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18.1.6: Activities and External Resources

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    Discussion Prompt: This I Believe Essays and Acculturation Models

    In the lectures for this module, we discussed two different acculturation models. Just to remind you, acculturation is the way a person, typically an immigrant, responds to new cultures. Your readings for this module included two This I Believe essays by immigrants. Based on their stories, which acculturation outcome do you think each of these people would fit into under Berry’s model? How about the Portes and Rambaut model? Be sure to support your ideas with specific references from the essays.


    Discussion Prompt: Pluralism and Particularism

    This week, you were assigned two different articles, ‘Multiculturalism: Battleground or Meeting Ground’ and ‘Multiculturalism: E Plurbus Plures’. Each of these advocates for a different educational philosophy of multicultural education, either particularism or pluralism. Create a post in which you discuss as the major differences between each philosophy. What are some of the shortcomings of each?


    Written Response: Multiculturalism Reflection Paper Topics

    • Choose a cultural norm to break. Write about what you broke, why you chose to break this, and others’ reactions. How does your experience relate to our discussion of cultural norms? Make sure you include information about how people who unintentionally break norms would feel based on dominant culture.
    • Describe ethnocentrism in your own words. What are 2 – 3 examples of how you are ethnocentric? What are some strategies you can use to control this in the classroom?


    External Readings & Resources

    Ravitch, D. (1990). Multiculturalism: E pluribus plures. American Scholar, 59(3), 337-354.

    Takaki, R. (1993). Multiculturalism: Battleground or Meeting Ground?. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 109.

    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.

    ‘Defining Multicultural Education for School Reform’ – Chapter 2 in Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education (6th edition)

    As we begin EDUC 2120, it is important to define exactly what we mean by multicultural education. Sonia Nieto gives us a precise definition of multicultural education to work from for the semester in this piece as she reframes the idea of multicultural education and provides suggestions on what it should look like in educational settings.