Strategies To Support Multicultural Instruction

Essential for developing multicultural/diverse perspective learnings is a positive and trusting classroom environment - one in which all students are made to feel welcome, comfortable, and respected. Listed below are several strategies that are particularly useful in promoting multicultural/diverse perspective learnings in such a classroom.

Questioning Styles

Questioning techniques that personally involve students will allow them to respond in a way that reflects their cultural diversity and that will expose their fellow students to those differences (Evans, 1991).

Role-Playing

Role-playing is a versatile activity that allows students to express their opinions in a realistic situation. Students can "trade places" with a fellow student or a character from a literature selection (Tiedt & Tiedt, 1990).

Role-playing enables students to express and to examine their attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about prejudice and discrimination. Poetry, biography, and powerful fiction are excellent sources for both discussion and role-playing (Banks, 1989).

Cooperative Learning

Many years of research and practice support the use of cooperative groups to focus on students' different strengths and styles. In addition, cooperative learning groups have been found to have strong and consistent positive effects on social relationships between culturally different students (Slavin, 1983). Group members become more accepting of classmates who are different.

Exposure to Different Languages Cultures

It is important for students to recognize that English is not the only language spoken in the United States. Students should be exposed to speakers of various and languages. In addition to broadening students' perspectives by introducing them to different languages, such speakers can also share with students ideas and values from other cultures (Tiedt & Tiedt, 1990).

Group Discussions

Group discussions stimulate thinking. The notion that thinking originates within individuals - and only after that is it ready to be shared socially - has given way to the belief that some of the best thinking results from a group's collective efforts (Sternberg, 1987). In discussions in which students examine more than one point of view, there is ample opportunity to enrich and refine their understanding by helping them to view their own interpretation in the light of the interpretations of others (Alvermann, 1991).

Active Involvement

Instructional techniques that allow for individual differences and that add a spark of excitement to classroom activities should be used in place of fill-in-the-blank activities. Students should be engaged in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking activities that provide opportunities for them to make decisions and solve problems (Tiedt & Tiedt, 1990).
Go on to Values of Multicultural Instruction
Back to Role of Multicultural Literature


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