In today’s education system, teachers are constantly being faced with new challenges. In an ever-changing diverse world, teachers must adapt their curriculums and teaching strategies to work in a number of environments. One major challenge that educators face is effectively teaching in a multicultural environment. Teachers must be able to deliver lessons to ESL students while concurrently reaching and benefiting all students. What exactly is multicultural education? It’s a field that aims to level the playing field for students from a variety of cultural, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. ESL students (English as a Second Language) are in a unique situation when they arrive at a new school, and an encouraging and knowledgeable teacher can make all the difference in how their experience pans out. All students should be able to achieve the highest education possible. An educated and knowledgeable community can work together and make goals to improve our world. The first step towards attaining these goals is find effective ways to teach and educate the young people of our society.
There are a variety of strategies that teachers can employ to better understand the best way to approach multicultural education. There are laws at the federal and state levels that may apply to English Language Learners in certain school districts. There are many good classes that teachers can take to help understand multicultural in education. In addition to the specific rules and regulations pertaining to multicultural in education, teachers should be well versed in the struggles that multicultural students face. Teachers should also learn about the different cultures that ESL students represent. The success of ESL students depends on many things, but there are a few main things to consider. First is their past language learning and development. How well they know their first (or second, third, etc…) language will affect how well they can learn English. Second, their personality plays a part in language learning. Those that are social by nature will have more incentive to learn English to communicate with others, which is a necessary part of their happiness. Third, the unique situation of the student always has a role in the success of learning English. In terms of teaching methods, multicultural education courses should review different methods of teaching when it comes to English classes, especially pronunciation, writing, reading, and speaking. Maybe the structure of the English language can be compared to a student’s native language to give them a better understanding of how the two relate. Sometimes taking just a few extra minutes with a student to understand their needs can make a meaningful difference.
In general, the best way for a teacher to learn how to approach multicultural education is through a training course, whether it be online or in person. Effective courses will cover ESL stereotyping, different multicultural and ESL teaching strategies, various textbooks and possible controversies, group strategies, developing student activities, curriculum building, and real-world application of these strategies. Teachers armed with the knowledge to effectively teach in a multicultural and diverse environment will be able to help many students and make a real difference.
small-business and other organizations looking for an edge in diverse ethnic markets. “Gone are the days when businesses succeed with a ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing. It’s a ‘mass market’ no longer,” insists Rhonda Albey, a diversity consultant with Allen Associates in Los Angeles, “The multicultural markets are where the opportunities are, and successful entrepreneurs are quickly learning how to get there.”
According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) the predominant ethnic market segments being targeted by multicultural marketers are Hispanic (70%), African-American (59%) and Asian American (27%). In many places, these and other multicultural markets exert such demographic and economic influence that they’re inevitable targets.
Wherever they are, however, businesses must monitor and adapt to changes in their marketplace. The view out there can change quickly, and it’s a mistake to take any significant market segment in your area for granted. Even with all the right products and services you’ll still need the right message, in the right place, at the right time to reach the ethnic markets you want to be doing business with.
Do-it-yourself online research and homegrown multicultural marketing initiatives can help you identify and develop local ethnic market segments. But for some, outsourcing may be the way to go. For example, Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc., (www.multiculturalmarketingresources.com), a NYC-based public relations and marketing company, is helping businesses and entrepreneurs reach multicultural markets nationwide.
Population Growth and Economic Clout Tell Powerful Stories
Overall, says Multicultural Marketing Resources’, Lisa Skriloff: “The African-American, Hispanic and Asian populations have a combined buying power of more than a trillion dollars and minority populations are fast becoming the majority population in major markets.” But shifts in thinking toward culturally based marketing–targeting ethnic segments based on their cultural framework–will expand, creating multicultural marketing opportunities in still new ethnic segments in places where they are numerically significant.
California diversity consultant, Rhonda Albey, cautions: “Appreciate the diversity within groups as well as among groups. Terms like ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Asian’ are frequently used without acknowledging the wide-variety of peoples such terms include. ‘Asian’ can refer to any one of hundreds of nationalities, language groups and cultures. Entrepreneurs need to be aware that what appeals to Chinese-Americans in California may have little appeal for Korean-Americans in New York, although they’re all Asian-Americans.”
Culture as much, if not more than age, income, occupation or sex, is the main difference between ethnic markets and the general marketplace. Differing cultural backgrounds may mean consumers will never see or hear marketing messages that are not relevant to their cultural behavior, language or media preferences. And many businesses have yet to realize that Hispanics, Asians and blacks, among other market segments–multicultural or otherwise–have buying preferences that can be a key ingredient in marketing and selling to them.
