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Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education

reviewed by Chance W. Lewis & Valerie A. Middleton - 2004

coverTitle: Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education
Author(s): James A. Banks and Cherry A. McGee Banks (Editors)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco
ISBN: 0787959154, Pages: 1089, Year: 2003
Search for book at Amazon.com

Once again James Banks and Cherry McGee Banks have pulled together an “All-Star” lineup of scholars focusing on the area of multicultural education.  These authors have written empirical, theoretical, and philosophical pieces related to the area of multicultural education.  The second edition of this handbook is organized into twelve sections: History, Characteristics and Goals; Issues, Trends, and Developments; Research and Research Issues; Knowledge Construction and Critical Studies; Ethnic Groups in Historical and Scientific Research; The Education of Immigrant Children and Youth; The Education of Ethnic Groups; Language Issues; Academic Achievement: Approaches, Theories, and Research; Intergroup Education Approaches to School Reform; Higher Education; and International Perspectives on Multicultural Education.  Given the 1,089 pages in this handbook, we will briefly summarize each chapter in a short and concise manner and highlight the major issues presented.  The level of research and writing in this handbook is of the highest quality, and the chapters reinforce and complement each other. It is an excellent resource for the novice scholar as well as the seasoned.




In Part I of the Handbook of Research in Multicultural Education, James Banks opens with a summary context of the historical development of multicultural education.  In his examination (which is a revision of an earlier 1993 article), he critically documents the important dimensions of multicultural education (content integration, knowledge construction, prejudice reduction, equity pedagogy, and empowering school culture).  Also, he provides the reader with a timeline of landmark events and publications in the Historical Development of Ethnic Studies and Multicultural Education. Finally, in this chapter, Banks provides the reader with a framework for approaching curriculum reform for multicultural education in terms of four approaches: (a) contributions approach, (b) additive approach, (c) transformation approach, and (d) social action approach. This chapter sets the framework for understanding the field of multicultural education.


In Chapter 2 entitled “Curriculum Theory and Multicultural Education,” Geneva Gay provides a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between multicultural education and its implementation into the curriculum. She opens the chapter with guiding definitions for curriculum theory and multicultural education to set the stage. Gay’s chapter then provides a detailed examination of general characteristics of Multicultural Education Theorizing, Multicultural Education Theories of Knowledge and Knowing, and Specific Classifications of Multicultural Education Theories. Finally, Gay provides an in-depth look at various models of multicultural curriculum development. The reader will find this chapter very informative for understanding the relationship between multicultural education and curriculum development.


Chapter 3 entitled, “New Directions for Multicultural Education: Complexities, Boundaries, and Critical Race Theory,” is written by Gloria Ladson-Billings. She eloquently describes several rubrics for thinking about multicultural education such as: (a) conservative or corporate multiculturalism, (b) liberal multiculturalism, (c) human relations approach to multiculturalism, (d) left-liberal multiculturalism, and (e) critical multiculturalism. After describing these rubrics for thinking about multicultural education, Ladson-Billings goes into a very compelling discussion about critical race theory as a multicultural heuristic. Finally, she closes out this chapter with a discussion on the current trends in multicultural education.  Once again, Ladson-Billings does not disappoint with the depth and breadth of her knowledge in the field of multicultural education.




Chapter 4 entitled, “Access and Achievement in Mathematics and Science: Inequalities that Endure and Change,” was written by Jeannie Oakes, Rebecca Joseph, and Kate Muir. This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of math and science achievement for minority students when compared to their white counterparts.  In this chapter, the authors review research from the past decade that has examined various dimensions of the problem of minority achievement in math and science. The authors note that serious gaps remain even though both achievement and course taking has increased for all racial groups. These gaps are caused in part by “persistent inequality in the opportunity to learn, linked to race and social class, between schools and within them. Findings from this chapter suggest that adding or requiring additional mathematics and science course have some ameliorative effects in the future, these solutions will not touch the core of the inequality problem” (p. 69).


Chapter 5 entitled, “Assessment, Standards, and Equity,” was written by Mindy L. Kornhaber.  This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the relationships among assessments used in education, various state content standards, and the issue of equity.  This chapter is organized in five sections. The first section explores the history of the broad development of educational assessment.  The second section provides explanations for disparities in average test scores attained by different cultural and ethnic groups.  The third section explores state-developed standards and high-stakes tests as possible solutions to the disparities.  The fourth section examines whether state standards will allow young people to be productive members in society.  Finally, the fifth section discusses how the proper use of assessments can help to promote equity.  This chapter does an excellent job of examining the relationships among educational assessment, standards, and equity. 


