View or share this material in a Google Doc: Multicultural Education in Remote and Hybrid Learning Environments
To understand and implement a framework for multicultural education within a curriculum that uplifts traditionally marginalized voices, offers diverse perspectives, and empowers all remote and hybrid learners.
The estimated time for this activity is 25 minutes.
Watch this Video
The NYSED Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education framework highlights the critical role educators play in being able to closely analyze curricular content and do the following:
- “Feature and highlight resources written and developed by traditionally marginalized voices that offer diverse perspectives on race, culture, language, gender, sexual identity, ability, religion, nationality, migrant/refugee status, socioeconomic status, housing status, and other identities traditionally silenced or omitted from curriculum.”
- Help schools to “understand and align curriculum to the variety of histories, languages, and experiences that reflect the diversity of the State population.”
A multicultural approach to curriculum and instruction aims to meaningfully transform classroom education in a way that empowers learners from diverse cultural backgrounds and uplifts voices that have been historically marginalized and excluded. This approach to education enhances learning outcomes for all students. This video, “Multicultural Education: Overview,” will summarize a framework for education created and credited to educator James Banks, as well as different multicultural approaches to reforming education and the implications of each. As you watch the video, take note of the connections you can make to current curricular structure and content as well as your role as an educator.
Multicultural Education: Overview
Stop & Think
Key: T — Teachers, SL — School Leaders, DL — District Leaders
Directions: Discuss and reflect on the following questions either independently, with a partner, or in grade-level or school-based meetings.
- How is the current content and curriculum reflective of four multicultural curriculum reform approaches (contributions, additive, transformation, and social action)? Where do you see the most value in these four approaches? (T, SL, DL)
- What are students’ current perspectives on the curriculum and content being taught? How do you seek their input? (T)
- What possibilities exist in a remote or hybrid environment to discuss topics such as race, diversity, and inclusion with students, educators, higher education institutions, and communities? (T, SL, DL)
- What would you seek to change about the current curriculum in order to make it more inclusive? What voices and perspectives might be missing? (T, SL, DL)
Brainstorm and Design
Where can you naturally integrate into the curriculum content that is relevant to the diverse cultures and backgrounds of students?
- Conduct virtual reality field trips or remote visits that naturally connect to the curriculum and students’ cultures (e.g., if students are studying food groups, have them explore foods around the world or within their cultures that fit into the different types of food groups).
- Invite diverse classroom guests, professionals, or speakers from various cultures and backgrounds to provide insight and expertise during virtual classes.
- Include a plethora of videos students can view synchronously or asynchronously that offer different insights, voices, and perspectives. See the blog post Five Types of Instructional Videos Teachers Can Use to Rock Remote and Hybrid Learning for more information.
Where and how might you “discuss and analyze the cultural frames of reference, biases, generalizations, and assumptions and views” that exist in the curriculum with your school community?
- Host virtual or hybrid forums to dive into the curriculum. Invite a diverse collection of voices to contribute to the conversation and lend their expertise, such as parents and families, higher education representatives, and students.
- Keep insights and next steps documented in a shared digital space to revisit later as reforms are made.
- Have students engage in virtual Socratic seminars or other discussion protocols that will allow them to discuss their insights and share diverse perspectives and noticings.
How can “students develop appreciation and understanding of other cultures by recognizing negative stereotypes”? What can they do with this information?
- Create a digital and collaborative space where students can explore multiple perspectives that may be omitted from the general curriculum.
- Engage students in social action research projects that allow them to see and learn about experiences different from their own. Students can:
Create a online petition or campaign
Design an informational online gallery or brochure
Connect and collaborate remotely with partnering schools in other neighborhoods or countries. See penpalschools.com for more information.
What instructional strategies can be planned in lessons that will benefit learners of diverse backgrounds and cultures?
- Vary your approach in how content is delivered by leveraging tools such as musicality, dance, art, or digital imagery, discussion, videos, and kinesthetic activities.
- Allow different means for students to demonstrate learning and mastery through virtual presentations and gallery walks (both virtual and physical).
Take a moment to reflect on your next steps and takeaways in providing a multicultural education to students.
Seeing a situation from multiple perspectives is an important skill. Not only can it help you analyze a text and/or historical event, but it can also help you in your everyday relationships.
For the first graphic organizer, think back to a situation in which you and a family member, classmate, or friend didn’t see eye to eye. Summarize the situation in the rectangle in the middle of the page. Then, label the arrows with the key individuals involved in the situation. (You may not need to use all the arrows.) Next, try to imagine how each individual may have perceived the event. Think about his/her past experiences and how they could impact that person’s reactions. Finally, on the lines next to arrows, write an explanation of how and why the individual perceived the situation.
On the second graphic organizer, complete the activity again using an event from a short story, novel, historical event, or current event.