But what if you haven’t been making the most of multicultural marketing opportunities that could be all around you?
How to Work Multicultural Marketing Into Your Marketing Plans?
Assuming you have a marketing plan, an important first step in multicultural marketing is knowing your audience, followed by improving your existing market penetration (you may want to get busy developing attractive new target markets, but first understand the inherent risks and costs, and explore opportunities to grow from within). If you can’t meet your goals with existing marketing opportunities–or you want to aim even higher–you probably should be developing new market segments. That means checking your sales forecasts and expense budget, and seeking ways to increase the return on your marketing investment.
As does all market planning, multicultural marketing needs to include research to determine who is buying your products and services, and why. Any market segment’s unique make-up defines its needs, suggesting products to sell and methods to use, and if it’s right for you; solid information about the wants, needs and objectives of potential clients is essential in making sound marketing decisions. Surveys of prospects and clients and informal interviews are useful research tools for agents and advisors in areas where one or more ethnic groups predominate.
Multicultural market planning continues with customer profiles–word-pictures of the people you’re looking for summarizing what these groups mean to you, what you do for the group, and why. Example: “The person I do business with is a young black professional or executive who is married, politically conservative, and has the potential of earning $100,000 a year by age 40. This market has grown substantially from when I started in this business 10 years ago, and I’ve been able to develop a steady market presence. As a result, networking opportunities and qualified referrals are easy–but I have to keep my eye on the ball and know my stuff.”
Market positioning then allows you to focus your resources and expertise as they apply to your market segments and think through the messages you wish to communicate to create competitive advantages. Your positioning statement should be well thought out and lend itself to professional identity branding. Your “brand”–reputation, integrity, performance, credentials, distinctive competencies and other key factors–shows in everything you do and differentiates you from your competition. Establish your brand up front: in conversation, in writing and in what you make people think about.
A marketing strategy is your formal plan for entering and systematically developing multicultural market segments and achieving your goals. It coordinates your positioning statement, customer profiles and professional identity brand with tools and techniques for establishing yourself in these market segments while servicing and expanding your existing client base. Once you have a plan, you’ll need to implement, manage and sustain it. It’s also important to remain focussed on your long-term goals. And to stay motivated!
You can adopt these steps to any market segment; what’s most important is thinking strategically about how you will find, get, and keep customers. Because marketing in the U.S. is becoming more like global marketing, market planning must proceed from an understanding of cultural differences the better to evaluate the need for adjustments to strategies and tactics. Commenting on the potential growth of multicultural marketing, Lisa Skriloff predicts: “Businesses that have not invested in multicultural marketing will be forced to reevaluate or be left behind.”
America has always been referred to as a melting pot, but ideally, it’s a place where we strive to invite everyone to celebrate exactly who they are. As the US population is becoming increasingly diverse and technology makes the world feel increasingly smaller, it is time to make every classroom a multicultural classroom.
What is Multicultural Education?
Multicultural education is more than celebrating Cinco de Mayo with tacos and piñatas or reading the latest biography of Martin Luther King Jr. It is an educational movement built on basic American values such as freedom, justice, opportunity, and equality. It is a set of strategies aimed to address the diverse challenges experienced by rapidly changing U.S. demographics. And it is a beginning step to shifting the balance of power and privilege within the education system.
The goals of multicultural education include:
- Creating a safe, accepting and successful learning environment for all
- Increasing awareness of global issues
- Strengthening cultural consciousness
- Strengthening intercultural awareness
- Teaching students that there are multiple historical perspectives
- Encouraging critical thinking – Preventing prejudice and discrimination
Advantages of Multicultural Education
According to the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), multicultural education:
- Helps students develop positive self-image.
- Offers students an equitable educational opportunity.
- Allows multiple perspectives and ways of thinking.
- Combats stereotypes and prejudicial behavior.
- Teaches students to critique society in the interest of social justice.
Road Blocks to Implementing Multicultural Education
Contrary to popular belief, multicultural education is more than cultural awareness, but rather an initiative to encompass all under-represented groups (people of color, women, people with disabilities, etc) and to ensure curriculum and content including such groups is accurate and complete.
Unfortunately, multicultural education is not as easy as a yearly heritage celebration or supplemental unit here and there. Rather, it requires schools to reform traditional curriculum.
