1. Post #1
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    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    The issue of multiculturalism is fiercely debated in American politics. Conservatives tend to be against multiculturalism being taught to young children in elementary and middle school, while Liberals tend to support it. In order to fully understand the issues at hand we must first be sure of what we mean when we talk about multiculturalism.
    Multiculturalism

    Multiculturalism is generally thought of as the teaching that no culture is inherently superior to another. It is meant to teach tolerance and understanding of people who share different views, and participate in different traditions, whether cultural or religious. This is generally done in school in many ways:

    The first way a school can teach multiculturalism is through designated "culture days". These are days that focus on teaching and celebrating different cultures. Some schools do this through multiple days(or weeks) dedicated to specific cultures. MLK Jr. Day can fit into a "culture day" because it focuses on the acceptance of others, especially African-Americans who fit into a different racial and generally into a different cultural group(there is a "black culture") than the majority. There are also events that broaden the topic of multiculturalism. Most schools have a "multiculturalism week" or "diversity week" where class time is spent on learning and celebrating a multitude of different cultures. This way is usually done once a year on designated holidays.

    The second way a school can teach multiculturalism is more subtle. This is done through teachers assigning reading materials written by people of different cultures and having students discuss and write about them. It also discusses other points of view of major events in class without actually changing curriculum. An examples of this would be reading about the Native American perspective of Thanksgiving. The goal of this is to get students to put themselves in the shoes of people who are not necessarily similar to themselves, and hopefully increase tolerance and understanding for these people.

    A third way, and the final one I am going to write about, is changing daily curriculum for a student to incorporate culture learning. This is something I have actual firsthand experience with. In 1st grade, our curriculum consisted of about a month of learning about Mexico. An hour or two a day was given to us to learn some Spanish, do projects on Mexican culture, and read Mexican folk stories. The Three Javelinas was an example of a folk story we learned, which is a Mexican version of The Three Pigs. In 2nd grade we had the same thing, except we learned about Swahili culture, and learned some of the Swahili language. This way is more overt, by actually telling children that they should accept these cultures and that they are great and worth celebrating.

    Now what are the arguments for and against this type of learning?

    Pros for multicultural learning

    A main argument for multicultural learning is that it teaches tolerance of other cultures. It is meant to relieve racial tensions, especially in a country like the USA where there are a whole lot of cultures living in close proximity. It is meant to "transform" children into tolerant, accepting, human beings. They say that because every day is "white history day", that Africans, Latinos, Asians, Arabs, Native Americans, and Indians should get their own days of learning. They argue that whites have persecuted and oppressed many of these cultures in the past, so history tends to have a bias against them, and they are often overlooked in normal history classes.

    Another argument is that simply learning other cultures is good for expanding a child's mind. People say Gandhi, Buddha, Confucius, and Crazy Horse have a whole lot of wisdom that can be given to children and young adults. These sorts of people also say learning about "white" heroes like Jesus Christ and Christopher Columbus are taught as normal history so no special time is needed for them, and that people like Christopher Columbus were also incredibly racist and oppressive to other cultures that they encountered.

    Cons for multicultural learning

    Some groups, however, are not completely on board the multiculturalism train of thought. These groups tend to think that the way multiculturalism is taught in schools tends to elevate other cultures above white culture. They say that schools put too much emphasis on white persecution of others in the past, and that teaches intolerance and animosity towards whites. It also teaches a culture of self hatred and what they feel is undeserved guilt among white people. They claim that this sort of teaching only deepens the racial and cultural divide, and encourages violence against whites. A quote from Bennett, "to dwell on cultural differences is to foster negative prejudices and stereotypes, and that is human nature to view those who are different as inferior". They often try advocate teaching similarities between cultures, instead of differences. The slogan is "We are more alike than different".

    Opponents to multiculturalism also say that it is taught instead of subjects that need to be taught to children. They claim that while Americans becomes worse and worse at math, reading, and science, that less time is allotted to teaching these subjects in favor of multiculturalism. Some feel it is a complete waste of time and is detrimental to the student, because less time is focused on necessary skills.

