How can we make Multiculturalism effective in the classroom?

How Can We Make
Multiculturalism Effective in
the Classroom?
Kimberly Kern
English Language Fellow
[email protected]
What is multicultural
Multicultural education is equal education
for all students.
All students deserve the best possible
education we can provide, regardless of:
Nationality/ Language
Race or ethnicity- indigenous
Socio-economic background
Learning Style
Sexual orientation
Family values and background
This equality is evidenced by the books that
are read, the activities that are completed,
and the lessons that are taught.
All activities should be inclusive of all
students backgrounds and interests to
provide authentic learning experiences.
Know your students!
What kind of learner
are you?
 What kind of learners
are your students?
 Auditory
 Kinesthetic
Learning Style Assessment
Please take a few minutes and complete
the VISUAL section of the assessment
What is your score?
How many of us are visual learners?
How does this effect our teaching?
Knowing your student’s learning
styles helps all students have an
opportunity to learn.
What do students bring to the
Ask them….
Are they from this country? Where is their family
from in Honduras?
What neighborhood are they from? Rich, poor,
or middle class?
What past educational or life experience do they
What prejudices or biases do they have?
What cultural differences may they have?
What family traditions do they have? Religion?
Who is in this room?
 Who
has been to or is from the US?
 Who is not Catholic?
 Who went to public school?
 Who is of indigenous decent?
 Who was raised by only one parent?
 Who prays before every meal?
Nationality, Language and
Cultural Differences
Learn about the language of your students.
A few words can go a long way to show
respect. Have students teach the class!
To have a successful multicultural
classroom, a teacher needs to understand
these differences, but avoid cultural
generalizations and stereotypes.
True or False?
 Americans
are rich.
 Latin Americans are Catholic.
 American cuisine is fast food.
 Chinese people are shy.
 Boys are better at math than girls.
 Hondurans are always late.
Get together with a small group.
Complete the “Culture Club”
You have about 5 minutes.
Have you ever noticed these
cultural differences?
Gender Differences
Assign tasks that challenge traditional social rolesExample: Assign men to be note-takers, women to be
group facilitators
Encourage men and women to work together in groups
Be aware that women have been historically
Religious and Economic
A student’s socio-economic or religious norm is part of
their cultural identity
Stay away from one-sided text book lessons
Use material that is relevant to your student’s lives. Ex:
facebook, twitter, news articles about their neighborhood,
city, or country
So, how can we make the
classroom a multicultural
experience for our students?
Personalize Content
 Know
your students and use their names
and life experiences in examples.
Sally went to the mall to buy some shoes.
Alejandro went to the Multiplaza to buy the
newest Wii.
How do you get from the church to the
Police Station?
How do you get from UNAH to CARMAX?
My neighborhood- Bed-stuy,
Brooklyn, NY
Use Different Teaching Styles
Vary your instructional materials as a way to
draw in students with various learning styles
Consider visual, tactile, aural, and other
dimensions of your instructional materials
Mix it up. Work in pairs, groups, independent.
Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing activities
Avoid Stereotypes
Avoid other-ing; integrate diverse voices and sources
together instead of having separate sections or units
Example: No units on “women poets” or “Indigenous
Voices,” etc..
Discourage gender, national, and cultural stereotypes
that single some students out.
Ask Your Students!
Give students opportunities to share anonymous
feedback; surveys; questionnaires
Note: Students already feeling uncomfortable are
not likely to approach you about your teaching or
What do they want to learn about??
Make ALL students feel comfortable and included
in their learning!
Question, Comments,
[email protected]
“Education means inspiring someone’s
mind, not just filling their head”

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