Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

18.1.5: Conclusions

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Now that you, hopefully, understand more about the background and key ideas of multicultural education, it is worth investigating how scholars in the field would design and implement multicultural programming in schools. Sonia Nieto’s (2012) piece, Defining Multicultural Education for School Reform, highlights many of the key tenets she thinks should be included in any multicultural program.

    Additionally, educational philosophers Diane Ravitch and Ronald Takaki show alternative viewpoints on what a multicultural program would look like within a school setting in the two additional readings associated with this module. In these complementary pieces, educational philosophers Ronald Takaki and Diane Ravitch each put forth competing philosophies to guide the implementation of multicultural education. Takaki, an advocate of particularism, supports the idea that a common culture is both undesirable and unattainable and maintains the position that students would learn best from teachers and curriculum that reflect their ethnic backgrounds. Ravitch, on the other hand, advocates for pluralism, that the United States does have a rich, common culture made up of various subcultures. As you read, be sure to note the major ideas of each of these, as well as the criticisms.

    For example, pluralism advocates for a common culture, while particularism views this as undesirable and unattainable. One of the easiest ways to think about these different positions is to imagine a circle that is the historical approach multicultural education. For a particularist, there would be many pieces making up the circle, but they would never touch, as a common culture is unattainable because of all the diverse backgrounds. However, for a pluralist, the circle would be complete, all pieces touching, but perhaps each piece a different color to represent all of the different backgrounds that come together to make up the common culture of the United States. From a practical standpoint, which approach do you think is easier for schools to implement?

    Particularist Circle
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Particularism View
    Pluralist Circle
    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Pluralism View

    Ravitch clearly outlines the different criticisms she has against a particularist approach, without clearly articulating some of the shortcomings of pluralism. Perhaps the greatest criticism of this approach is that there is a default towards European-American perspectives and history. While we expect the diagram to look as it does above, in reality, it often ends up skewed.

    As you continue working in this course and through the modules, consider the focuses of these perspectives and how each would apply to the various dimensions of diversity.

    This page titled 18.1.5: Conclusions is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Deanna Cozart, Brian Dotts, James Gurney, Tanya Walker, Amy Ingalls, & James Castle (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) .