Developing a Multicultural Environment

Developing a Multicultural Environment

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5106-5.ch001
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In this chapter, there will be a presentation of information on the importance of how a multicultural population is impacted by different variables. The development of curriculum is managed successfully when a teacher understands the student population and what students need to be successful. Because of the change and diverseness in the student population there is also a need to have a differentiated approach to the development of curriculum based on the student requirements. Key areas that will be discussed are; creating an open environment that encourages interaction, theoretical perspective to learning, establishing different modes of communication, encouraging team and group interaction, engaging students in discussions that promote shared interest and class interaction, including information about yourself the teacher to create an online environment, spending time with students to determine interests and styles of learning, determining the competency level of the class and presenting curriculum to match and developing assessments to determine levels of competency.
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Create An Open Environment That Encourages Interaction

Teachers are the catalyst when it comes to establishing a positive interaction between teacher and student as well as student and student. This can be a challenging goal for teachers as the teacher needs to understand what type of interaction will create a positive approach. The challenge increases when teachers are placed in a highly diverse environment which may be a multicultural setting. The teacher needs to have a good understanding of what interaction is the most positive to get the greatest results between teachers and students. The relationship that is established between the student and the teacher can make a positive or negative impact based on the delivery and execution of the curriculum and this can impact the environment in which students and teachers work together.

There is limited information about the demographic composition of students and faculty members, exploration of multicultural issues within the curriculum, and the multicultural competence of faculty and staff. (Pope & Mueller, 2005, p. 679)

Based on this statement it is important to collect information, analyze and evaluate the information to make sure that the interaction is positive and productive. Since there is limited information it is important for teachers to become aware of issues that students of multicultural background have in education. The issues can positively or negatively impact further interaction and be used to determine changes and modifications that would increase an awareness of multicultural populations educational progress.

Huh, Choi and Jun (2015) noted that “the relationship between multicultural sensitivity of teachers and their multicultural education awareness and the level of multicultural educational practice is a core area in educational research” (p. 108). Research areas that can be beneficial is an analysis of the impact of a multicultural environment on retaining students, the impact of differentiated curriculum development based on a diversified approach or even determining whether the size of the multicultural population can be viewed as a negative impact on assessment. Since this is a continual area of investigation and research, continual analysis can be beneficial to increase awareness and modified based on the multicultural environment.

Continual research can be useful in all areas of a multicultural environment and would be beneficial to improve this form of interaction between students and teachers based on specific multicultural groups. An interesting fact noted by Christie (2009) is that:

Most of the literature on multicultural education deals with students in grade and high school, or at the college or university level. The literature is sparse as to how one could implement multicultural education at the professional level. (p. 15)

It is important not to forget about all levels of education and development when evaluating a multicultural environment. There are many ways students learn and evaluating all levels of educational achievements is important particularly for a diverse population of students. Studies can be developed in different demographic areas that can help teachers as they plan, design, and develop curriculum. In turn, this process can increase the interaction and progression of students and provide a positive relationship between teachers and students.

Teachers need to monitor the classroom environment and look for positive or negative interactions that not only involve the presentation of information but also interaction between students to determine whether the exchange of information needs modifications. This may present challenges to the teacher and the student because of language barriers, knowledge differences and lack of understanding of the presented materials. The interaction and management between the teacher and the student will continue to evolve and change if the classroom environment is in a state of continual evolution and positive change.

Multicultural education is applying the student’s cultural, societal, economical, and ethnic background to education and injecting multicultural awareness, where the principal agent for this process is teachers (Sleeter & Grant, 2008). (Huh, Choi, & Jun, 2015, p. 109)

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