According to Chapman (2011), the country’s curriculum reinforces racial inequality by focusing on content knowledge and giving multicultural education minimal prominence. This means that educational institutions are not playing their part in promoting multicultural inclusion, yet the concept is indispensable in a racially-diverse country like the US. Constance-Huggins (2012) explains “racial inequality remains interwoven in the fabric of American society”. If such a situation continues, then more minority groups will experience the vicious cycle of disadvantage. The persistence of these gaps in educational achievement is indicative of racial inequality. It also proves that social injustice is a reality for many individuals. If the US wishes to exploit its full economic potential, it must eradicate such injustices. A good place to start would be the education system, where stakeholders can alter curriculum content to facilitate multicultural inclusion.
Harris (2012) challenges the notion that the state ought to be color blind about race. Several other scholars have realized that an implicit bias exists in various fields. Consequently, work should be done to determine sources of implicit bias, and this research is part of that effort. Additionally, it is imperative to examine how education stakeholders are contributing to the problem through their inaction.
Banks & Banks (2010) explain that multicultural education consists of five key dimensions, which include content integration, knowledge construction, equity pedagogy, prejudice reduction, and empowerment of school culture. Content integration is augmenting one’s teaching with illustrations from various cultures. Knowledge construction occurs when teachers assist students to identify and appreciate cultural perspectives, biases, or assumptions in their disciplines (Derman et al., 2011). Equity pedagogy is facilitating academic achievement among persons from diverse groups (Mitchell, 2012). Prejudice reduction occurs when educators use approaches that can alter their learners’ outlook towards race (Derman et al., 2011). Lastly, empowerment of school culture involves the examination of labeling practices, sports participation, achievement among diverse groups, and staff and student interactions to empower diverse racial, ethnic, and gender groups (Banks & Banks, 2010).
Conclusions from this research will stimulate conversations on the effects of multicultural education through equity pedagogy, content integration, and knowledge construction. The research will analyze each of these dimensions through the research objectives. It will, therefore, determine the effectiveness of multicultural education in the case study. Teachers, district education boards, school administrators, and other education stakeholders can also identify ways of advancing racial equality in schools.
Banks & Banks (2010) affirm that multicultural education prepares learners to contribute to an equitable and democratic society. This study will provide some suggestions on how to achieve this goal. Furthering a multicultural perspective in American curriculum standards could assist educators in teaching successfully as they would consider the needs of all their students. This study will contribute towards effective teaching by focusing on practical means of achieving racial inclusion in the classroom.
Chapman (2011) looks at the educational policies that perpetuate white privilege and minimize education reform using the critical race model. He affirms that most reforms in education dwell on conservative discourses like content knowledge, yet they neglect multicultural education.
Ortiz and Jani (2010) offer a multidimensional critique that addresses the root causes of educational policy and accreditation standards. It also explains how multiculturalism can enable transformational change.
Hughes-Hassell, Barkley, & Koehler (2009) illustrate how under-representing people of color in school textbooks can lead to a subtle form of racism. It can foster a lack of motivation, engagement, and academic proficiency in students of color.
Terra and Bromley (2012) focus on the global environment. Using data from a hundred and forty-eight secondary schools, the authors determined the extent to which countries address minority rights. This paper evaluates whether states back their commitment to racial justice with tangible curriculum reforms
Pimentel (2011) looks at the practical implications of care in multicultural classrooms. She found that teachers who facilitate equitable practices often refrain from idealizing the concept of care.
Harushimana & Awokoya (2011) studied curriculum content about multicultural education. They found that multicultural education excluded the needs of African-born immigrants.
Alquist et. al (2011) identify and criticize the ideologies that mask racial inequality. They identified deficit ideology and corporatization of schools as some of the causes of education disparity among racial groups in America.
Endo (2012) examines the effectiveness of cultural diversity education for Asian Americans. He found that most curriculum content either ignored Asian Americans or perpetuating stereotypes.
Jorgensen et al. (2011) studied pathways for reinforcing cultural inclusion in Australia. They found that national assessments, pedagogical practices, and curriculum practice facilitate inclusion.
Mitchell (2012) discusses the dangers of overemphasizing English in multilingual settings. It hampers educational achievement and limits students’ perspectives.
Derman et al. (2011) focus on how educators can reexamine their perceptions of whiteness and thus teach white students racial equality.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) will be the main framework of the research. CRT is a school of thought in which advocates believe and challenge racial inequalities prevalent in society. Adherents also claim that certain assumptions and structures make racial inequality appear normal. Therefore, society should work on eliminating such systems. Several themes emerge from discussions in critical race theory. The first is that race is central to western societies. The status quo supports racism and makes it appear natural (Rollock and Gillborn, 2011). White supremacy is also another key principle in which whites have access to material resources and control political or economic systems. Scholars must gain awareness of entitlement and notions of white supremacy within their societies. In this theory, one must give precedence to the voices of persons of color as this exposes their reality. Sometimes, storytelling is an avenue that marginalized communities use to speak out. Critical race theorists still acknowledge the need for convergence of interests between whites and other racial groups during change efforts (Hylton, 2012). Adherents also claim that intersectionality of racial inequality exists. Sometimes differential radicalization may occur to defend racial superiorities. For instance, many individuals call Chinese citizens model immigrants to mask the social-political order that led to unsatisfactory experiences among blacks (Rollock and Gillborn, 2011).
