National Institute for Urban School Improvement
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Social Action

  • A Theoretical and Pedagogical Multicultural Match, or Unbridled Serendipity?
    Describes development of a multicultural education model by students in a high school mass media class. Using a literary and social action approach, students examine issues of empowerment, prejudice reduction, ethnic identity, school reform and discipline.
  • Afrocentric Education in Supplementary Schools: Paradigm and Practice at the Mary McLeod Bethune Institute
    This article examines the history, philosophy, curriculum, methodology, and operations of the Mary McLeod Bethune Institute (MMBI), an Afrocentric supplementary school located in Los Angeles, California. Qualitative data focusing on MMBI students, parents, and staff, and on the school’s relationship with its students’ public schools and communities are presented.
  • Approaches to Multicultural Education in Preservice Teacher Education: Philosophical Frameworks and Models for Teaching
    Connects teacher education to conservative, liberal, and radical theories of multicultural education, particularly preservice education, arguing that a more eclectic theoretical avenue must be encouraged in order to transform schools, particularly in urban environments. Discusses practical avenues to promote such a multilayered interpretive/analytical approach to social change.
  • Coalescing for Change: The Coalition for Education That Is Multicultural
    Describes the situational complexity of the "Coalition for Education That Is Multicultural," a teacher development group of continuous inquiry into practice by reflective practitioners interested in resistance and collective social action. Interviews with and observations of female members over six months provide information on vision, leadership, empowerment, transformation, and social action.
  • Dramatized Experience, Civil Discourse, Sensitive Issues
    Describes the author's experience when the director and teacher-trainers of a writing program persuaded him that the oral interpretation he wished them to perform was too troubling and explosive to use. Outlines his questions and anguish about the incident, and the urgency of dealing with the dilemmas of multiculturalism, racial intolerance, and the teaching of writing.
  • From Moral Duty to Cultural Rights: A Case Study of Political Framing in Education
    Addresses questions about how old social causes get revived, and how small, politically insignificant interest groups mount viable campaigns against dominant political views. Examines the strategies of two multifaith religious coalitions in Ontario, Canada, that are gaining political ground by reframing traditional arguments for religious schooling as multicultural issues.
  • From Rhetoric to Reality: Opportunity-to-Learn Standards and the Integrity of American Public School Reform
    Focusing on national policy and practice, this paper suggests key recommendations for consideration in the context of standards-based reform, including: produce teachers who are multiculturally literate; re-assess ability grouping and tracking practices; reduce K-3 class size and elementary and secondary school size; expand and improve federal compensatory education programs; and incorporate school reform into broader social reform. (SM).
  • International Education: Another View of Distance Learning
    This paper argues that diversity and flexibility have been the cornerstones of the community college over the last three or four decades. Of recent interest has been the change in the student profile from that of the recent local high school graduate to the returning student, as well as a mix of international students.
  • Is There a Place for Cultural Studies in Colleges of Education?
    Describes the diverse assumptions and practices defined under the banner of cultural studies, suggesting how the field might have important consequences for individuals concerned with reforming schools and colleges of education. The paper addresses how progressive educators might contribute, examining how the field could be included in the larger discourse of social reconstruction.
  • Maurice R. Robinson National Mini-Grant Program for K-12 Service Learning
    Briefly describes a service-learning grant program and provides examples of elementary, middle, and high school projects awarded grants in 1996. Projects included efforts to educate the community about river pollution, multicultural murals, and a school activities news show.
  • Multicultural Education. Theory to Practice
    Teachers from two urban elementary schools completed surveys about their multicultural education practices. The surveys examined demographics, content integration, instructional and grouping practices, and parent-community involvement practices.
  • Promoting Tolerance through Multicultural Education
    This paper describes a program designed to increase student awareness and appreciation of their own culture and the cultures of others. The study was conducted in a northern Illinois junior high among 30 eighth grade language arts students.
  • Reflections on Multicultural Education: A Teacher's Experience
    Describes a high school-level multicultural course designed to challenge the predominantly white students to reflect upon system power inequities that benefitted many of them directly. Students engaged in social action projects, working with people unlike themselves in organizations that had social justice orientations.
  • Resources for Multicultural Awareness and Social Action
    Contends that many teachers do not educate elementary age students about prejudice because they lack access to appropriate resources. Provides teachers with an annotated list of curriculum, journals, and organizations they may use to help young students make connections between institutionalized prejudice, intercultural competency, and their own power to produce change.
  • Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice. Volume 2
    This companion volume to the first "Rethinking Our Classrooms" presents a collection of articles, curriculum ideas, lesson plans, poetry, and resources designed for educators seeking to pair concerns for social justice with student academic achievement.
  • Service Learning for a Diverse Society: Research on Children, Youth, and Prejudice
    Reviews psychological and educational research on prejudice and intergroup relations to produce suggestions and guidelines for improving the combined educational goals of service learning and multicultural education. Recommends starting early, emphasizing critical thinking, connecting activities to appropriate stages of cognitive development, and employing role playing and cooperative learning.
  • Staff Development as Self-Development: Extension and Application of Russo's Humanistic-Critical Theory Approach for Humanistic Education and Social Action Integration
    Examines how Russo's humanistic-critical theory for social-action integration requires shifting staff development focused on knowing and caring about others to self-development that includes everyone. Rationale, resources, and successful action-practice models support and extend Russo's theory for responsible social-action education in a multicultural society.
  • The Colorful Flags Program: A Proactive-Interactive Approach to Bridging Cultural Differences
    Describes the Cultural Flags program, which teaches students to be proactive in engaging in cultural learning through learning a few basic phrases in the five most spoken languages in their community along with cultural facts about other countries. Some program evaluation results and project guidelines are presented.
  • The Colorful Flags Program: A Proactive-Interactive Approach to Bridging Cultural Differences
    Describes the Cultural Flags program, which teaches students to be proactive in engaging in cultural learning through learning a few basic phrases in the five most spoken languages in their community along with cultural facts about other countries. Some program evaluation results and project guidelines are presented.
  • The Politics of Multicultural Education in South Africa: Vogue, Oxymoron or Political Paralysis
    Argues against using American-style multicultural education in South African higher education and suggests that transitory nation-states would first need to adopt Africentric reformism in order to recapture their value system before incorporating multiculturalism into the curriculum. The relevance of the multicultural model to South Africa and why its implementation should be deferred is discussed.