The Importance Of Multicultural Education

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1. The main concern expressed in the article would be the danger of education perpetuating class stratification, as opposed to the promise of education “leveling the playing field”. It touches on the low intergenerational social mobility in Singapore, especially with varying social class. The article acknowledges the fact that entry into prestigious, ‘branded’ primary schools reflects on parents’ social class rather than merit. The accordance of accessibility of the best schools to students of a higher social class thus creates a distortion in providing equal opportunities for all. With secondary schools now being highly differentiated, even in terms of resources, parents thus invest in the human capital of their children, to give their children…show more content…
Multicultural education aims to provide every student with equal educational opportunities and receiving equitable educational benefits. (Banks, 2005, Drum & Howard, 1989) Ultimately, it provides a level playing field, regardless of social backgrounds and concretizes social justice. (Grant & Sleeter, 2005) It is an ongoing process and it need not be limited to curriculum changes, but instead incorporate reform in the total school or educational environment. (Banks & Banks, 2004) An empowering school culture and organization could be set in place to promote social-class equity. A wide variety of school practices, policies and programmes could be designed so as to address the issue of social immobility. For example, more school-based student care services could be implemented. With this in place, it would help the weaker students through coaching programmes (e.g. supplementary lessons) for those who cannot afford private tuition, before or after school hours. In addition, perhaps, more schools can move away from high-pressure streaming examinations and instead allow for a holistic development, via an integrated programme. It will allow students of mixed abilities to develop together the same school environment in a span of say, 10 years, that is more representative of our mix in society in real…show more content…
To address the issue of social class, The Bell Curve (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994) could be used as a case study. Students could analyze and review the validity of their arguments made, where they contend that lower income groups have fewer cognitive abilities than other groups, and the counter-arguments that were made in response. They can then pinpoint the underlying major assumptions and examine how this conclusion relates to the social and political context of Singapore. Equity pedagogy could also play a role in which teachers modify their teaching styles so that they use a wide range of strategies and teaching techniques that cater to a wider range of students. As teachers increase their repertoire of pedagogy, this will facilitate academic achievement of students from diverse social-class groups (Banks & Banks, 1995). However, multicultural education is by itself, idealistic. Banks (2005) has emphasized that the goals of multicultural education, including educational equality, will never be fully realized. There is a discrepancy between what is taught in class and what happens in the real-world. It runs the risk of leaving students blind to inequalities in society and leaves room to “foster feelings of difference that could lead to an increase in racism and cultural chauvinism.” (Spencer,

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