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Thisdebate was very important because its publicity provided the grounds for theargument that America is a pluralistic society and to study only one peoplewould not accurately portray what really makes up this country.Proponents of multicultural education argue that it offers students abalanced appreciation and critique of other cultures as well as our own(Stotsky 64).
By surrounding children in the ideas and customs of othercultures, they can better understand what it is like to be removed from oursociety altogether, if only for a day.
Having kids dress up in foreign clothing,sample foods and sing songs from abroad makes educating easier on theteacher by making it fun for the students.
Theprogram consisted of 15 required books by writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aquinas, Marx, and Freud.
By 1987, a group called the Rainbow Coalition argued the fact that the books were all written by DWEM’s or Dead White European Males.
The number of foreign born residents alsoreached an all time high of twenty million, easily passing the 1980 record offourteen million.
Most people, from educators to philosophers, agree that animportant first step in successfully joining multiple cultures is to develop anunderstanding of each others background. One problem is in defining the term “multiculturalism”.This has, in turn, spun a greatdebate over multiculturalism.Some of the issues under fire are who isbenefiting from the education, and how to present the material in a way so asto offend the least amount of people.This will help dispel stereotypes that might be created in thehome.By asking questions of each other, students can get firsthand answersabout the beliefs and customs of other cultures, along with some insight as towhy people feel the way they do, something that can never be adequately Students are not the only ones who can benefit from this type oflearning.A simple idea that helps teachers isto let students speak for themselves.Ask students how they feel about eachother and why.They felt that this type of teaching denied studentsthe knowledge of contributions by people of color, women, and otheroppressed groups.In 1987, the faculty voted 39 to 4 to change thecurriculum and do away with the fifteen book requirement and the term“Western” for the study of at least one non-European culture and properattention to be given to the issues of race and gender (Gould 199).While it is common sense that one could not have a trueunderstanding of a subject by only possessing knowledge of one side of it,this brings up the fact that there would never be enough time in our currentschool year to equally cover the contributions of each individual nationality. The first would be to lengthen theschool year, which is highly unlikely because of the political aspects of thesituation.The other choice is to modify the curriculum to only include whatthe instructor (or school) feels are the most important contributions, whichagain leaves them open to criticism from groups that feel they are not beingequally treated.