    Conclusion

    So multiculturalism is far from a simple issue. In fact, it tends to be an issue few are on the fence about. It seems that everyone has a strong opinion on it. There are groups of people who feel that is is necessary to foster cooperation and tolerance among different cultures, while some believe that it further divides cultures.

    So what are you opinions on this lovely issue that seems to divide more and more people each day?


    References I used & stuff:
    http://www.intime.uni.edu/multicultu.../approachs.htm Four Approaches to Multicultural Curriculum Reform
    http://www.edchange.org/multicultura...th.html#whatis Multicultural Education

  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    trotskygrad's Avatar
    June 2011
    8,526 Posts
    yes, if multiculturalism is not taught, the latent racism in society often creates racial prejudices in children. There are multiple studies that show this (the one with black and white dolls, or whatever).

    the previous consensus is that teaching multiculturalism would eliminate racism, it is now being said that the message needs to be more explict: "racism is bad"

    Also the people who say teaching multiculturalism would subtract from other school time, I would disagree, since it mainly is integrated into the curriculum of subjects such as English (reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and Geography/Social Studies/History (studying the CRM, etc)

  3. Post #3
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    Dennab
    July 2010
    22,111 Posts
    I would say that whilst good in its intentions it doesn't have as great of an impact as expected. I know many people of varying nationalities, cultures, races, religions, etc at my school who don't actually care or bother much about culture. Instead they do something instead like play videogames, go to parties or various other activities. Many don't even seem to care about what their parents culture is.

    It would be more wise to use the time for other subjects, as most of the classes that teach cultures/languages/religions/etc are mainly occupied by people who go there simply because its a easy class that fills up slots.

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    evilweazel's Avatar
    June 2009
    11,616 Posts
    Doesn't seem like a bad thing to teach at all, as long as it isn't implemented in a really shitty and forced way. I grew up around a lot of different people, really. I went from a 96% white Catholic school in 3rd grade to an Elementary school where there were plenty of just about every race and religion/way of life you could think of, and it all kind of came naturally through meeting people that we're equal. This probably isn't the same everywhere however, so I think it would be a great idea as long as it isn't "forced" feeling, like most of the multicultural things seem to be at the moment. I don't think it should have a whole class dedicated to it, but I think it could do well if put into some history classes plans.

  5. Post #5
    rivershark's Avatar
    February 2010
    1,243 Posts
    Of course, muliticulturalism should be taught, the country you live in is not the only country out there. That doesn't mean however that certain nationalities and races deserve an "appreciation day/month". And did anyone else get books and mild shock material about the holocaust fucking drilled into their head like a fucking railroad tie all through middle school?

  6. Post #6
    VENEZOLANO
    Big Bang's Avatar
    August 2006
    3,417 Posts
    Yes, children should be taught to embrace their culture as they embrace all others around the globe. A world where all understand each other can only be a better world.

  7. Post #7
    Fight until death, shoot until empty.

    November 2009
    15,682 Posts
    yes, if multiculturalism is not taught, the latent racism in society often creates racial prejudices in children. There are multiple studies that show this (the one with black and white dolls, or whatever).
    Explain that to the three black kids in my class room. Two are actually really cool to be around while the other one TRIES to be the stereotype black man. He once said to one of my other classmates "I hate it when black people think they can talk properly" [In a slur]

  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Elspin's Avatar
    December 2006
    5,427 Posts
    It's working well in Canada - A huge portion of our education through grade school is about Aboriginals of the area, Cultures, Religions, etc. We also had huge multi-cultural events every year ending with a food fair that was basically amazing.

  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    HawkeyeTy's Avatar
    February 2006
    1,620 Posts
    It's working well in Canada - A huge portion of our education through grade school is about Aboriginals of the area, Cultures, Religions, etc. We also had huge multi-cultural events every year ending with a food fair that was basically amazing.
    I agree, my grade school takes their kids to pow-wows, and a yearly multi-cultural event with hundreds of different cultural pavilions to visit and get a little education on the culture. It's actually more interesting than one would think at first.

