person of different background and allow them to become that person for the day. Having your students to completely transform themselves into that person during that era of time. This is a research project that can take up to six weeks to complete.
- Culture Day: Have a School-wide activity by hosting a Culture day where your students can set up areas to discuss all that they have learned and share with the school community what they have learned.
- Guest Speaker: Invite a guest speaker who has a story to tell about their history and why it is so significant to the classroom today.
- Celebrate the Importance Multicultural Classroom: Celebrate the learning by showing movies that depict Multicultural classrooms and the learning gained from having such diversity in their classroom (i.e.: Freedom Writers).
The foundation of classroom management and effective teaching relies on creating a safe and welcoming learning environment in the classroom for all students. Multicultural education benefits everyone. It helps to build knowledge of the world around us, as well as to develop new skills and passions for all members of the classroom regardless of cultural identity. When implementing strategies that will create a multicultural classroom be sure to think of ways to encourage critical thinking, increase awareness of global issues, promote inclusiveness, and eliminate prejudicial thinking or behavior.