Chapter 6 entitled, “Multiracial Families and Children: Implications for Educational Research and Practice,” was written by Maria Root. This chapter provides a framework for understanding mixed race identity and the familial and societal variables that influence it. This chapter has four sections that explore this critical issue.  The first section of the chapter examines demographic trends in the United States and the various civil rights influences. The second section focuses on racial identity development in the United States. The third section of this chapter explores processes affecting identity development that are found among multiracial people.  The final section focuses on developmental tasks associated with identity development.  In this section, the author identifies five questions individuals must answer to have an understanding of their identity development. The chapter provides the reader with a sound basis for understanding multiracial families and their children.




Chapter 7, entitled “Quantitative Methods in Multicultural Education Research,” was written by Amado Padilla.  This chapter offers numerous suggestions for improving quantitative research with minority populations and focuses specifically on non-experimental quantitative research.  The author discusses methodological difficulties in conducting research with ethnic populations, including various problems of instrumentation and measurement.  This chapter provides valuable advice for conducting quality research on multicultural education with minority populations.


Chapter 8, entitled “Ethnography in Communities: Learning the Everyday Life of America’s subordinated Youth,” was written by Shirley Heath.  The first section of this chapter provides a brief overview of community within American life.  Second, an examination of ethnographic portrayals of different types of contemporary communities and their methods of socializing individuals into membership are examined.  The author presents portraits of members’ collective views of learning through formal and informal education.  To conclude the chapter, Heath considers the implications of current community life for the future of research in this area.  The reader will find this chapter informative for understanding the role of community life in American education.


Chapter 9, entitled “Ethnographic Studies of Multicultural Education in U.S. Classrooms and Schools,” was written by John Wills, Angela Lintz, and Hugh Mehan. The authors have organized this chapter into three sections. The first section examines the educational and social consequences of attempts to achieve multicultural education by modifying classroom discourse patterns and participation structures. The second section examines what happens in the social studies curriculum when it is modified to do the following: (a) teach a multicultural history so that students will gain an understanding of the experiences of different groups, and (b) foster ethnoracial identity. In the last section, the authors draw implications of these studies for classrooms composed of students from many linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The reader will enjoy having a detailed review of ethnographic studies in the area of multicultural education.


Chapter 10, entitled “A Decade of Research on the Changing Terrain of Multicultural Research,” was written by Carl Grant, Anne Elsbree, and Suzanne Fondrie. This chapter is a review of research in the area of multicultural education from 1990-2001.  In the studies of multicultural education literature, the authors report on research that focuses on specific populations such as: (a) K-12 students, (b) pre-service teachers, (c) K-12 teachers, (d) teacher educators, and (e) others. The authors close by examining the question: How has the terrain of multicultural education changed in the last decade? This chapter is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the status of multicultural education research over the past decade.




Chapter 11, entitled “Knowledge Construction and Popular Culture: The Media as a Multicultural Educator,” was written by Carlos E. Contis. The author notes in this chapter that students learn not only in schools, but also outside of school through the “social curriculum.” This chapter goes on to examine how the media play a powerful role in the social construction of knowledge about diversity. To address the media’s role in the social construction of multicultural knowledge, the author examines four basic kinds of work: (a) content analysis, (b) control analysis, (c) impact analysis, and (d) pedagogical analysis. This chapter definitely informs the discussion on how the media play a critical role in an understanding of diversity.


Chapter 12, entitled “Race, Knowledge, Construction, and Education in the United States: Lessons from History,” was written by James Banks. This chapter presents his ongoing work in the Studies of Historical Foundations of Multicultural Education Series examining the historical and social contexts from 1911 to 2000 to identify ways in which the research and knowledge constructed about race and ethnic groups mirrored and perpetuated these contexts. In this chapter, Banks describes research that supports claims that were made in an earlier publication in his Series project (Banks, 1999).


Chapter 13 entitled, “Critical Pedagogy, Critical Race Theory, and Antiracist Education: Implications for Multicultural Education,” was written by Christine Sleeter and Dolores Bernal. The authors of this chapter chose to explore the implications of critical traditions for multicultural education in order to connect it more firmly to its transformative roots and to encourage dialogue across contemporary critical conditions. To do so, the authors focused on the critical pedagogy, critical race theory, and antiracist education. The authors provide a brief genealogy, implications, and limitations for each of the three bodies of literature as they relate to multicultural education. The last section emphasizes the need to expand the dialogue among critical pedagogy, critical race theory, antiracist education, and multicultural education.  The reader will find this chapter very informative for understanding how critical race theory and critical pedagogy relate to multicultural education.