  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Run&Gun12's Avatar
    May 2007
    3,371 Posts
    My kindergarten and first few elementary grades' social studies classes placed much emphasis on international cultures. We even had a video chat with a class of Kenyans one time, it was fun seeing them.

    So yeah, multiculturalism is essential to introducing our youth to the outside world, and even more importantly, promoting tolerance and peace.

  11. Post #11
    Insensitive Jackass
    Sexy Eskimo's Avatar
    June 2011
    1,945 Posts
    I don't want my children to be brainwashed by some political correct bullshit. Religion classes today is more then enough to educate children about religion and culture.

    You should be able to criticize everyone and everything without it becoming a taboo subject. Even if you do teach children about multiculturalism it wont solve the the parallel society issues, difference of culture and issues related to immigration.

    It would just silent critics.

  12. Post #12
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    trotskygrad's Avatar
    June 2011
    8,526 Posts
    Explain that to the three black kids in my class room. Two are actually really cool to be around while the other one TRIES to be the stereotype black man. He once said to one of my other classmates "I hate it when black people think they can talk properly" [In a slur]
    exactly he wasn't really taught that, so he's using society's stereotype of a black man as an excuse to be lazy

  13. Post #13
    MEGA SENPAI KAWAII UGUU~~ =^_^=
    Megafan's Avatar
    September 2008
    14,608 Posts
    I don't want my children to be brainwashed by some political correct bullshit. Religion classes today is more then enough to educate children about religion and culture.

    You should be able to criticize everyone and everything without it becoming a taboo subject. Even if you do teach children about multiculturalism it wont solve the the parallel society issues, difference of culture and issues related to immigration.

    It would just silent critics.
    Critics of what, other races? You really think it's detrimental for a child to learn about Mexican or Chinese cultural in the south or on the coasts? Or for children to learn about the Native Americans in school?

  14. Post #14
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    Dennab
    July 2010
    22,111 Posts
    Critics of what, other races? You really think it's detrimental for a child to learn about Mexican or Chinese cultural in the south or on the coasts? Or for children to learn about the Native Americans in school?
    It can be if it appears forced, which will actually make the child get sick of the subject and busy themselves with something else. At most there should be a single class a week about multiculturalism/religion/etc, as it takes up time which could be spent on more practical subjects.

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    Run&Gun12's Avatar
    May 2007
    3,371 Posts
    I don't want my children to be brainwashed by some political correct bullshit. Religion classes today is more then enough to educate children about religion and culture.

    You should be able to criticize everyone and everything without it becoming a taboo subject. Even if you do teach children about multiculturalism it wont solve the the parallel society issues, difference of culture and issues related to immigration.

    It would just silent critics.
    It's hard to credibly criticize something when you aren't educated in it.

  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,877 Posts
    I don't want my children to be brainwashed by some political correct bullshit.
    Good thing that's not what this thread is about then.

  17. Post #17
    Silver Member
    slippp22's Avatar
    April 2008
    2,360 Posts
    I go to a catholic school and in grade 11 a world religions and culture course is mandatory in a ontario catholic high school, I learned about Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and more and all about their lifestyles

  18. Post #18
    Insensitive Jackass
    Sexy Eskimo's Avatar
    June 2011
    1,945 Posts
    Critics of what, other races? You really think it's detrimental for a child to learn about Mexican or Chinese cultural in the south or on the coasts? Or for children to learn about the Native Americans in school?
    Religion class is more then enough. I also thought america already learn about native and mexican culture, if you don't you should.

    Cultures moving to another country should adapt to were they move, not force the entire country and school system to adapt.

    Here in Sweden we had tests and lessons about every major religion and culture, that more then enough for a basic understanding.

  19. Post #19
    MEGA SENPAI KAWAII UGUU~~ =^_^=
    Megafan's Avatar
    September 2008
    14,608 Posts
    Religion class is more then enough. I also thought america already learn about native and mexican culture, if you don't you should.

    Cultures moving to another country should adapt to were they move, not force the entire country and school system to adapt.

    Here in Sweden we had tests and lessons about every major religion and culture, that more then enough for a basic understanding.
    What did you think this thread was talking about?

