Aspirations to be an educator, a teacher in the diversity of the New York City Schools must realize that considerations are school-wide focused on setting out and maintaining as well as assessing effective applications in the administering, educating and teaching methods in a multicultural setting.
New York City is a place full of diversity and is in fact the home to Ellis Island, Lady Liberty whose arms have taken in all ethnic and cultural representations of the rainbow into her harbor throughout the last 228 years and yet it has not changed. The responsibilities and considerations in educating the Americans of today in New York City grows were more ethnically and culturally diverse as the world becomes smaller and smaller.
Bench-marks in New York City Schools:
There are eight cultural benchmarks inclusive in multicultural schools that are effective institutions according to Banks (1999). Listed below are those eight benchmarks that have been adopted by the New York City school board in the educational institutions in the multicultural environment of the people who comprise New York City.
Eight required elements:
1. A multicultural sanctions must be inclusive in the policy statement woven throughout and in support of diversity.
2 The school staff has expectations of and for the diverse student individually and collectively.
3. Staff itself is a mirror of that diversity as they are diverse in ethical and cultural element themselves.
4. A transformational curriculum is action focused.
5. Participation of parents which provides a cultural context on which to base substance in teaching in involved.
6. Constructivist, personalized, empowering, participatory; teaching strategies are utilized.
7. Material used in teaching is diverse in race, ethnic and culture in all areas and subjects, concepts and issues.
8. Continual monitoring on components of program.
The policy statement is of several types: The policy statement should convey "the board of educations dedication" in the establishment and preservation of schools providing every student the same and equal opportunity of learning. (Banks, 1999)
The statement includes a rationale with guidelines for multicultural education, for staff utilization within developing and application in the district of comprehensive multicultural plans of education (Banks, 1999) paraphrased.
According to the In-Time the New York board of education city policy statement (1989) included the following rationale: "Whereas, people from all parts of the world live and work in New York City, necessitating a multicultural education which fosters intergroup knowledge and understanding and equips students to function effectively in a global society; and; "Whereas, multicultural education values cultural pluralism and rejects the view that schools should seek to melt away cultural differences or merely tolerate cultural diversity; rather, multicultural education accepts cultural diversity as a valuable resource that should be preserved and extended. . ."
II. Definition of MultiCultural Education:
Multicultural education can be describe as teaching methods created and designed for many diverse culture within one integrated educational institution and system. This approach is based on "building respect and fostering cultural pluralism within a diverse society of various ethnic, racial and cultural elements. By the year 2000 more than 30% of the population of school age individuals will be children of color. (Bennett, 1991 p. 18) Teachers must prepare themselves as well as children for the constantly shifting challenging environment of interaction and communication with races of diversity. Effective integration of these students reduces the fear and ignorance within society and certainly within the educational institutions themselves. The teaching of respect in, of and between other ethnicity, racial and cultural elements will foster integration within the classroom and social activities of the institution and further will provide a genuine environment of pleasant and relaxed focus in learning.
Training of administrative and educational staff will empower the staff to embrace and assist their students in embracing diversity. The differences may well be the catalyst to bring all cultures of the world together in harmony.
The elements that would be inclusive in the multicultural educational institution according to Bennett (1995) are:
Learning environment that is supportive of interracial contact.
Positive teacher expectations
Teacher training workshops
There is a critical need for administrative support due to the fragile foundation in multicultural education. Curriculum development is also key. There are several reasons to give consideration to multicultural education. Those considerations are that multicultural education:
Provides alternative points view in learning
Makes ethnic minorities connect with their inclusiveness in the society
Decreases stereotypes, hatreds, prejudices, bigotry, and racism within the school
According to one writer who stated it very well: "A significant transformation is on the horizon for American schools. Educational institutions have been dictated too long by attitudes, values, beliefs, and value systems of one race and class of people. The future of our universe is demanding a positive changed for all." (Hillard & Pine, 1990)
III. History of Multicultural Education:
Multicultural education originates in the decade of the 1960's in the time of the realization in the civil rights movement in what has been called a corrective action to the de facto policy of assimilation of minority groups into the common "melting pot" of what has been considered to be the culture which dominates the United States of America. (Sobol, 1990) The problem in multicultural education is finding a common agreement exactly as what defines multicultural education, exactly what it is that multicultural education is comprised of.
Nieto stated in the work - Affirming Diversity: the sociopolitical context of multicultural education - stated that: "Multicultural education will impact a school's operation, staffing, curriculum, tracking testing pedagogy, disciplinary policies, student involvement and parent and community involvement." (1992)
III. Program Categories:
In 1994 Banks outline the following categories for programs.
Programs that use research into culturally-based learning styles in an attempt to determine which teaching styles to use with a particular group of students.
Bilingual or bicultural programs; language programs built upon the language and culture of African-American students; and Speech math and science programs for minority or female students.
Implementing and maintaining a multicultural education program that is successful will depend on several factors, one of which is an "effective evaluative plan." (Banks 1999) The necessity of developing methods for making a conclusion of whether multicultural education goals that the school board has established are being achieved is required. Required as well is a monitoring program that is successful. The monitoring programs effectiveness will be inclusive of:
1. Observation of classroom strategies and their consistency with the cultural characteristics expressed in the student diversity.
2. Inspection of test scores that are not only standardized test but the score is disaggregating by race and social class of students.
3. Examination of suspensions and dropouts as to proportion classified as mentally disabled and gifted.
In the work" Research Knowledge and Policy Issues in Cultural Diversity and Education, Tharp lists four basic implications of cultural membership for the education of children which can be stated, according to Tharp as four different questions as follows:
1. "Can we account for important current student features in terms of the historical forces operating on his or her ancestors in a time frame of hundreds to thousands of years? That is does the ethnogenetic level of analysis, which lies in the dimension of time between phylogenesis and ontogenesis, provide guidance for the design of effective educational programs."
2." Are culture member privileged in the capacity to teacher, administer, or investigate the education of their children"
3. "Are there forms of education that are specifically or uniquely suited for the treatment of children of different cultures?"
4. "Are there general or universal forms of schooling and teaching that will equally and adequately address students of diverse cultures?"
IV. Sub-cultures Existence with Cultures:
Dominguez, 1985 states that ethnic boundaries are not fixed; they are dynamic, evolving and responsive to political and economic forces. For example an individual who is represented to be that of a "Hispanic" may be of a sub-culture is Mexican-Hispanic, Puerto Rican-American, and Latino-Hispanic; there are various sub-groups within this main culture of the Hispanic people. It is important and vital that the educator and administrators of the educational institution realize this because not to realize this would in effect brush aside one group or individual effectively cutting them off from the main and rendering multicultural education null and void and ineffective.
Also existing within the different cultures are intra-cultural variables such as there are within all groups of culture variables in motivation, social organization, ways of speaking, thinking and differences in educational achievement, income and class status. This introduces a differentiated grid that is worthy of more time and study through research in definitional boundaries and understanding of. "A part of the research agenda must therefore be to unpack the cultural variable." (Whiting, 1976)This finer grained analysis of cultural and community life allows us accurately to perceive the dynamics of the daily cultural life of the individual child." (Gallimore, et al. 1991)