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Describe the three foundations of culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction.

Describe the three foundations of culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction.

Describe the three foundations of culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction.

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Learning Objectives

By the time you reach the end of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

1. Define multicultural education and explain its benefits.

2. Describe the three foundations of culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction.

3. Compare ways of developing dual language skills.

4. Describe how to conduct fair and meaningful assessments of culturally diverse students.

5. Explain how to assess classroom practices to ensure they are aligned with the tenets of culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction.

Culturally Relevant, Anti-Bias Curriculum 3

Pre-Test 1. Teachers who subscribe to a “colorblind”

curriculum are not delivering culturally sensitive, anti-bias instruction. T/F

2. Children from various cultures develop so differently that it is impossible to use basic child development knowledge to design curriculum for ethnically and linguistically diverse children. T/F

3. Learning two languages confuses children and delays their language development. T/F

4. The purpose of a one-way immersion bilingual education program is to support dual language learners’ acquisition of English. T/F

5. Assessments can be modified to accommodate cultural diversity. T/F

Answers can be found at the end of this chapter.

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CHAPTER 3Section 3.1 What Is Multicultural Education?


In the dramatic play area, Mrs. Sims observes two students acting out the rituals of puja that they observe in their homes. Puja is a Hindu religious ritual that many people perform every morning. She watches as the children place the toy fruit and flowers in a small corner of the room and begin chanting in Sanskrit and ringing a bell. This teacher, who practices Christianity, is confused by what the children are doing. She has no idea what the children are saying, and she is not sure why they have stacked all the food or are ringing the bell. Soon after other children take a seat alongside their classmates and happily join in the chanting and ringing. Mrs. Sims gets ner- vous that the children will “get out of hand,” so she tells them to find something else to pretend.

How do you think the children felt when she interrupted their play? What message did she send to them about what things are okay to pretend and what things are not? How could Mrs. Sims use this as an opportunity for the children to learn something about Hindu culture?

This example represents some of the teaching opportunities educators face when they are teaching children from culturally diverse backgrounds. It highlights issues related to ethnic tra- ditions (i.e., the children acting out the ritual), language (i.e., chanting in Sanskrit), and how Mrs. Sims might learn how to facilitate children’s group play around ethnic traditions—that is, how she can help teach children to celebrate their classmates’ games and pretend scenarios.

In this chapter, we define a type of multicultural education we call culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction, which has been described by several other researchers (Gay, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 1994; York, 2003). Next, we describe how educators can achieve culturally relevant, anti-bias instruction through thoughtful use of language in the classroom, especially those language inter- actions used to teach dual-language learners (DLLs). Then we describe how to conduct a fair and meaningful assessment for culturally diverse children. Finally, we end with a discussion of how educators can make instructional accommodations for culturally diverse learners.

3.1 What Is Multicultural Education?

Although education scholars, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers disagree on exactly how to define multicultural education, they would probably all agree that multicultural education challenges and rejects racism, classism, sexism, and other forms of oppression in society by emphasizing social justice and democracy and by promoting the con- cepts of human rights, equitable distribution of power, and equal participation in decision making (York, 2003).

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