Edu 230 Essay

1230 Words Nov 17th, 2015 5 Pages
A Brief History of Multicultural Education by Paul C. Gorski,
Hamline University and EdChange

As conceptualizations of multicultural education evolve and diversify, it is important to revisit its historical foundation -- the roots from which it sprang. What did the earliest forms of multicultural education look like and what social conditions gave rise to them? What educational traditions and philosophies provided the framework for the development of multicultural education? How has multicultural education changed since its earliest conceptualization? The answers to these questions provide an important contextual grounding for understanding the various models of multicultural education evolving today.
The historical roots of
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Sensing progress -- if only slight -- by groups of color and women in their struggles for human rights and social and educational change into the early 1970s, other traditionally oppressed groups found growing support and energy for their movements. Through the 1970s, gay and lesbian groups, the elderly, and people with disabilities organized visible and powerful pushes for sociopolitical and human rights.
As K-12 schools, universities, and other educational institutions and organizations scrambled to address the concerns of these and other historically marginalized groups, a host of programs, practices, and policies emerged, mostly focused on slight changes or additions to traditional curriculum. Together, the separate actions of these various groups who were dissatisfied with the

inequities of the education system, along with the resulting reaction of educational institutions during the late 1960s and 1970s, defined the earliest conceptualization of multicultural education.
The 1980s saw the emergence of a body of scholarship on multicultural education by progressive education activists and researchers who refused to allow schools to address their concerns by simply adding token programs and special units on famous women or famous people of color.
James Banks, one of the pioneers of multicultural education, was among the first multicultural

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