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    HawkeyeTy's Avatar
    February 2006
    1,620 Posts
    Religion class is more then enough. I also thought america already learn about native and mexican culture, if you don't you should.

    Cultures moving to another country should adapt to were they move, not force the entire country and school system to adapt.

    Here in Sweden we had tests and lessons about every major religion and culture, that more then enough for a basic understanding.
    There's a difference between 'forcing an entire country to change' and simply accommodating the cultures of the type of people who are the only reason your country exists. You're being much too over dramatic about a really simple thing. Taking a small portion of time away from math and the like for a little segment about how our cultures differ is not going to hurt anything

    This is really mostly xenophobia, why don't people realize immigration and cultural melting pots are one of the basic building blocks of civilization?

  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    June 2009
    2,433 Posts
    Religion class is more then enough. I also thought america already learn about native and mexican culture, if you don't you should.

    Cultures moving to another country should adapt to were they move, not force the entire country and school system to adapt.

    Here in Sweden we had tests and lessons about every major religion and culture, that more then enough for a basic understanding.
    What do you mean by a "religion class"? I've never heard of such a thing in a public school.

  22. Post #22
    Insensitive Jackass
    Sexy Eskimo's Avatar
    June 2011
    1,945 Posts
    What did you think this thread was talking about?
    Multicultural learning?

    What do you mean by a "religion class"? I've never heard of such a thing in a public school.
    We got a class called Religion, where we learn about others religion and culture.

  23. Post #23
    MEGA SENPAI KAWAII UGUU~~ =^_^=
    Megafan's Avatar
    September 2008
    14,608 Posts
    We got a class called Religion, where we learn about others religion and culture.
    That doesn't exist in US public school and as far as I know doesn't exist in Canada's or the UK's equivalents.

  24. Post #24
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    HawkeyeTy's Avatar
    February 2006
    1,620 Posts
    That doesn't exist in US public school and as far as I know doesn't exist in Canada's or the UK's equivalents.
    Right about that, on Canada's part at least, no 'religion class' here.

  25. Post #25
    Proudly supporting the JIDF
    Dennab
    July 2010
    22,111 Posts
    That doesn't exist in US public school and as far as I know doesn't exist in Canada's or the UK's equivalents.
    In my school they have Religious education.

    Pretty much everyone who goes to that class is because it's mandatory or incredibly easy and fills up slots. Its one of the few advanced higher classes to exist and I think 3 rooms exist for it in my school. Regrettably there is only one physics and one chemistry room for the entire school.

    When in the class myself I would just doodle all over the work and draw various religious figures smoking joints.

  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    OutOfExile2's Avatar
    December 2008
    11,201 Posts
    We have Social Studies which seems to be similar
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_studies
    Depending on the level a lot of it usually deals with multiculturalism

  27. Post #27
    Insensitive Jackass
    Sexy Eskimo's Avatar
    June 2011
    1,945 Posts
    That doesn't exist in US public school and as far as I know doesn't exist in Canada's or the UK's equivalents.
    Sorry my bad, i took for granted that you guys in the US had that to. I thought you were stepping it up even higher.

    If so i totally support proper religion and cultural education.

  28. Post #28
    MEGA SENPAI KAWAII UGUU~~ =^_^=
    Megafan's Avatar
    September 2008
    14,608 Posts
    Sorry my bad, i took for granted that you guys in the US had that to. I thought you were stepping it up even higher.

    If so i totally support proper religion and cultural education.
    You probably shouldn't assume Sweden is at the low end of progress.

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,877 Posts
    Right about that, on Canada's part at least, no 'religion class' here.
    I took a world religions unit in social studies so while it isn't a class, we definitely learn about it.

  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    HawkeyeTy's Avatar
    February 2006
    1,620 Posts
    I took a world religions unit in social studies so while it isn't a class, we definitely learn about it.
    Social studies and the courses involved cover it, we do learn about it but he sounded like he was making it out to be a single class solely dedicated to religious teachings or something.

