The IS and the ISN’t of Multicultural Education

By Paul C. Gorski for EdChange and the Multicultural Pavilion

The purpose and implementation of multicultural education can sometimes be misunderstood. Below are clarifying factors that dispel myths about what multicultural education is and is not.

Multicultural Education ISN’T

  • about everyone agreeing and getting along
  • only applicable to Language Arts and History
  • a process of watering down good curriculum
  • related only to curriculum reform
  • only for teachers and students of color
  • achieved through a series of small changes
  • modeled through cultural bulletin boards
  • the responsibility of culture-based student
  • a single in-service workshop

Multicultural Education IS

  • about naming and eliminating theinequities in education
  • a comprehensive approach for making education more inclusive, active, and engaging in all subject areas
  • a process for presenting all students with a more comprehensive, accurate understanding of the world
  • related to all aspects of education including pedagogy, counseling, administration, assessment and evaluation, research, etc.
  • for ALL students and educators
  • achieved through the reexamination and transformation of all aspects of education
  • modeled through self-critique, self-examination, and assemblies, or fairs cross-cultural relationship-building
  • the responsibility of teachers, administrators, and school staff clubs or organizations
  • an on-going commitment

About the author

The Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) is a professional association representing schools, school districts, educational associations, consulting agencies and organizations. WSPRA is a state affiliate of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). 4797 HAYES ROAD | SUITE 103 | MADISON, WI 53704 | PHONE: 608-241-0300 | WSPRA@AWSA.ORG