Sunday, November 9, 2008


This past week I participated in a mock interview for a teaching job. The first question that I was asked was why and when did I decide to become a teacher. Well, I became a teacher in order to do two things: interact with young adults and to contribute to my country. For me, teaching social studies to a way for me to fulfill my civic duty by helping create the next generation of effective citizens. In a democracy, especially one of so many cultures such as the United States, a multicultural education is key to helping form and encourage effective citizenship.

Multicultural education really has two main components: empowering students and teaching the skill of critical reflection. Empowering can be accomplished by any number of things. Students could be given vast artistic agency to perform a drama or some slam poetry. They could also be empowered through the simpler and less consuming poster project. The key is voice giving. This requires creative control and an audience.

Students can, thankfully, also be empowered by arguing, an activity that encourages critical reflection. Critical reflection can also be encouraged simply by critical lessons or by metareflection lessons when students can practice diagraming and somewhat deconstructing the aims and flaws of advertisements or political speeches.

The key really is to make multiculturalism a priority during instruction. Sure specific lessons and exercises will help greatly, but if a teacher is reflective, critical, and empowering students will pick up on that. And they will become better citizens for it.

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