Chapter 14 entitled, “Ethnic Mexicans in Historical and Social Science Scholarship,” was written by Ramon Gutierrez. The author of this chapter provides an historiographic survey of the extant scholarship relating to Mexican Americans, include: Mexicans as a regionally conquered people, 1821-1880; the Mexican as immigrant, 1880-1993; the Mexican American Minority, 1920-1965; Chicanos as a nationality, 1965-1993; and recent research trends 1985-2001. The author notes that the dates for each of these subsections denote when a particular theme and specific representation of the Mexican was prominent in the scholarly literature. This chapter is very informative in describing the plight of Mexicans in the scholarly literature.


Chapter 15, entitled “Deconstructing and Contextualizing the Historical and Social Science Literature on Puerto Ricans,” was written by Clara Rodriguez, Irma Olmedo, and Mariolga Reyes-Cruz. According to the authors, this chapter begins by emphasizing the political and thematic similarities in the literature of Puerto Ricans and Native American peoples. The second section analyses the works of the early 1898-1910 period; subsequent governors’ memoirs, and the major political, economic, and anthropological-sociological books written in the 1950s and 1960s. The third section focuses on an analysis of Oscar Lewis’ La Vida (1966) as a detailed case study of literature sculpted by colonialism. In the fourth section, the author reviews literature in the post-1970 period, highlighting earlier works that represent Puerto Rican reality more validly. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of the literature for multicultural education.


Chapter 16, entitled “American Indian Studies,” was written by C. Matthew Snipp. The author of this chapter notes that the literature on American Indian studies can be roughly classified into several major subject areas encompassing both historical and contemporary interests: (a) demographic behavior, (b) socio-economic conditions, (c) political and legal institutions, and (d) culture and religion. In the last section of this review, the focus is mainly done in the social sciences and history. The chapter provides an in-depth look at the status of American Indian studies in the literature.


Chapter 17, entitled “Social Science Research on Asian Americans,” was written by Pyong Gap Min. This chapter provides a critique of the research literature on Asian Americans. The first section of the chapter provides a critique of the “Model Minority” thesis. The second section focuses on ethnic solidarity vs. class conflict. The third section of the chapter focuses on the role of immigrant congregations in Asian immigrant adjustments. The fourth section of the article focuses on Korean-Black conflicts. The fifth section provides the reader with an examination of ethnic identity among second generation Asian Americans. The sixth section of the chapter provides a detailed discussion on Pan-Asian Ethnicity among younger generation Asian Americans. In the last section of the chapter, the author discusses the socio-economic adjustments in the United States among younger generation Asian Americans.


Chapter 18, entitled “Culture-Centered Knowledge: Black Studies, Curriculum Transformation, and Social Action,” was written by Joyce King. The author notes that this chapter is an interpretive review of selected sources in Black studies; historical, literary, and cultural studies scholarship; research in social sciences; multicultural education; and the emergent field of research and writing in Black education. King notes that one purpose of the chapter is to examine an evolving field of theorizing and praxis. A second purpose is to clarify the production of culture-centered knowledge in African American intellectual thought, educational research, and practice. Finally, the main purpose of the chapter is to summarize and draw conclusions from the literature regarding the use of cultural knowledge and culture-centered knowledge in curriculum transformation and social action, particularly for the educational benefit of Black people.




Chapter 19, entitled “Immigrants and Education in the United States,” was written by Michael Olneck. This chapter explores the American belief about the education of immigrants. Drawing on historical and social scientific research, this chapter examines how educators and schools have responded to the children of immigrants, the nature of the encounter between immigrants and the schools, and the patterns and causes of education among immigrants and their children. This reader will be thoroughly informed about how immigrants have been educated in this country.


Chapter 20, entitled “Children and Youth in Immigrant Families: Demographic, Social, and Educational Issues,” was written by Donald J. Hernandez. The author notes that children and youth in immigrant families are the fastest-growing component of the child and youth population in the United States. This chapter begins by portraying major social and economic resources and circumstances of children and youth in immigrant families, compared to those in native born families. The next section of the chapter discusses the demographic circumstances of children and youth in immigrant families that pertain specifically to their immigrant status, and their access to public benefits and health insurance coverage. The chapter concludes by comparing the physical health, psychological well-being, and educational accomplishments of children and youth in immigrant and native-born families.


