Multicultural Article Critique
The article Managing Diversity by Caleb Rosado explores the societal changes that have had an impact on the cultural attitude towards multiculturalism. It takes an historical account of the various phases society in America has gone through. It leaves off at the present day information society, and explains how this has shaped a culturally sensitive and international focus on the implications and meanings behind multiculturalism. These feeling and attitudes have lead to questions and reactions that require a way to manage or guide people in regards to all aspects, educational and other, of multiculturalism. Caleb Rosado states; "The purpose of this article is to explain what is meant by "managing diversity."
... But first an explanation of multiculturalism is in order as a basis for understanding the changes
coming to our society, as it forms the basis for a model for understanding the "how-to" of managing diversity."
"Multiculturalism is a system of beliefs and behaviors that recognizes and respects the
presence of all diverse groups in an organization or society, acknowledges and values
their socio-cultural differences, and encourages and enables their continued contribution
within an inclusive cultural context which empowers all within the organization or
society." (Published by EdChange and the Multicultural Pavilion â http://www.EdChange.org/multicultural)
Multiculturalism's definition is broken apart in 4 pairs of what Rosado calls "action phrases".
These are; "beliefs and behaviors," "recognizes and respects," "acknowledges and
values," "encourages and enables," and a fifth one, "empowers." These items, along with individual perspectives and personal beliefs are interrelated. Each of these items makes up a persons attitude, but must be addressed separately to help guide towards a societal cohesive and enlighten view of multiculturalism. The article also explores the negative effects by not addressing issues with the above "action phrases". After exploring each aspect a solution is provided with expectations of results due to desired actions. These actions could be used in a classroom setting as well in a business setting. Instead of excluding individuals because of their differences, an all inclusive classroom is used. This exposes all those involved to differing point of views and individuals are allowed to express their perspective openly, instead of in designated areas or realms. The diversity within a group will eventually become the norm. Although the article general speaks of multiculturalism in business, it can be used directly in classroom management techniques in an all inclusive and diverse class. With regards to the feelings of multicultural individuals Rosado states;
"an intrinsic approach to business ethics and human interrelations that acknowledges and respects the contributions which the various racial/ethnic groups, as well as women, have made to society, and incorporates these contributions in an overall program of human resources management which meets the needs of an ever-changing society and its demands on business, and is sensitive to the personal and social development of all entities concerned."
By using strategies explained in the analysis of key points section in a classroom setting, the social and personal development of diverse students will increase in a positive way, thus having a positive effect on multiculturalism in a school setting.
Analysis of Key Points
Recognizing the similarities and differences in others of varying cultures is essential in opening up discussion and gaining understanding of the aspects of multiculturalism. By recognizing this collective individuality, respect is shown for and from the individual. Respect and recognition are not the same. Recognizing that we are all individual humans with varying influences based on culture and experience, an then respecting the differences and similarities, leads to a better understanding of multiculturalism.
Next is acknowledging the contributions various cultures, groups, and individuals representing each have given to modern day society. By exploring the contributions of various cultures and working collectively to pick and choose the best aspects of each to form a culture of multiculturalism benefits all those involved. By doing this process value of others ideas is shown, and by using positive reinforcement of these contributing values, diverse individuals will be encouraged to learn and share more. This encouragement could in turn, enable individuals to do their part in creating a collective concept of diversity and multiculturalism. The action and step by step plan for opening communication in terms of multiculturalism creates empowerment. Empowerment results in individual analysis and change, for the benefit of self and others. Rosado explains the benefits for following and acting in the above key points by stating;
"empowerment-the process of enabling people to be self-critical of their own
biases so as to strengthen themselves and others to achieve and deploy their maximum
potential. People's sense of self-worth, value and dignity is most often determined not
only by the kind of support and encouragement they receive from others, but also from
how willing they are to be self-examine negative behaviors in their own life and in their
cultural group. If I or my group is practicing self-destructive action, all the external help
will go for naught." (Rosado - What Do We Mean by "Managing Diversity"?)
As teachers in an ever changing and diverse world the importance of recognizing multiculturalism and enabling students to learn from each other in an all inclusive classroom is the basis of creating and changing the concept of multiculturalism and it's contributing attitudes. These attitudes come from every individual and can be shaped and guided to be used in a contributing part of an educational experience. In order to do so, certain steps need to be taken in order to create a cohesive collective dialogue that attributes all parts of multiculturalism to each individual. This can be done through open, truthful, polite communication and dialogue within a classroom or school setting. Caleb Rosado states in his article Managing Diversity;
"The essence of multiculturalism, the undergirding concept of multicultural education, is
the ability to celebrate with the other in a manner that transcends all barriers and brings
about a unity in diversity. Multiculturalism enables us to look upon the other, especially
the other that society has taught us to regard with distrust and suspicion, and to be taken
advantage of, not as a potential predator, but as a profitable partner."
Many public education classrooms across America have a diverse population. This diversity brings with it varying cultures and perspectives. Even though there is a majority cultural view with similar perspectives, education comes from the sharing and analyzes of personal views and the comparison and contrast with other. In order to create an atmosphere that promotes various views in an open, safe, and respectful way, certain strategies and techniques need to be enacted in regards to each individual student. These are mentioned in the analysis of key points. These points include "beliefs and behaviors," "recognizes and respects," "acknowledges and values," "encourages and enables," and a fifth one, "empowers." Not only does this provide for learning and openness, but personal cooperative relationships will be formed, thus enabling the individual students to take charge of their education, increase personal and class motivation, and create a loving and caring learning environment. These concepts will also touch on the individual emotions and feelings of the students, and make education and the school experience more personal. By working and sharing with each other a school community aspect will be embraced.
These items could be addressed in lesson plans, projects, literature and readings, historical concepts, and many other ways. By providing learning activities that touch upon these characteristics' of multiculturalism, the teacher can serve as a guide in directing the conversation and education related to multiculturalism. A positive change in intrinsic and extrinsic value will result if each student is willing and enabled to share and learn, and feel that they contributed to something positive. The positive result will be the formation of personal relationships in which each member receives some form of benefit and value.
Caleb Rosado states in his article Managing Diversity; "Managing diversity should be a comprehensive, holistic process for managing these differences that people bring for the productive well being of all, especially the firm and its mission. A holistic model of managing diversity recognizes its two dimensions: the primary or Horizontal (mainly biological, usually visible: age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities), and the secondary or Vertical (psychosocio-spiritual, usually invisible: values system, worldviews, mindsets, ethics, paradigms, core intelligences). These differences have the potential of giving rise to conflicts, but if managed well can result in a synergetic unity, where the effect of all working together is
greater than the sum total of all the parts working independently."
Using business and management strategies in a scholastic setting in terms of multiculturalism will be just as effective due to the personal experience those involved will feel. Managing conflicts in the classroom can also be used in much the same way as in business. Adding personal feeling, contributions, and attachments in the learning process is motivational and benefitual for all those involved. Not only will the educational learning experience gain, but the community aspect will be a more collective and open for cohesive and positive expression.
Rosado, Caleb (1997 revised 2006) What Do We Mean By "Managing Diversity"?