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Becoming a Multicultural Educator

Becoming a Multicultural Educator
Developing Awareness, Gaining Skills, and Taking Action

Third Edition

January 2019 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Providing an essential foundation for teachers-in-training and veteran educators, Becoming a Multicultural Educator: Developing Awareness, Gaining Skills, and Taking Action focuses on the development and application of research-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment strategies for multicultural education in PK–12 classrooms. Award-winning authors William A. Howe and Penelope L. Lisi bring theory and research to life through numerous exercises, case studies, reflective experiences, and lesson plans designed to heighten readers’ cultural awareness, knowledge base, and skill set. Responding to the growing need to increase academic achievement and to prepare teachers to work with diverse populations of students, the fully updated Third Edition is packed with new activities and exercises to illustrate concepts readers can apply within their future classrooms and school-wide settings. With the support of this practical and highly readable book, students will be prepared to teach in culturally responsive ways, develop a critical understanding of culture and its powerful influence on teaching and learning, and feel empowered to confront and address timely issues.


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List of Exercises
About the Authors
Section I: Background
Chapter 1: Multicultural Education: History, Theory, and Evolution
Changing Demographics

Understanding Why Race and Ethnicity Matter

The Need to Close the Achievement Gap

Prejudice and Discrimination Issues

Poverty and Class Issues

Issues on Working With Immigrants and Refugees

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Issues

Teacher Preparation and Professional Development Issues

Available Teacher Workforce Issues

Community and the Role of Parents

Moral Obligations and Responsibilities

In Summary

Initial Focus on Ethnic Studies

Influential Publications and Organizational Forces

Influential Agencies and Organizations in the Development of Multicultural Education

Similarities and Differences With Other Studies of Culture

A Quick Comparison of Terms

A New Definition of Multicultural Education

Becoming a Multicultural Educator

So What Is Multicultural Education?

Five Approaches to Multicultural Education

Chapter 2: Becoming a Multicultural Educator: A Four-Step Model
What is Effective Teaching?

What is a Multicultural Educator?

Essential Knowledge for Multicultural Educators

A Repertoire of Skills for Multicultural Educators

Personal Qualities or Dispositions for Multicultural Educators

Curriculum Standards as a Guide for Multicultural Education in Schools

Professional Teaching Standards as a Guide for Multicultural Educators

Why Attend to Culture?

Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers in Using Culture

Becoming a Multicultural Educator

Section II: Knowledge
Chapter 3: Historical Perspectives on a Multicultural America
Race as a Biological or Social Construct

Native Americans

African Americans

Asian Americans

Hispanic Americans

European Americans

Today’s America

Civil Rights Movement Timeline

Federal Civil Rights Laws

Other Education Laws

Free Speech Rights of Students

Chapter 4: Foundational Knowledge for Culturally Responsive Teaching
Essential Elements of Culture

Socioeconomic Status and Education

Religion and Education

Gender and Education

Understanding Racism

Understanding the Impact of Policy on the Learning Environment

Learning Styles and the Achievement of Culturally Diverse Students

Knowledge About Communication Styles

The Role of Culture in the Process of Learning

Culturally Responsive Teaching and Curriculum Development

Section III: Awareness
Chapter 5: Understanding Cultural Identities and Their Influence on Teaching and Learning
What Is Cultural Identity?

Challenges to Uncovering Our Cultural Identities

Naming Groups With Which We Identify

The Challenge of Entitlement

What Does It Mean to Be White?

The Influence of Cultural Identity and Worldview on Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Chapter 6: Developing Awareness of All Humans as Cultural Beings
Factors That Influence Our Perceptions of Others

Racial Identity Development in Children

Self in Relation to Others as Cultural Beings

Responses to Differences: Stereotypes, Bias, Prejudice

Does Difference Make a Difference in Schools?

Hate Crimes, Bullying, and Harassment in Schools

Dealing With Bullying and Harassment

The Need for a Safe School Climate

Understanding the Law and Education

A Look at School Discipline

Helping Students and Teachers Develop Positive Perspectives and Values

Section IV: Skills
Chapter 7: Curriculum Development and Lesson Planning
Defining Curriculum

The Curriculum Development Process

Characteristics of a Multicultural Curriculum

Seven Forms of Bias in Curriculum Materials

Checking for Bias

Planning Learning Experiences From a Multicultural Perspective

Multicultural Principles

Key Concepts for a Multicultural Curriculum

Chapter 8: Instructional Approaches Needed by Multicultural Educators
The Purpose of Education

Models of Teaching

Differentiated Instruction

Chapter 9: Developing Skills in Teaching Language and Understanding Linguistic Diversity
Educating Second-Language Learners

Language Proficiency and Achievement

Experiences of English Language Learner Students

Language Diversity

Schools and the Home


Beyond Language: Preparation for a Diverse, Global Society

Chapter 10: Assessment That Is Culturally Responsive
Evolution of Assessments

Types of Assessments

High-Stakes Testing

Bias in Assessment

Principles of High-Quality Assessment Systems

Guidelines for Development of Classroom-Based Culturally Responsive Assessments

Authentic Assessments

Portrait of a School in an Assessment Transition

Section V: Action
Chapter 11: Creating the Multicultural Classroom
A Starting Point: Developing a Multicultural Education Platform of Beliefs


Goal Setting as a Multicultural Educator

Learn About Your Students

Maintain High Expectations for Student Outcomes

Work to Integrate Multiple Perspectives

About Collaboration

Functioning as a Partner

What Can You Do as Partners Toward Multicultural Education?

