Diversity in Education and Curriculum Concepts – Book Review

Are you interested in a future in teaching, education administration, or becoming a social worker, or school psychologist, then there is a book, which I’d like to recommend that your read, and then I’d like to give you a more than fair assessment of this work.

“Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society,” by Donna M. Gollnick and Philip C. Chinn, Pearson Merrill a Prentice Hall Company, Upper Saddle River, NJ, (2006), pp. 404, ISBN: 0-13-119719-3.

This book was quite interesting to me, and its first publishing was in 1983 and it has been upgraded and republished every few years since. I felt as if the book was very hard to use because it has the Preface prior to the table of contents, which makes navigating very tough. The preface is quite good and explains how the book is formatted.

Once into the book it is very easy to follow along, even the most blithering idiot could use this book and understand it, perhaps, that is their target reader; at least this is the impression I got, and speaking of impression, I believe this book is trying to brainwash the “education student” who has an impressionable mind, this is my opinion based on reading it.

Indeed, as a coordinator for a think tank online I was really worried that such books are indeed being used to train and teach new teachers and college professionals, and students who will go into the educational profession as administrators, professors, psychologists, etc. There are chapters on social classes, race, homosexuality, diversity, gender, religion, and age. There are sub-chapters such as; Hate Groups

Racial Identification

Bullying

Self Esteem

Sexual Harassment

Anyway, you get the idea of what this wonderful book is all about, unfortunately after reading through it all, I decided I really didn’t have room on my many book shelves for it. And I chose not to donate it to a Thrift Store, and I failed to put it into the recycle bin – it has gone straight into the trash. But, I think this is a great book for a neo-liberal-socialist. And I recommend that you read this book so you can understand how all this political correctness has permeated in our society and how it started in academia.

This book also had everything reiterated and duplicated on a CD ROM with videos, and roll-playing on each chapter. I suppose this is for those in academia who cannot read well, and yet, might still be teaching our children and kids. Look, anyone who is serious about teaching needs to understand how it all works, and what it’s all about, even if you disagree with every single aspect of it. This is why I read the book, and duly discharged to where I believe it belongs. Please consider this.

Understanding Diversity Through Reading

Books are the gateway to learning. They let us explore different worlds, people, languages, foods, etc. Sometimes the things we learn from books are obvious, such as reading a recipe for chocolate chip cookies or a guide to your new iPhone, but oftentimes it’s the less obvious lessons that are important.

Books help us understand different people and their cultures and the struggle of embracing yourself and your culture. If you read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare you might not have realized that you were learning about different people and races coming together, the importance of heritage, different ethnicities and gender orientations, and the importance of embracing yourself and your culture. Simply picking up a book shows you the world from a different person’s point of view.

Broadening everyone’s understanding of people both similar and different from them can help us create a more positive society focusing on what makes the U.S. special: its diverse groups of people that gave it the nicknames “The Salad Bowl” and “The Melting Pot.” I encourage you to broaden your understanding of other people and their cultures by simply picking up one of your favorite books. I can guarantee that at least one person in that book will be a little different from you and teach you something new.

Creating a more diverse society through reading and writing is easy. You can either pick up one of your favorite books, explore a new book, or write something and encourage others to read it. There are many places and people out there to help you embrace diversity. You can go to your local bookstore or library and pick a book from there. Or you can go to websites like www.diversityinya.com that celebrate the differences in books and people.

Also encourage your friends to read with you. A great way to support diversity could be through reading books your friends recommend to you. Simply by reading something new you’ll be opening your mind to a more diverse world. As you explore these new worlds, make sure to take notes on the things you learn. Just remember to read your book with an open mind and pick something you enjoy. Just the simple action of reading a book can broaden your mind and lead to embracing yourself and the others around you. So go ahead, read something new and embrace our diverse world.

Multiculturalism, Culturism, Diversity and Dr. Putnam

Multiculturalism holds that we should celebrate our differences. Culturism suggests that we celebrate our unity. In the history of the world every tribe, nation and group has thought it wise to emphasize their unity. But multiculturalists have the strategy “celebrate diversity” as a radical new idea. Robert Putnam has recently put the two sides to a test.

Robert Putnam is the author of the wonderful book Bowling Alone. In this work this Harvard political scientist employs sociology to investigate the concept of “social capital.” Social capital is a measure of cultural connectedness. This would include networks with other people as well as access to understanding the language and skills involved in getting ahead. Those without social capital are not woven into the social fabric of society.

In Bowling Alone he finds that social capital is rapidly dwindling amongst Americans. This means that they trust less and have less in common with their fellow citizens. They volunteer less, vote less, and are generally less involved in their communities than ever. Bowling is up, bowling leagues are down. Americans are increasingly bowling alone. Putnam found social capital to be associated with health, wealth, and low crime rates. In his earlier study of Italy he found that social capital even explained the ability for democracy to emerge.

Putnam’s recent study on diversity involved nearly 30,000 people in 41 communities. He found that the more diverse neighborhoods are the less social capital they create. People in diverse communities volunteer less, give to charity less, vote less and work on less community projects. The simple fact is that people do not trust people they share little in common with. As President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor Robert Reich pointed out, the rich do not want pay taxes to help the poor when they do not see any commonality with them.

Putnam said, “It would be unfortunate if a politically correct progressivism were to deny the reality of the challenge to social solidarity posed by diversity.” These findings were not racial. Putnam said those in diverse communities “distrust their neighbors, regadless of the color of their skin.” Ethnic tensions did not arise so much as a general civic malaise. Some have argued that diversity helps economically, many have argued against that conclusion. But all agree, as Putnam says, when it comes to social connections between people, diversity “brings out the turtle in all of us” he said.

Culturism does not hope or expect diversity to be eliminated. Anyone who does is silly; diversity will always be a welcome part of America. But if we do not stress our unity, we may lose our conntection to our fellow Americans altogether. This may undermine our sense of connection, political action, and sense of trust we might otherwise feel with our neighbors and those less fortunate. In the end, Putnam’s Italian studies show that emphasizing multiculturalism over culturism may even undermine our ability to have a sustainable democracy.