Multicultural Literature Essay

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Level 1: The Contributions Approach. Focuses on heroes, holidays, and discrete cultural elements In this approach, ethnic content is limited primarily to special days, weeks, and months related to ethnic events and celebrations. Cinco de Mayo, Martin Luther King's Birthday, and African American History Week are examples of ethnic days and weeks celebrated in the schools. During these celebrations, teachers involve students in lessons, experiences, and pageants related to the ethnic group being commemorated. When this approach is used, the class studies little or nothing about the ethnic group before or after the special event or occasion. Level 2 The Additive Approach Content. Concepts, themes, and perspectives are added to curriculum without…show more content…
According to her, the barriers that can interfere with effective use of multicultural literature are: 1) the much debated insider/outsider status (Kruse, 2001). This argument essentially states that the experiences of any cultural group can only be effectively presented by people who are actually members of that group. The idea that naturally follows from this theory is that outsiders are incapable of empathizing with the experiences of people who are different from them (Kruse, 2001). 2) the idea of diversity vs. universality (Kruse, 2001). This includes the idea that there is always a risk that celebrating differences may actually build up cultural barriers. However, to state that people are essentially the same ignores the role of race and ethnicity in shaping children’s experiences and perceptions (Kruse, 2001). 3) the idea of informing vs. empowering (Kruse, 2001). As an outsider to a specific cultural group, we may merely be informing students about a culture instead of empowering them to take charge as an insider to the group would be able to take charge. The final barrier is the idea of empathy vs. defensiveness (Kruse, 2001). Studies have found that older children become increasingly defensive about injustices to different cultures, while younger students seem to express outrage and sadness. Students who are uncomfortable with

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