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The United States is one of the nations that embraces ethnic diversity and multiple cultures, and the historic migration of foreigners during the 1880s can be among the vivid examples of this trend. The Statue of Liberty symbolizes not only freedoms but also opportunities that the over 27 million of Asian, German, Italian, African-American, and Eastern European immigrants enjoy since the time they left their original homelands in favor of America (DuBois & Dumenil, 2012). For instance, in the USA, the liberties and rights to pursue happiness is a right to anyone and not a privilege to those who consider themselves to be in the upper class (DuBois & Dumenil, 2012). Therefore, America continues to develop as a nation that is tolerant and respects ethnic diversities and differences.
Education is a very important factor and tool that has been used to promote multiculturalism and diversity in the country over the years. Today, Lakewood High School can be considered one of the examples of the products of diversity in education because of its high rank as the most culturally diverse public high school in the United States. The school is not only diverse but also promotes a community that accepts diversity in terms of differing viewpoints, religious beliefs, racial backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Despite the positive outcomes that have been made so far, the Long Beach Unified School District have failed to integrate any standard core and curriculum courses that could create and prepare the minds of the learners for cultural awareness. Therefore, for the future generations to continue the unrelenting working progress of American society, the Long Beach Unified School District needs to integrate multiculturalism in high school students’ standard curriculum, including a character education program. Combining the programs will teach tolerance with the opportunity for students to examine value and traditions of other cultures. Once the students will learn to appreciate the individual differences, they will be introduced to other cultures through culturally and ethnically diverse literature, communication with guest speakers, cross-cultural activities, writing assignments, field trps, and food festivals.
Multicultural week in high school student’s curriculum is one of the strategies that the Long Beach Unified School District could use to enhance multiculturalism and diversity (Ashdown, 2010). During the multicultural week, schools would be expected to invite administrators or such specialists as consultants, officers from the district headquarters, as well as university faculties in order to train students on various topics that are related to multiculturalism and diversity. For instance, teachers may be required to give students an opportunity to develop positive feelings by being proud of their cultures, ethnic background, as well as heritage.
Special attention could be paid to how students from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds interact. Thereafter, the specialists and the administrators overseeing such interactions can make recommendations on what needs to be improved with regards to the students’ knowledge of their cultural differences. Through such recommendations, students would be able to not only recognize but also accept individual differences and the cultural underpinnings that they may have not known before. In such environments, it would be easier for the students to accept and value the creative works of all students regardless of their cultural backgrounds.
In addition, the curriculum development in the Long Beach Unified School District could be designed through inclusion of the topics that fall into ethnicity-specific categories, such as nature of a good multicultural teaching, specific pedagogical techniques, and information that the specific groups require (Ashdown, 2010). The curriculum could be developed in a way that teachers feel exhorted to accept and value the history, customs, commitments, as well as languages of students that come from culture groups that are dissimilar to that of the teacher. Moreover, it would be appropriate if teachers were allowed to create opportunities for their students, both as members of national and ethnic groups, in order to share their experiences. In such situations, students could be treated as individuals and not as representatives of certain grouups (Ashdown, 2010).
Furthermore, the curriculum could be designed in a way that topics with specific or important information regarding the cultural groups represented by students in the Long Beach Unified School District are taught. For example, the learning sessions could include assigning more time in school time tables so that the largest single ethnic group in the schools had an opportunity to discuss their language, religion, customs, food, work, and attitude toward school. Practicing multiculturalism through holidays, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, by sharing fried chicken and watermelon, Cinco De Mayo by eating tacos, and Black History Month through soul food are great and easy activities to build multicultural communities (Holladay, 2013).
Pedagogical techniques where games are used to learn about certain ethnic groups would help foster cultural diversity in classrooms. To illustrate, these approaches may refer to working the information of the ethnic communities into subject matter, such as science and mathematics, through cooperative learning or simply providing the permission to use certain models for dealing with contentious subjects. In addition, a teacher may facilitate the process through the appropriate use of wonderful literature collections on poetry and audio cassettes, a teacher’s management guide, a poster set and student activity books may be very effective. These materials come with step-by-step guidelines on how they should be used at each grade level. If students read, write, reflect and develop skills based on such materials, they are likely to promote character traits of respect, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, responsibility, and citizenship (Dodson, 2013).
Importantly, the curriculum ought to be designed in such a way that students would discover what is expected from them at each level. Portfolio reviews done by parents, teachers, students, and administrators would create a range of targeted expectations for every student throughout the year. Undoubtedly, teachers and students are likely to come up with a high quality model of work before, during, as well as after an assignment on multiculturalism.