My journey through Multicultural Education Widalys Cruz

I believe

I believe that every student have the right to receive an education, no matter where they from, religion, race etc. I believe with a multicultural education we can make a difference in society. Also, this will help students to exposed to diversity and to respect them. Multicultural Education will help students to work with people that are different from them and accept them. The most important thing Multicultural Education teach you is social justice. We are passing really hard times and life gets harder, there are many people in poverty that doesn't have the same opportunities as us. If we teach social justice our students, that will be the future of this country will fight against injustices and will make a difference.

My experience with Multicultural Education

When I first came to the class I thought the class was about how o communicate with others. As soon I took the classI understood that it was more about how to teach multiculturalism and why is important. At first I didn't knew how can you make your lessons multicultural but through the pass of the weeks I was understanding how. I think is really important to provide a multicultural education, specially in a country that is really diverse. Being a multicultural educators open your mind to another culture you didn't knew about or understand it. It's more about acknowledging our differences and being respectful to them.

After the midterm My mind hasn't change too much. The only thing I'll say is that is difficult to incorporate all the cultures, religion and gender. I'm not against multicultural education, but making the class relevant according to all the characteristics that I previously said it's hard. Although, is not impossible.

Chapter 1

Foundations of Multicultural Education

One of the best things I learned in Chapter 1 was cultural identity that is what you are. My cultural identity is Puerto Rico and I'm proud from where I was born. People have trouble when they see me because they do not know if I'm black, the thing is that I'm black but not black African American I'm Afro-Caribbean because I'm from the Caribbean. I take this moment to educate people about the differences. The Puerto Rican culture is similar to the dominant culture. Although there are things we celebrate or do that the dominant culture don't do. That is one of the reason that I don't consider myself bicultural that is when some share two cultures. I do talk in two languages and I act differently in Puerto Rico to when I'm in United States but I feel that there is not a big gap with our differences. For me, the most important thing in this chapter is Social Justice that is to provide for those in need. In the future I want to be that teacher that make a difference and teach them about social justice. I want to teach them that their reality is not the same for all, but we can help that people to have a better life, specially education.

Chapter 2

Race and Ethnicity

This chapter for me was really important, because I felt identify in many things the book said. I learned that race and ethnicity is not the same. Ethnicity is to belong to a social group that share the same or common culture. Race is more about your physical characteristics (phenotypes). Also, race was a term created to divide us. That is what racism exist. Racism is to prejudice or discriminate against someone of a different race because of the belief that one race is superior to other.

At first sight, someone can identify me as black African American, but my ethnicity is Hispanic/Latin. I say Hispanic and Latin because they aren't the same. Hispanic is a person from Spain or a Spanish speaking person. Latino is a people that come from Latin America.

Chapter 3

Class and Socioeconomic Status

I felt that I could relate in many things we discussed in Chapter 3. Although, I differed in many things on this chapter. The book says that many child that live in poverty dropout from school because they do not feel that they belong there. Is true because sometimes you see that all the opportunities are for people that are economically well. Even for job, the opportunities are for the same people. I also learned about the cycle of poverty, that is when a kid is born in poverty he will continue to be poor. This is half true because I have seen that cycle over and over in many places but we also, have to recognize that there are people who break that cycle. I consider myself as resilient person specially academically because if I just have let my adversities knock me down I probably have dropped out. My experience through education wasn't the best, it brought me many problems to my life to the point I hated going to school. Although I always been a successful student. I was struggling socially and is because I couldn't relate to people of my age, and I had professor that didn't even like that I was to quiet. Parent involvement is very important for the student because this is a support that keep them going. Also, I as a future teacher have to make sure to involve students' parents as much as I can. One thing I wasn't in favor is when they say poor parents do not involve with their kids. It depends because my mother didn't finish middle school but she make sure that I finished school and she did the impossible she always motivated me to go to college.

Chapter 4

Gender

This a topic that require to be open minded. Biologically there are two sexes; female and male. We also, need to know that there are people who do not identify with the sex they were born. There are studies that shows boys and girls have different aptitudes and behave differently. The process of socialization which is when the kid interacts with society. Specially the parents' belief about how each gender should behave. Then the school and friends contribute to his gender. That creates your gender identity that is who you are. This has created many stereotypes or standards about gays, men and women. For example; a girl should be always creative, boys don't cry and gays men are very feminine and gay women are to masculine. This is only one problem, there is sexism which means to discriminate against women and homophobia that prejudice against gays (I believe this is discrimination too).

I'm going to do the best I can to make an accepting environment for the students. Specially being a support to those students that are struggling with their gender identity. I'm not going to interfere in their process of discovering who they are because that wouldn't be healthy. Instead, I'm going to be there if that students need someone to believe in them and is not going to judge them.

