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Curriculum Controversies in Multicultural Education


by Christine E. Sleeter — 1995

In this chapter I briefly situate multicultural education in its historical context, and in the process I attempt to provide a broad conceptualization of what multicultural education means. I review criticisms of multicultural education that have permeated the media during the late 1980s and early 1990s, focusing on debates about curriculum, since these criticisms inform many educators' understanding of multicultural education. I then counter the criticisms with the research and theory undergirding multicultural education. I will argue (1) that multicultural education represents a challenge to historic forms of racial oppression in the United States more than a response to recent demographic changes; (2) that it attempts to shift power in educational decision making toward groups of color rather than being merely a program that one can "adopt"; and (3) that practices recommended by theorists of multicultural education rest on a growing base of research and theory.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 94, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 96 Number 6, 1995, p. 162-185
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18841, Date Accessed: 10/24/2017 3:44:43 AM

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About the Author
  • Christine Sleeter
    University of Wisconsin—Parkside
    CHRISTINE E. SLEETER is a Professor in the Teacher Education Department, School of Education, University of Wisconsin—Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
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