Dr. Mvududu’s lecture for module 2 outlined several factors that lead us to better understand the need for multiculturally literate teachers and what this environment might look like. Multiculturally literate teachers do not need to have a deep knowledge about every culture, this would be nearly impossible. Such teachers should, however, consistently put forth an effort to familiarize themselves with the cultures that make up their classrooms. The term “cultures” includes issues related to poverty and physical characteristics such as skin color, as well as issues related to one’s ethnicity or country of origin. Also, the goal of multicultural education is to create a ”different but equal” learning environment rather than one of “assimilation”. This has led to the difficult task of balancing the value of national unity with the value of diversity and respect for each culture. Multiculturally literate teachers also must address the problem of underachievement of non-White students. The Multicultural Education movement attributes this underachievement to the cultural mismatch that is often present between school and non-mainstream cultures. Teachers must learn to identify and celebrate the knowledge that culturally diverse students bring with them and build upon this knowledge.
An important concept I took from this lecture is that in order to be a multiculturally literate teacher we do not need to study the specific characteristics of each culture but rather we need to recognize the cultures that are represented in our classrooms and create an atmosphere that values and celebrates our cultural differences. At the same time, we need to promote a feeling of unity and recognize all that we have in common. I look forward to learning more about incorporating these values into my teaching practices.
Mvududu, N. (Producer). (2013, January 19). The Need for Multiculturally Literate Teachers. [Screencast]. Retrieved from https://connect.spu.edu/p38697628/