Multiculturalism in the classroom reflects "education and instruction designed for the cultures of several different races in an educational system," according to Keith Wilson of the EdChange website. The principles of multicultural education teach students to appreciate, accept and honour different groups of people. Teachers can use a multicultural approach to teach students in all subject areas, including social studies, language arts, music and art.
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A main principle of multicultural education is to teach about diverse cultural groups. Provide history lessons on cultures around the world and in your community. Read literature by authors of different races and religions to bring diversity into your classroom curriculum. Make your own school community an example of diversity by studying the history, traditions, art and music of all the cultural groups in the community.
Teach your students to respect others with different beliefs, traditions, cultures and languages. Discuss the importance of respect and provide examples of how to show respect to others. One way to illustrate the importance of respect is to teach about times in history when one group has disrespected others with devastating results, such as slavery or genocide.
An important principle of multicultural education is to teach about equality between cultures, races and genders -- all people regardless of their differences. Find common elements of diverse groups to help your students see that all people have the same rights and should be treated equally. For example, in language arts focus on the theme of "coming of age" or "overcoming challenges" and read literature from diverse cultures that reflect that theme. Emphasise the similarities in the characters despite their cultural differences.
Inclusion plans a major role in creating a multicultural classroom. Make your teaching practices and curriculum accessible to students in all the cultural groups you teach. Offer bilingual students the opportunity to read in their first language. Invite parents and other community members to your classroom to teach about their cultures.
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