Chapter 5

Sexual Orientation

This topic is really broad and complex. Sexual orientation is to what you are attracted. The most known is heterosexual(attraction to the opposite sex), homosexual(attraction to the same sex) and bisexual(attraction to both sexes). Queer which means the person is still questioning; is a term that is becoming popular in the young people. Through the pass of the year people are becoming more accepting, specially young people.

This was the chapter that I have trouble understanding. The reason is that there are many terms that I didn't knew that existed. Making a class relevant for all the sexual orientation, is quite challenging. Also, I'm not sure how parents would take this topic specially if the students are little. In addition, students that come from very strict religious family are going to have some trouble with this topic.

Chapter 7

Language

Of the four chapter we have talked about, the chapter 7 was the one that I really understood. Specially for the reason that my first language is Spanish not English. My culture manifest when I talk because of my accent. Through the process of being in United States enculturation was the key of everything. Even though my culture is not different from United States there are things that are really different like how we greet people. In Puerto Rico we tend to be touchy and we kiss people in the cheek, in here you just wave your hand and maybe a hug. I struggle with English a little bit but I understand it pretty well, I'm bilingual because I know Spanish and English, and let say if someone talk to me in Italian or Portuguese I can understand. People are amazed because I learned English watching Tv and playing Video games. Also, I often read the dictionary. I studied in a public school so they only thought me the basics of English, but not how to make a sentences, the grammatical rules or how to keep a conversation.

Chapter 8

Religion

One of the topic that cause many controversy is religion. There are certain religions that are more dominant than others. Thus the school curriculum and society will be based in that religions that are more dominant. That is why the First Amendment exist. The First Amendment stipulates that Congress is prohibited from making laws establishing a religion or prohibiting religious worship. Basically, is the separation between church and state. In some part this is helpful to create a peaceful classroom environment, but some parents believe that religion should be thought in school or are against of talking about other religions. If you are going to teach about religion, you should thought it as class or more like history. You shouldn't try to impose any religion. There are going to be some topics that are kind of hard to address depending of which religion the student is. Religion impacts education very seriously, specially in a history class. The impact is so much that there are schools that catholic etc. I am a person that believe in religious pluralism which is to practice your religion without having any problem with others. Also, I'm aware that I should not impose my thinking upon others.

Chapter 11

Education that is Multicultural

In chapter 11, I learned about the biases and stereotypes I have. Specially the difference between stereotypes and bias. Stereotypes is the categorization of someone according to characteristics. Bias is the preference or prejudice towards someone or something. At first, I used to believe they meant the same but is really different. I felt a little bit uncomfortable when we talked about this topic because I'm black but also I'm Latina and there is a lot of bad stereotypes about that. The most helpful thing that I learned in this chapter was to not let my biases interfere in my classroom. Also, discrimination is when you take action over your prejudices. This was something that I already knew but is important to talk about and how to not let this happen.

Conclusion

I believe Multicultural Education its necessary, specially in a country that is so diverse. Many times students from other countries immigrate in search of a better future, and they feel out of place. They even might be victims of racism. The worst that happen is when they dropout because they can't connect in class. This not only happen with immigrant, this also happen with students in poverty or gays etc. If we thought to acknowledge our differences but also respect them we can make a better place for those students. Also, they would have the education they deserve. Teaching Multicultural Education along with Social Justice to students can make difference in the world. Our diversities make us unique in our own ways.

Who Am i?

I'm black, Latina, woman who comes from a low-income family. Basically I'm the minority of a minority. This will play in favor and against me, but I prefer to see the positive side of it. I will know how to work with those kids that are the minority but also with the majority. My experiences will make me wiser and I think I would be able to be a role model for those students that believe they can't achieve anything because of their cultural background. My experience can be even a testimony because I've been breaking stereotypes about blacks, Latinos and low-income people. I been little by little over passing obstacles. For my experience, I believe that my main goals is to have a classroom who can be accepting towards other cultures. The bias I will need to work is with the people that are over dramatic or too emotional, is good to show emotions but I just can't deal with it. I know in order to become a good teacher I have to work in my bias.

Things I still don't understand

I still don't understand how can you make a lesson culturally relevant if your classroom is really diverse. Also, I don't understand how can you work with parents that are against of multicultural education, how can you make them understand that you are not trying to change their kids' mind.

Credits:

Created with images by jerzykwpodrozy - "the salar de uyuni uyuni flags" • sasint - "ancient architecture asia" • Fifaliana - "poverty children madagascar" • US Department of Education - "05092012 - Oyster class visit Teacher Appreciation 263" • Samuele Ciardelli - "STEREOTYPES KILL IDEAS"

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