Chapter 21, entitled “The Academic Engagement and Achievement of Latino Youth,” was written by Carola Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo Suarez-Orosco, and Fabienne Doucet. The first section of the chapter examines academic outcomes among Latino youth. Second, the chapter focuses on a discussion of structuring opportunity for immigrant children and youth. Third, discussion is then shifted to academic engagement and disengagement. A comprehensive model of academic engagement is provided for the reader. Fourth, identity formation as it relates to immigrant youth is discussed in detail. Fifth, the authors discuss a concept called “Social Mirroring.” The authors then provide detail on how this concept has a significant impact on immigrant youth. Finally, the chapter explores the social contexts of learning. This section explores in-depth the role of social relations, family life, community relationships, mentoring relationships, and peer relationships.




Chapter 22, entitled Educating Native Americans,” written by K. Tsianina Lomawaima begins with a discussion of tribal sovereignty and federal policy. Next is an overview of the demographic trends and characteristics of the U.S. Native population including statistics on educational participation, achievement, and degrees earned. A brief look at the historical background relative to policies and practices in Indian Education leads to a review of research covering the Native boarding school experience; problems of comparability of the Native dropout rate; learning and interactional styles in classrooms; theories of cultural congruence or discontinuity; indigenous languages, literacies, and epistemologies; and issues of self-determination, leadership, control and school reform. In summary, Lomawaima describes a battle for “the power to define what education is – the power to set its goals, define its policies, and enforce its practices – and the power to define who native people are and who they are not” (p. 441).


Chapter 23, entitled “Historical and Sociocultural Influences on African American Education,” written by Carol D. Lee and Diana T. Slaughter-Defoe explores educational research on the schooling experiences and educational achievement of African Americans by using cultural and political status as filters. These authors analyze historical and theoretical literature as well as quantitative and qualitative research to outline critical contemporary issues (i.e., school control, tool of liberation or second class citizenship, delivery and curricula models, self determination, academic achievement, and desegregation) and document major educational problems (i.e., grade retention, suspension, and dropout rates) that form the basis on which current trends and issues must be understood. Finally, they describe theoretical and programmatic responses, based on culturally responsive foundations, designed to meet the educational needs of African American children and adolescents.


Chapter 24, entitled “Educating Mexican American Students: Past Treatment and Recent Developments in Theory, Research, Policy, and Practice,” by Eugene E. García focuses on the new foundations related to school initiatives targeting this population. García discusses significant issues that bring together research, theory, and educational policy and practice for the purpose of laying the foundation for action. Using a demographic context, García discusses academic achievement patterns based on standardized testing, gender representation, and dropout and completion rates before stepping into the history and more recent educational responses to the challenge of accommodating this underserved population. Americanization, equal access, and simplistic implementations of multicultural education are three educational trends discussed in order to get to culturally responsive pedagogy, i.e., a pedagogy in which “diversity is perceived and acted on as a resource for teaching and learning” (p. 509).


Chapter 25, entitled “Puerto Rican Students in U.S. Schools: A Troubled Past and the Search for a Hopeful Future,” by Sonia Nieto begins by identifying the population demographics and an acknowledgement of the inaccuracies associated with group labeling and aggregated data. A brief history of the migration experience and results of circulatory migration are enumerated and linked to recurring themes in educating this population. As is critical to an understanding of the present conditions, Nieto addresses colonialism, racism, ethnocentricism, linguicism, the dropout crisis and its related social and political context. What follows is a description of efforts associated with self-determination and the shift from “defining students as failures to defining the schools as deficient” (p. 532). Lessons from this history include the “need to build on family strengths, facilitate linguistic and cultural maintenance, and reform school policies and practices” (p. 537) to provide equitable education to all students. 


Chapter 26, entitled “Asian Pacific American Students: Challenging a Biased Educational System,” by Valerie Ooka Pang, Peter N. Kiang, and Yoon K. Pak brings to the forefront the issue of “model minorities” and how this stereotype marginalizes and restricts opportunities and services. These authors address the underrepresentation of Asian Pacific American students in special education, how stereotypical behavioral expectations on the part of teachers cause them to view behavior as cultural rather than a symptom of lack of resources, and the manifestation of internalized oppression for not living up to the stereotype. A powerful piece of this article is the demographic description of the group labeled Asian Pacific American using aggregate, disaggregate, and multiracial delineations which clearly shows the inadequacy of assuming sameness. The authors follow-up with a section on consequences of high-stakes assessment and aggregate data collection and how it is used as a “tool of oppression that serves to pit one group against another for resources and services” (p. 550). Implications for research and practice include fighting against the misrepresentation of Asian Pacific Americans by recruiting and training future and practicing teachers to be cross culturally competent.



