AT&D #6. Multicultural Education in a Global Society

Explain how authors Hamilton, Thomas and Collier, and Rodriguez supports the importance of multicultural education in a global society? Give some examples.

I believe that each author gives a very valid explanation for why multicultural education is important in today’s ever growing global society. To start off, Hamilton stresses the idea of having culturally representative schools where components of diverse culture (such as language) be maintained and kept relevant through language immersion and course implementation. In other words, not only do schools have to simply teach and offer opportunities to showcase diversity (and the learning thereof) but they also should come to terms in motivating and capturing the interest of a student body so that they can accept (a) new or foreign culture(s) as a part of their life.

Continuing on the grounds of handling diversity, Thomas and Collier argue for bilingual teaching in schools. Aside from the simple fact that teaching 2 languages caters to the non-native English speaker, having a curriculum that teaches another language (to the native English speaker) helps students cross cultural boundaries and barriers in strengthening the understanding of such culture better.

Currently in the U.S., Spanish is the second most common language spoken due to the rise of the Latin-American population since the 1950s. Studies even point to Spanish eventually overtaking English to be the country’s language with the most speakers in the distant future. Therefore, it is very important to not only have Spanish being taught in U.S. schools but to also incorporate cultural elements as well to have students be mindful of the way of life the Hispanic world embodies. To end off, Rodriguez points out to how language can be a barrier for opportunity where any non-English speaking immigrant to the U.S. would have to learn English to work, to eat, to live, etc.

Despite the perceived harshness of the reality of learning a new language, Rodriguez claims that having fluency in at least 2 languages is beneficial for engaging with public life (i.e. working) where a native language can be still used at home with family and relatives to maintain identity and consolation, at least that is what I can interpret. I myself can relate because my family had to learn English fully upon coming to the U.S. and we use it for work, school, shopping, etc. while we retain our language at home and for conversing with our relatives. Overall, each author had an interesting point about language and cultural awareness in the realm of multicultural education and I agree with their points.

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