Too often, students are misinformed and misguided. Not all textbooks present historical content fully and accurately. For instance, Christopher Columbus is celebrated as the American hero who discovered America. This take on history completely ignores the pre-European history of Native Americans and the devastation that colonization had on them. Some history books are being revised, but often, it’s much easier to teach that “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”
Most curriculums also focus more on North America and Europe than any other region. Most students have learned about genocide through stories of the Holocaust, but do they know that hundreds of thousands of people are being killed in places like Darfur and Rwanda? Despite our close proximity to Latin America, American schools typically spend little time reading Latin American literature or learning about the culture and history?
Thus, multicultural education is most successful when implemented as a schoolwide approach with reconstruction of not only curriculum, but also organizational and institutional policy.
Unfortunately most educational institutions are not prepared to implement multicultural education in their classrooms. Multicultural education requires a staff that is not only diverse, but also culturally competent. Educators must be aware, responsive and embracing of the diverse beliefs, perspectives and experiences. They must also be willing and ready to address issues of controversy. These issues include, but are not limited to, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, classism, ageism, etc.
What You Can Do in Your Classroom
Just because we’re facing an uphill battle doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take those first steps. To integrate multicultural education in your classroom and your school, you can:
- Integrate a diverse reading list that demonstrates the universal human experience across cultures
- Encourage community participation and social activism
- Go beyond the textbook
- By supplementing your curriculum with current events and news stories outside the textbook, you can draw parallels between the distant experiences of the past and the world today.
- Creating multicultural projects that require students to choose a background outside of their own – Suggest that your school host an in-service professional development on multi-cultural education in the classroom
Favorite Lessons in Multicultural Education
Analyze issues of racism through pop culture.
Example: Study the affects of WWII for Japanese Americans through political cartoons, movies, photography, etc.
Analyze issues of socioeconomic class through planning and development.
Example: Design a development project with solutions to the needs of those living in poverty stricken communities.
Analyze issues of sexism through media.
Example: Make a scrapbook of stereotypical portrayals of both men and women. Compare both positive and negative stereotypes and determine the struggles they face as a result of these stereotypes.
Becoming Multicultural Educators by Geneva Gay
Beyond Heros and Holidays by Enid Lee
Lies My Teachers Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen
E.K. Garcia is a writer for TeachHUB.com– a new, free
Multiculturalism is the Trojan horse in America today and there is no surer way to divide and weaken a nation from within. There is nothing wrong with lawful immigration among nations. In fact it is entirely proper and beneficial for nations. Lawful immigration means to come to another country for the purpose of settling there. Almost all nations have laws providing for this that include tests of loyalty and allegiance. The assumption is that those who wish to become citizens desire to assimilate into the same culture and to have the same protections as do other citizens of that country. In general, the attitude of lawful immigrants might be compared with that of Ruth in the Bible, who told Naomi, when migrating to Israel from the country of Moab that the people of Israel would be her people and the God of Israel would be her God. Not only did Ruth migrate to a new country but she so assimilated herself into the culture of Israel that she is recognized by name in the ancestry of King David and Jesus Christ as found in the book of Matthew.
Multiculturalism is completely different from the national interest of lawful immigration. It is a doctrine so new in America (1960′s) that it could not be found by this author in Webster’s Dictionary and could only be found in a reference to a 1913 Webster’s Dictionary which defined multiculturalism as the doctrine that several different cultures, as opposed to one national culture, can co-exist peacefully and equitably in a single country. It was introduced to America in conjunction with the civil rights movement, as ethnic and racial minority leaders encouraged their members to embrace their own ethnic or racial cultures, and not to assimilate into the culture of the society in which they live. This has produced a form of ethnicity and racism known as “ethnic pride movements” which are now prevalent in our educational systems, holidays, festivals, and politics. Instead of integrating their own cultures gradually into the culture of the host country as previous immigrants have done, multiculturalism separates the various ethnic and racial cultures and divides the country rather than unifying it.
The antonym of multiculturalism is nationalism, which means that the national culture and interests are superior to any other. Multiculturalism holds that each foreign group’s language, culture, religion and ideology must have equal status with those of the host country. The doctrine of multiculturalism is a product from the minds of various architects of a new world order who believe they can create a world of peace and prosperity by integrating all cultures, ideologies and beliefs into one harmonious society without national borders. These social plans are designed by leaders and thinkers (Psychologists, Sociologists, and Philosophers) in such organizations as the United Nations, Humanist societies, secular groups, progressive liberal groups and communist organizations. Even though these groups have different names they have the same agenda. Georgetown University Professor and Author Carroll Quigley, an insider to these groups, writes in his book, (Tragedy and Hope, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1966,), “There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so.” (pg 950)
All of these groups have been vocal in denouncing religion, especially Christianity and Judaism. They oppose, contradict, and simply ignore the Word of God in all their planning. Since the Word of God is clearly irrelevant and ignored in their plan and vision to create a world suited to their liking, we should turn to the Word of God to see what portion of the Word they are contradicting or ignoring when they champion the doctrine called multiculturalism. We can begin in the book of Genesis and the time when God first ordained and established separate nations.