Chapter 27, entitled “Language Issues in Multicultural Contexts,” by Masahiko Minami and Carlos J. Ovando discusses the theoretical-linguistic nature of language studies. The context for this chapter is the large number of students whose first language is not English, typically due to immigrant status. The authors organize the most influential studies in this area into three interrelated categories: classic theoretical approaches, language as a socioculturally mediated product, and multicultural and bilingual issues. Three key questions guide the discussion of each section: What does past research tell us about cross-cultural differences in the process of language acquisition and literacy skills development? Does the linguistic match-mismatch conception adequately capture the relationships between the primary speech community in which an individual was raised and the secondary speech community represented by the school? If languages—standard school languages in particular—are conceptualized as social possessions, with literacy thus being perceived from a sociocultural standpoint, what significance does this realization have for education in multicultural/bilingual contexts? (p. 569). The authors weave together the categories and questions to inform readers of the historical and contemporary contexts of multicultural language issues.  


Chapter 28, entitled “Trends in Two-Way Immersion Research by Kelly Bikle,” by Elsa S. Billings and Kenji Hakuta begins with a description of the framework of Two-Way Immersion (TWI) programs and how they intersect the education of nonnative speakers of English and foreign language education for native English speakers. Research describing these TWI programs involves statistics on program descriptions, language allocation, student characteristics and demographics, approaches to literacy, and student outcomes. The sections on Language Equity, Student Language Attitudes toward becoming bilingual, and Cross-Cultural Understanding discuss how “researchers have attempted to understand how students in TWI programs come to value English over Spanish through hidden messages in the curriculum” (p. 598).  These sections are particularly interesting and leave the reader wanting more.




Chapter 29, entitled “What Happens to A Dream Deferred? The Continuing Quest for Equal Educational Opportunity,” by Linda Darling-Hammond sets the stage for discussions about the inequities still present in the U.S. educational system. “This chapter argues that documentation of and serious policy attention to ongoing, systematic inequalities are critical for improving the quality and outcomes of education for all students” (p. 607). Darling-Hammond discusses the history and current state of segregation; how funding inequities perpetuate unequal access to resources and knowledge and how tracking exacerbates existing discrepancies. Finally, she offers recommendations concerning finance equalization, professional teaching policies, curriculum and testing reforms, and governmental roles for improving access to knowledge and resources. The greatest impact of this chapter is how Darling-Hammond demonstrates how money makes a difference in providing equal access to knowledge and resources.


Chapter 30, entitled “Research on Families, Schools, and Communities: A Multicultural Perspective,” by Nitza M. Hidalgo, Sau-Fong Siu, and Joyce L. Epstein provides a summary of progress in research on school, family, and community partnerships. The focus of this chapter is on Puerto Rican and Chinese American educational involvement (an extension of an earlier chapter which included African American and Irish American families and students). “These studies are important because educators need to know whether family involvement in children’s education prevents a student from failing in school and increases the number of students who succeed at a high level” (p. 633). The authors give a brief history of immigration patterns for these groups and then discuss family influence and involvement in education at home, at school, and in the community. The summary and discussion section pulls together themes of similarity and difference that cut across these groups and culminates with implications for supporting partnerships and incorporating multicultural education.


Chapter 31, entitled “Social Class and Schooling,” by Michael S. Knapp and Sara Woolverton illustrates social class dynamics within educational institutions. This review is “a conceptual and empirical effort to synthesize concepts, frameworks, and evidence that shed light on the question, ‘What is known and thought about the relationship of social class and schooling by scholars who have studied that relationship?’” (p. 656). Multiple and competing purposes for education are highlighted through functionalist, conflict, interpretive, and critical perspectives. Additionally, social class in the community context of schools, in the social organization of the student population, in reference to learners as individuals, in the teaching force, and as part of the content of instruction is investigated. The authors do a nice job bringing together a diverse set of claims and conceptions that are often at odds with one another while untangling social class from other socially constructed descriptors such as race, ethnicity, and gender.


Chapter 32, entitled “A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance,” by Claude M. Steele uses the general theory of domain identification to describe achievement barriers still faced by women in areas such as math and science, and by African Americans in the overall school setting. Steele opens with the following: “If a boy and a girl in a math classroom or a Black student and a White student in any classroom have the same teacher, the same textbooks, and the same treatment, is it possible that they could experience the classroom so differently as to significantly affect their performance and achievement there?” (p. 682).  Steele addresses the social-psychological threat of negative stereotypes that can shape the academic identity and performance outcomes of minority groups. The terminology Steele uses comes from social psychology, but the concepts, the literature, and the scenarios bring familiarity to the topic.


