Multicultural Education in the U.S.: A Guide to Policies and Programs in the 50 States

Multicultural Education in the U.S.: A Guide to Policies and Programs in the 50 States

Multicultural Education in the U.S.: A Guide to Policies and Programs in the 50 States

Multicultural Education in the U.S.: A Guide to Policies and Programs in the 50 States

Synopsis

Born during the turbulent years of the 1960s, multicultural education has attempted to help students acquire a more sophisticated understanding of the pluralistic populations of the United States. This reference book is a convenient guide to multicultural education initiatives in the 50 states. The volume contains alphabetical entries for each state. Because multicultural education is largely a response to the ethnic composition of a particular state, each entry begins with a brief history of the state, which gives special attention to the experiences of various racial and ethnic groups. The second part of each entry summarizes the educational system of the state, while the third analyzes the state's multicultural education efforts. Each entry closes with bibliographic information, and the volume concludes with a selected, general bibliography.

Excerpt

Without a doubt, the United States of America is one of the most complicated nations on the globe. Its turbulent history has been beset by slavery and the doctrine of manifest destiny which provided some European-Americans with a rationale for taking over the lands of the native residents for themselves. Its history also made it possible for tens of millions of Europeans to flee oppressive governments and religious tyranny to start over and hopefully acquire "the American dream." Throughout the years, immigrants from Asia, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and many other parts of the world have provided the country with an effective labor force. Some of these persons acquired excellent educations, which propelled them into professional areas and made it possible for them to acquire vast fortunes.

However, given the capitalistic economic system the country has enjoyed throughout the years, the United States has also had to deal with enormous poverty problems. Indeed, in recent years the nation has seen a frightening increase in both the poverty culture, along with the economic culture of the wealthy. This enormous increase in the number of poor persons has created gigantic problems for educators who have the responsibility of providing equal educational opportunities for all children, a property right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

Another phenomenon of American life compounds the problem even further. In the United States, persons of color have far greater proportions of their people who find themselves struggling in poverty. On the contrary, smaller percentages of European-Americans have had to contend with this issue. Consequently, this condition has helped contribute to the racial strife which has ravaged the land in numerous ways. For example, it is well documented that poverty is often responsible for health and physical conditions which can result in substandard intellectual performance. Throughout the history of the country, this has sometimes led to the conclusion, particularly among European-Americans, that "minorities" (persons of color) are genetically deficient in intelligence and consequently human beings of a lesser status.

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