Instructional Practice


Journaling and Anecdotal Logs

Assessment Instruments

Action Research

Professional Development Options

Enhancing Your Skills as a Reflective Practitioner

Chapter 12: Creating the Multicultural School
School Culture as a Shared Set of Values and Beliefs

Assessing School Culture

Developing a Shared Vision

Developing a Culture of Collaboration and Teamwork

Collection and Analysis of Student and Other Data

Goal Setting and Multicultural Education

Identification and Selection of Promising Practices

Implementation and Monitoring

Strategies to Support Teacher Learning

The Diversity Project: An Illustration of Schoolwide Action Planning to Implement Multicultural Education

Appendix: The Vital Multicultural Classroom: Resources, Organizations, and Associations


Instructor Resources

SAGE edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:

  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources; 
  • test banks that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;·        
  • multimedia content featuring original videos that meet the learning needs of today’s media-savvy students and bring concepts to life;·        
  • sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses that provide suggested models for structuring your courses;·        
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • exclusive access to full-text, influential SAGE journal articles, which have been carefully selected to tie important research and scholarship to chapter concepts;         
  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions; and     
  • Tables and figures from the book available for download.
Student Study Site

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. SAGE edge content is open access and available on demand. Learning and teaching has never been easier!

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly Flashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter
  • Video and multimedia links that appeal to students with different learning styles

“Great book for most facets of multicultural education because it includes an equal balance of theoretical information on multicultural education as well as instructional methodology."

Maryann Dudzinski
Valparaiso University

“Accessible, a primer for those interested in learning about multicultural education."

Raphael Heaggans
Niagara University

"Becoming a Multicultural Educator puts student diversity and multicultural teaching at the center with clear coverage of important ideas, including theory and research. The authors are dedicated teacher and scholars!”

Maria Balderrama
California State University, San Bernardino

"Research based; usable for students with ESL backgrounds; strong focus on diversity in a classroom and attitudes on diversity; good case studies provided on challenging topics."

Lynne Kirst
University of Rochester

"Becoming a Multicultural Educator does a great job with incorporating real classroom applications to the discussion of diversity.”

Rhonda Wilkins
Georgia State University, Perimeter

Great book with excellent resources. I only wish it had more in-depth discussions on gender and sexuality.

Mario Suarez
Schl of Teacher Ed & Leadership, Utah State University
February 19, 2020
Key features


  • This updated edition reflects current events and new trends, including the rise of the alt-right/neo-Nazi movement, anti-immigration sentiments, the #MeToo movement, increased reports of anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic hate crimes, curriculum and teaching standards, language diversity, and more.
  • Additional content on poverty, class, English language acquisition, LGBTQ issues, standards, and updated learning theory has been added.
  • Learning Objectives are now presented as statements, rather than questions, and are used as a framework throughout the chapter for the construction of each chapter’s content.
  • Each chapter presents two Case Studies to illustrate key themes in a real-world setting and to help students work through the complex process of becoming a multicultural educator.
  • Applications are found at the end of each chapter, providing students with an opportunity to directly apply what they have learned.
  • Each chapter introduces a Thinking Ahead exercise and concludes with a Reflecting Back exercise to encourage students to further engage with and reflect over the presented content. 
  • Profiles in Multicultural Education highlight leading scholars and practitioners and inspire students to take action in their own classrooms. 
  • Major Assessments follow each of the five sections and help students participate in multi-layered, multi-issue problem-solving.
  • All references and annotated resources have been reviewed and updated to reflect current events. New references and resources have also been added to each chapter.
  • SAGE edge provides students helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, a customizable action plan, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment.


  • The award-winning author team have worked together collaboratively in the field of multicultural education for over 25 years in both the PK–12 school system and higher education.
  • Discussion goes beyond race to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, second language acquisition, poverty, class, religion, and other key categories.
  • Thorough, well-organized coverage of history, theory, and research gives readers a strong foundation in how the multicultural education field has developed and applies to contemporary classrooms.
  • Case Studies, content questions, and concepts provide opportunities for greater engagement, understanding, and reflection.
  • Two major case examples in every chapter illustrate the process of becoming a multicultural educator and describe common situations facing teachers and schools as they move towards multicultural education.
  • End-of-chapter study tools include chapter summaries and Application Activities which offer reflective questions, exercises, and suggestions for applying key concepts in the classroom.
  • An author-created assessment list, developed in collaboration with teachers, shows readers how to develop multicultural lesson plans.
  • New and updated Multicultural Profile features discuss key figures in the development of multicultural education.

For instructors

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