Chapter 33, entitled “Engaging Life: A Funds-of-Knowledge Approach to Multicultural Education,” by Luis C. Moll and Norma González highlights this approach and related theoretical notions. Specific narrative examples gathered through ethnographic processes as a result of collaborative arrangements with teachers illustrate this approach. Through these examples, the authors also illustrate how this concept and approach contributes to multicultural education research by creating teachers who are researchers as well as practitioners. Pedagogical implications of this process include changed perceptions of diversity; teachers transforming lessons to match their circumstances; and greater use of familial, cultural, and community resources. As a conclusion, the authors suggest possibilities for extending this approach to address other multicultural education topics such as language variation, social class, and immigration.


Chapter 34, entitled “Culturally Diverse Students in Special Education: Legacies and Prospects,” by Alfredo J. Artiles, Stanley C. Trent, and John D. Palmer examines the role special education has played in educators’ attempts to meet the needs of a diverse population of students in high incidence disability categories (i.e. mild mental retardation, emotional and/or behavioral disorders, learning disabilities). Special education is examined historically and contemporarily. Trends, challenges, and future directions for theory, research, and practice are also included. This chapter brings to the forefront the issue of multiple statuses, multiple oppressions, and the need for multiple approaches to the problem.


Chapter 35, entitled “Equity in Heterogeneous Classrooms,” by Elizabeth G. Cohen and Rachel A. Lotan looks at multilingual, multicultural, and multiethnic heterogeneity in the classroom through the lens of a social system. Social status order is highlighted as a major dysfunction of cooperative learning groups – groups that are supposed to encourage cooperation, participation, and learning. The formation of status orders (i.e. income, ability, English proficiency, recent immigration status, etc.) sets up negative consequences for behavior and learning and inequity within groups as students perceive and rank each other. One outcome is a reduced rate of interaction which affects learning outcomes. A major point expressed in this article is that status is relative, not absolute, especially when “status treatment,” an intervention designed to create equal-status interaction, is applied. The authors suggest ways to alter the social system of the classroom by changing the task and evaluation structures.




Chapter 36, entitled “Intercultural and Intergroup Education, 1929-1959: Linking Schools and Communities,” by Cherry A. McGee Banks discusses the role educators played in the early and mid-1900s to establish links between the school and the community. This chapter begins with an overview of the social context in which intercultural education began and the various and divergent views within the intercultural education community. It continues with discussions of intragroup diversity, funding issues for the movement, and a description and discussion of intercultural education initiatives and programs. This chapter brings the contemporary movement into perspective through the context of its history. McGee Banks states it in this way, “The groups that were excluded from full participation in U.S. Society have changed since the 1930’s, but exclusion continues to exist. By the beginning of the 21st century White ethnics, whose ancestors were on the margins of U.S. society in the early 20th century, had largely moved into the mainstream. The margins, however, didn’t disappear. They continued to be filled by indigenous groups and by new waves of immigrants” (p. 766).


Chapter 37, entitled “Intergroup Contact: Theory, Research, and New Perspectives,” by Thomas F. Pettigrew includes theoretical and research literature, theoretical advances, and practical implications for reducing intergroup prejudice. This chapter begins with a historical perspective on contact theory and research as a newly emerging discipline of social psychology in the 1930s and includes the following: Robin Williams’ monograph, The Reduction of Intergroup Tensions, The New York Field Studies; and Gordon Allport’s Intergroup Contact Theory. Allport’s theory is critiqued and expanded to address concerns that emerged in its implementation. A meta-analytic review of intergroup contact research, a reformulated intergroup contact theory, and practical implications for multicultural education are also included.


Chapter 38, entitled “Intergroup Relations in Multicultural Education Programs,” by Walter G. Stephan and Cookie White Stephan joins the approaches of intergroup relations from the disciplines of social psychology and multicultural education to the advantage of both. Stephan and Stephan state, “Both groups were working in relative isolation, and neither fully benefited from the work of the other group” (p. 782). The authors give a brief overview of prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination, and they explore the underlying processes and theories that provide a basis for change. They conclude by discussing the theories and social psychological processes that can be used to reduce prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes in multicultural settings.


Chapter 39, entitled “Positive Intergroup Relations in Schools,” by Janet Ward Schofield focuses on exploring practices and polices that are conducive to improving intergroup relations in schools. The author identifies three distinctions that should be made to increase the effectiveness of improving intergroup relations: the current state of the relations among the groups in question, distinguishing between whether structural or human relations interventions are needed, and not assuming that reducing negative intergroup attitudes and behaviors are the same goal as increasing positive intergroup attitudes and behaviors. The author reviews strategies aimed at fostering positive relations and inhibiting negative relations in situations in which intergroup ethnic and racial isolation or tensions exists. Resegregation is discussed as a barrier to improved intergroup relations. Conditions to improve intergroup relations include equal status, cooperative interdependence, fostering superordinate and crosscutting social identities, personalization of out-group members, the development of intergroup friendships, and support of authorities for positive relations.