God’s plan, as found in Acts 17:26-27, for separating the people into different nations according to boundaries and appointed times, is made clear shortly after the great flood in the days of Noah and his family. The Bible tells us in Genesis 10:5 & 32 that God separated Noah’s family by languages into different nations over the whole earth. However, an event happened before they were separated by languages. The people, not desiring to be separated, decided to dwell together, make a name for themselves, and build a common city where they would live. Genesis 11:6-9 tells us that God saw that their hearts were set against his plan for separate nations and he intervened by giving them different languages so they could not communicate and understand one another. As a result they then migrated and were scattered over the whole face of the earth. The place where these different languages were given was named “Babel” because of the confused and incoherent babbling among them.
In I Chronicles 1:4-23 we are told that the world was divided into three basic nations according to the three sons of Noah and their families. The descendants of Shem settled east and north from the Mediterranean region. The descendants of Japheth traveled further west and north from the Mediterranean while the descendants of Ham settled in the lands west and south from there. These are the first generations on earth after the flood and they were separated by languages, into separate nations, according to the plan of God.
The prophetic word of God in the book of Daniel prophesies of the last generation and the last Gentile (secular) kingdom on earth that will expand its influence over the world. In Daniel’s prophesy we can clearly identify multiculturalism and how it strives to blend all cultures, ideologies, religions and languages together in a united one world society, as opposed to different nations ordained by God. It is not a coincidence that the prophecies of Daniel were given to him in a land previously called “Babel” but in his day called Babylon. This name has become synonymous with the forces who oppose God and is the prophetic name the Bible uses to describe this last kingdom, which likely is a description of the babbling, misunderstanding and confusion created by multiculturalism.
This prophecy of Daniel concerns a dream the King of Babylon had. In his dream the King saw a great and awesome statue that disturbed his mind so much he could no longer recall what he had seen and he did not understand its meaning. Daniel was called by the King to describe and interpret the dream for him. He described the statue exactly as the king recalled it in his dream. It had a head made of fine gold, its breasts and arms were made of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze and its legs were made of iron. Daniel then described its feet and toes, which were made partly of iron and partly of clay. Daniel’s description of the statue in the King’s dream satisfied the King. Daniel then proceeded to give the interpretation of the meaning of the statue and its destruction.
He told the King that the statue represented five Gentile kingdoms that would rise to rule over most of the known world from the time of the King to the end of this age, with King Nebuchadnezzar himself being the first kingdom as represented by the head of gold. His kingdom, Daniel said, was given to him by God and is a kingdom superior to the others that will follow him and will be progressively weaker. Following the first kingdom would come the Medo-Persian kingdom, followed by the Greek Empire. These two were represented by the silver and bronze portions of the statue. Next would come the Roman Empire, represented by the iron legs and would become the secular kingdom in existence during the birth and crucifixion of Christ.
There is an unusually long break in history between the Roman Empire and the last kingdom which will be represented by the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay. Daniel did not specify when this kingdom would arise but it will be known, when it comes, because it will have the strength of iron, as the Roman Empire did, but it will also have divisions and discord in it. Daniel then described the last kingdom to the King. He described it as a divided kingdom, partly strong and partly brittle because, even though they combine together they will not adhere to one another. Daniel describes a kingdom in which the seed of men throughout the world will mingle themselves together but cannot unite with each other. The Amplified Bible explains that these different ideologies cannot harmonize even as iron cannot mingle with clay. The Bible makes it clear that God cannot bear with or tolerate this kingdom, which seeks to combine and mix the different nationalities, languages, cultures, ideologies and religions together and it may be why this will be the last secular nation to rule on earth.
Daniel then continues his description of this kingdom and how it will meet its end. He describes the last of the dream to the king, telling him that the king saw a great stone which was hurled at the statue’s feet, striking it and crushing it, until it became like dust blown away by the wind. After the entire statue was destroyed, Daniel described how this same stone, symbolic of Christ, became greater than all these kingdoms and was like a mountain which filled the entire earth. This last world kingdom, called “Mystery Babylon”, will rush headlong into oblivion, ignoring God’s word, defying his will and forsaking his rule. Multiculturalism may be among the last straws that ends God’s patience with mankind.