What surprised me about multicultural education is that the cultural background of a teacher and students can affect the learning process. According to Salili and Hoosain (2001), "Teachers and students alike have their own cultural backgrounds, values, customs, perception and prejudices. These cultural characteristics play an important role in teaching and learning situations and can have substantial effects on our learning and behavior" (p. 9). The fact that some teachers may harbor prejudiced opinions on learners is surprising to me. In my opinion, a teacher ought to expect the best of his or her students regardless of their cultural backgrounds. Salili and Hoosain (2001) reiterate that methodical investigations conducted in the past have shown that teachers beliefs about their students have an impacts on performance. A good example as cited by Salili and Hoosain (2001) is the fact that some may have stereotypes that African American students perform poorly as compared to White American students.
The new insights I have had as a result of this class include the importance of conducting proper training to teachers on multicultural education before they can train students. It is important for teachers to have optimistic mindsets in regard to cultural differences characteristic of their students. Being considerate and respectful of different cultural aspects especially in regard to religion and race can have an effect on the overall performance of the students in the classroom (Ghosh, 2011).
My main challenge was in relation to communication barrier. Language according to Salili and Hoosain (2001) is one of the factors that define cultures. It is difficult to communicate to students or people whose language is different from mine. As an example , a Chinese student will have to learn English if he wishes to enroll in an American school. However, accent can still be a challenge for teachers. Students performance is dependent on whether the ...Show more