Chapter 40, entitled “Multicultural Counseling and Therapy (MCT) Theory,” by Derald Wing Sue casts doubts on the adequacy of current Eurocentric models of counseling for treating a diverse population of clients. Sue states, “The process and goals of counseling are culture bound and thus culturally biased against people whose values differ from those of Western societies” (p. 816). This article attempts to lay the foundation for the development of a theory of Multicultural Counseling and Therapy (MCT), while acknowledging that “such an attempt is filled with hazards and may be a culturally biased attempt in itself” (p. 814). The author outlines the biases associated with characteristics of traditional counseling and psychotherapy; identifies some efforts counselors need to make toward bridging the cultural gap; addresses the importance of racial and cultural identity development in the counseling process; highlights some culturally appropriate intervention strategies; and proposes six propositions that are likely to be incorporated into a MCT theory.


Chapter 41, entitled “The Effects of School Desegregation,” by Jomills Henry Braddock II and Tamela McNulty Eitle connects the literature on the short-term and long-term effects of school desegregation. “This chapter suggests that short-term effects of school desegregation can operate as important mediators of long-term outcomes” (p. 829). The authors put forth a compelling argument that elementary and secondary school desegregation impacts White students’ and Students of Color in the areas of interracial attitudes, aspirations, self-esteem and in academic outcomes like test scores, grades, and class rank. To support their claims, the authors include brief literature reviews on short-term academic achievement, short-term socialization and intergroup relations outcomes, and long-tem effects on social integration and career success. Additionally, an adaptation of an earlier conceptual framework of the influences of school desegregation on African Americans is shared before the chapter concludes with recommendations for further research.




Chapter 42, entitled “Research on Racial Issues in American Higher Education,” by Christine I. Bennett discusses “the importance of making public the benefits of diversity and of creating campus climates that affirm and support racially diverse populations” (p. 847). This review of research provides an overview of trends in college participation and educational attainment and illustrates these trends using a table format. A section on creating campus climates that respect and support diverse student populations includes a conceptual framework for understanding dimensions of campus climate (historical legacy of inclusion or exclusion, structural diversity relative to cultural and ethnic representation on campus, and the psychological and behavioral dimensions of how perceptions and actions impact students). The benefits of racial and cultural diversity on campus and a theory of integrated pluralism are also illustrated.


Chapter 43, entitled “Ethnic Studies in U.S. Higher Education: History, Development, and Goals,” by Evelyn Hu-DeHart begins with a brief history and current status of ethnic studies programs which “after some serious cutbacks in the budgetary crisis of the mid-1970s to mid-1980’s … are now back bigger and stronger than ever before, revitalized, reorganized and in some cases reconceptualized, increasingly institutionalized, and definitely here to stay” (p. 869).  Discussions of why ethnic studies was/is needed, how ethnic studies is defined, current debates and issues within ethnic studies, and attempts to undermine ethnic studies are included. Future directions and challenges addressed include department versus program structures, accelerated alliances or mergers with American Studies, integration with global and comparative ethnic studies, and the study of Whiteness and its historical and social construction as a racial category and its intersection with critical race theory.


Chapter 44, entitled “Women’s Studies and Curriculum Transformation in the United States,” by Betty Schmitz, Johnnella E. Butler, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Deborah Rosenfelt details how Women’s Studies offers important analytical frameworks for developing multicultural curricula. The authors focus on how gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and other variables. The evolution of Women’s Studies from its “founding mothers” to its giving birth to new fields of study such as Black Women’s Studies, American Indian Women’s Studies, Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s Studies, Chicana/Latina Studies, Jewish Women’s Studies, Muslim and Arab American Women’s Studies, Lesbian Studies, Postcolonial and Transnational Feminist Studies, Whiteness Studies, and Men’s Studies is described. Also addressed is the role of feminist scholarship and feminist pedagogy in leading the way in curriculum transformation and in broadening the definition of scholarship.