This research will focus on determining whether the Los Angeles Unified School District helps or hinders CRT goals. One goal is detangling social structures that cement white privilege. Another example is listening to the voices of marginalized groups. By examining the degree of resource provision and creation of standards in the District of Los Angeles, it will be possible to determine how the education system propels racial injustice or contributes towards its eradication. This research will also identify practices that exacerbate or challenge racial inequality in classrooms. Critical race theory will drive the main inquisitions in the report.
Central Question: How does the Los Angeles Unified School District meet the mandated multicultural curriculum standards in social science for 9- 12th grade as described by the social science framework and content standards for California public schools?
- What are the described standards for 9-12th grade social science curriculums in public schools, in California?
- To what extent does LAUSD support Californian multicultural standards by providing textbooks and instructional material?
- How does the current curriculum compare to the approved content standards and framework set forth by the California Department of Education?
- To what extent does an educator implement multicultural teaching practices effectively in their routine exercises based on the California standards for multicultural curriculum?
- How does a teacher sketch out his/her functions in accomplishing multicultural scholastic objectives?
- What is the relationship between diversity education and student test achievement?
Nature of the Study
The integration of multiculturalism in American education is a prominent topic for educators in K-12 school systems. Implementing multicultural reform in American schools will boost equality (Chapman, 2011). Multicultural education reform focuses on providing students with the abilities, education, and proficiencies required to function in today’s society. The key focus behind multicultural education is the ability to deliver an all-inclusive education for all students (Banks & Banks, 2010). It also challenges and dismantles prejudices or other means of ethnic judgment that exist in school systems. This research will examine how well education stakeholders implement multicultural education reform.
Possible Types and Sources of Information or Data
- CA Department of Education: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Materials-History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools.
- Current approved social science 9-12th grade curriculums from Los Angeles Unified School District.
- Data and Statistics report on instructional resources for California Schools.
- CA Department of Education: Instructional Materials for Social Science.
Alquist, R., Gorski, P. & Montano, T. (2011). Assault on kids. California: University of California press.
Banks, J. & Banks, C. (2010). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives. NY: Wiley and Sons.
Barkley, H.A., & Koehler, E. (2009). Promoting equity in children’s literacy instruction: using a critical race theory framework to examine transitional books. School Library Media Research, 12, 44.
Chapman, T. (2011). Critical race theory and teacher education. Myriad, 11, 8-12.
Constance-Higgins, M. (2012). Critical Race Theory in Social Work Education: A Framework for Addressing Racial Disparities. Critical social work, 13(2), 1-4-156.
Derman-Sparks, L., Ramsey, P. G., & Edwards, J. O. (2011). What If All the Kids Are White? Anti-bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families. New York: Teachers College Press.
Endo, R. (2012). Mis/Representations of Asian/Americans in the Curricula: Perspectives from Second-Generation Japanese American Youth. International Journal of Multicultural Education 14(1), 33-58.
Harris, A. (2012). Critical race theory. California: Bepress
Harushimana, I. & Awokoya, J. (2011). African-Born immigrants in U.S. Schools: An intercultural perspective on schooling and diversity. Journal of Praxis in Multicultural Education, 6(1), 201-234.
Hylton, K. (2012). Talk the talk, walk the walk: Defining critical race theory in research. London: Routledge.
Jorgensen, R., Sullivan, P., Grootenboer, P., Niesche, R., Lerman, S., & Boaler, J. (2011). Maths in the Kimberley: Reforming mathematics in remote Indigenous communities. Queensland, Australia: Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Mitchell, K. (2012). English Is Not All That Matters in the Education of Secondary Multilingual Learners and Their Teachers. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 14(1), 1-21.
Ortiz, L. & Jani, J. (2010). Critical race theory: A transformational model for teaching diversity. Journal of Social Work Education, 46(20) 175-193
Pimentel, C. (2011). The politics of caring in a bilingual classroom: a case study on the (im)possibilities of critical care in an assimilationist school context. Journal of Praxis in Multicultural Education, 6(1), 9-20.
Rollock, N. and Gillborn, D. (2011). Critical Race Theory (CRT). Web.
Terra, L. and Bromley, P. (2012). The globalization of multicultural education in social science textbooks. Journal of Multicultural perspective, 14(3), 136-143.