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Becoming a Multicultural Educator

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

Third Edition
Additional resources:

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
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.

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