Chapter 45, entitled “Multiculturalism and Core Curricula,” by Ann K. Fitzgerald and Paul Lauter discusses the history and tension between multiculturalism and core curriculum. The authors use a broad definition and an eclectic strategy for “interrogat[ing] various methods of providing students with a core educational experience in relation to . . . multiculturalism” (p. 907). The sections on historical determinants of specialized and generalized education and changing patterns of the last twenty-five years characterize the major trends and issues.  The authors pose three paradigms of intersection between core curriculum and multiculturalism: textbooks and disciplinary-based change via student exposure to texts and other materials about minorities and women, a diversity requirement as part of the general education curriculum, and reconstructing western civilization with a mandated sequence of courses in this area. The remainder of the chapter focuses on efforts to sustain or develop forms of a core educational experience that honors multiculturalism.


Chapter 46, entitled “Multicultural Teacher Education: Research, Practice, and Policy,” by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Danné Davis, and Kim Fries reviews both conceptual and empirical literature on multicultural teacher education from 1992-2001. The chapter situates the literature within current political and professional contexts, analyzes key syntheses that already exist, and concludes by commenting on the future of multicultural teacher education including research programs and approaches (p. 931). The section on the context of teacher education discusses the necessity to bridge the divide between the diverse student population and the homogeneous teaching force; the interplay between the national agenda for school reform, teacher education reform and alternative certification; and the marginalization of teacher education research. The synthesis section of the chapter is discussed and laid out over several pages in table form and includes 14 reviews published between 1980 and 2001. A cross syntheses analysis brings forth issues related to the potential of multicultural education to achieve its vision and goals. Finally, Cochran-Smith’s theoretical framework for understanding the multiple meanings of multicultural teacher education is used to analyze the literature related to multicultural teacher education.




Chapter 47, entitled “Multicultural Education in Australia: Historical Development and Current Status,” by Bob Hill and Rod Allan begins with a historical overview of Australia and its colonization. The Aborigines, Australia’s first inhabitants, and immigrants from all over the world make Australia one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world (p. 980). The migration of non-White immigrants to Australia quickly becomes the focus of the article as it forces responses to inequality and racism. The authors continue with a discussion of the advent of multiculturalism brought on by the non-English-speaking ethnic communities becoming “more vocal and better organized to challenge the dominant paradigm of assimilation” (p. 982). Discussions of the ebb and flow of government and economic responses characterizes the successive governments with different political points of view involved in the transition to multiculturalism and antiracism.


Chapter 48, entitled “Multicultural Education in the United Kingdom: Historical Development and Current Status,” by Peter Figueroa provides a review of the development of multicultural education for post WWII Britain. A historical context including decolonization and extensive labor migration is provided. The cultural diversity of Britain is explored through a look at visible minorities (i.e., of Caribbean and Indian subcontinent background) and invisible minorities (i.e., White ethnic groups). Policy approaches relating to the education and the presence of minority ethnic people are also identified. Policies supporting “color-blindness” (no special provisions needed), “racial inexplicitness” (everything will sort itself out if everyone keeps quiet), assimilation, and immigration controls are discussed. Developments in multicultural education and antiracist education are highlighted through descriptions of significant events (i.e., committees, reports, policy statements, legislation, educational reform movements, etc.).


Chapter 49, entitled “Challenges for Post-Apartheid South Africa: Decolonizing Education,” by Kogila A. Moodley begins with a discussion of “difference” in apartheid South Africa where “segregated and unequal educational opportunities were conceived of as part of a commonsense understanding of the natural order of a society divided by race, ethnicity, and class with differential political inclusion” (p. 1027). The end of apartheid meant the collapse of legislated identities and the reconstruction of these identities against the backdrop of its historical legacy of exclusion. These authors explore the apartheid era and the legitimization and maintenance of power and privilege (i.e., race, language) and the challenge brought forth by the Black Consciousness and People’s Education movements. Other discussions include the post-apartheid era and the counteraction of racial power and privilege through political education and academic education, the demise of segregated educational institutions, and the challenges and roles of the educational institutions in addressing such changes.




Banks, J.A. (1999). An introduction to multicultural education (Second Edition.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Lewis, O.  (1966). LA Vida: A Puerto Rican family in the culture of poverty--San Juan and New York.  New York:  Random House.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 8, 2004, p. 1550-1567
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11293, Date Accessed: 12/8/2021 5:45:02 AM

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About the Author
  • Chance W. Lewis
    Colorado State University
    E-mail Author
    CHNACE W. LEWIS is Assistant Professor of Education at Colorado State University. His research interests include multicultural education in public schools, K-12 teacher diversity, and block scheduling and academic achievement.
  • Valerie Middleton
    Colorado State Unversity
    E-mail Author
    VALERIE A. MIDDLETON is Assistant Professor of Education at Colorado State University.
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