  31. Post #31
    Zocom's Avatar
    September 2008
    956 Posts
    We need to spend more time educating kids in elementary about other ways of life. We used to have these life studies books that documented a person's daily life in another place. Schools need to increase the time spent on social studies, Life lessons and basic language for kids in grades one to four then focus on math and sciences. Right now we're not setting the foundation, the right mentality in kids. Or maybe social studies should be split up into two blocks instead of one. Life lessons and Social studies, one for personal development and one for the big picture.

  32. Post #32
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    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    I don't want my children to be brainwashed by some political correct bullshit. Religion classes today is more then enough to educate children about religion and culture.

    You should be able to criticize everyone and everything without it becoming a taboo subject. Even if you do teach children about multiculturalism it wont solve the the parallel society issues, difference of culture and issues related to immigration.

    It would just silent critics.
    Shouldn't some effort be made, however? It seems like a reasonable claim to say that without multicultural education things could be a lot worse. That if people don't understand other people's culture and customs it will lead to a lot of racial violence.

    Are there any alternatives to multicultural education as it is taught now, that you think would work better?

    This is really mostly xenophobia, why don't people realize immigration and cultural melting pots are one of the basic building blocks of civilization?
    What about some people's claims that the melting pot actually hurts the people inside it? Los Angeles, for example, is considered a pretty liberal city, in a pretty liberal state, but is one of the most racially violent in the United States. As Latino and African-American populations migrate around the city(many neighborhoods have changed from black to hispanic or vice versa in the last decade alone), it causes a lot of racial tensions. These groups feel that others are moving into their rightful land and take a lot of offense to it. Gang violence is very much racially motivated in many cases. Not only this, but there have been many cases of innocent, non gang-affiliated people having been killed simply for crossing into a neighborhood of another race.

    Also Sweden is a great example of a very progressive nation that has a lot of cultural hatred. Immigration is very high in Sweden, and this causes a reaction from the native population. There are a lot of people calling for the expulsion of these immigrants, closing the borders, etc. Sweden gets a large amount of multicultural education AFAIK(although Sexy Eskimo would be way more knowledgeable about that then me).

    Can you solve these problems with multicultural education?

  33. Post #33
    What fun is there in making sense?
    Dennab
    October 2007
    9,274 Posts
    I think that it is important for children to learn that people of all walks and skin colors have contributed to the global society we have today.

    But I don't think that they should be told any one group is above others. This goes for months celebrating one ethnicity or culture above others.

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    aydin690's Avatar
    April 2007
    9,877 Posts
    Multiculturalism is working just fine in Canada.

  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,877 Posts
    I think that it is important for children to learn that people of all walks and skin colors have contributed to the global society we have today.

    But I don't think that they should be told any one group is above others. This goes for months celebrating one ethnicity or culture above others.
    It seems you're referring mostly to black history month, and really misunderstanding its purpose. It isn't about celebrating blacks as being above others, it's about celebrating them as finally being equal after centuries of being lesser.

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    Contag's Avatar
    July 2010
    11,828 Posts
    True multiculturalism doesn't really exist anyway.

    It's more like "you can keep some aspects of your culture and you should be grateful for it"

  37. Post #37
    Antdawg's Avatar
    July 2010
    5,189 Posts
    Just as Contag has said, true multiculturalism can not exist anyways (because humans aren't a perfect race and we'll never see the day of true multiculturalism), however strong multiculturalism is good because it does encourage an equal and just society. It teaches people to tolerate and live in harmony with those who might live a different life style, so it's pretty much for the greater good.

  38. Post #38
    Dennab
    May 2010
    1,014 Posts
    How can this even be an issue? Of course there shouldn't be any limits to what you can and cannot teach in schools at all.

  39. Post #39
    Facepunch armorer
    OrionChronicles's Avatar
    February 2010
    3,978 Posts
    What do you mean by a "religion class"? I've never heard of such a thing in a public school.
    thats because the teaching of religion is illegal in public schools in the US

  40. Post #40
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    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    thats because the teaching of religion is illegal in public schools in the US
    No it isn't. Promotion of religious is illegal in a public school. Teaching what different religions believe is not. I had a religious sort of class in high school that taught about Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.