In a time in which we are obviously becoming a more diverse, multiethnic and multiracial society, it its incredible that we don’t have a comprehensive multicultural education plan in the United States. Moreover, it is ludicrous that Latinos are almost non-existent in our history books in a country where more than 10 million households are Hispanic, and the majority of Latinos are US-born.
Even though the concept of multicultural education has been around for quite some time, we’ve seen very little progress in the classrooms in terms of a real comprehensive approach to representing the diversity of children who enter the classrooms every day around the United States. So, why is this important? Does it really matters that much? Yes, it does. More than that, it is crucial for our future as a country.
We have seen how racism and discrimination have been increasing lately; and how that it is even at the center of Donald Trump’s political campaign. As delusional as Trump might seem, his views are unfortunately shared by many Americans who have been instilled a ‘fear of the unknown’ that triggers anti-immigrant sentiment, people who know one truth and a unilateral history in which they are the sole actors.
As those with a single version of history instill racism and hatred, the need for multicultural education is greater than ever. As a society, we have a responsibility to raise the next generation of Americans with a clear understanding of the value and contributions of all Americans, including American Latinos and any other minority group.
Multicultural Education Is A Must
As it is defined by the Glossary of Education Reform, “multicultural education refers to any form of education or teaching that incorporates the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds. This means, we should go beyond celebrating 5 de Mayo and the few other Latin American holidays that are known and acknowledged.
We need the history of Latinos in the textbooks and an inclusive approach that doesn’t give priority or preference to the contributions of one group over the other; that means lesson plans that incorporate cultural diversity and acknowledge a world that goes beyond black and white, that is sensitive to differences and presents these cultural integrations as a part of the American reality, not a foreign one, because they are.
Multicultural education should be the norm in a globalized world, but especially in the United States where the cultures of the world meet to create a beautiful melting pot of Americans with rich cultural heritage.