Providing for Diverse Student Populations

Re: “Multiculturalism’s Five Dimensions” by Banks, J. A., & Tucker, M. (1998)

One of Dr. Banks’ five dimensions of multicultural education is knowledge construction. In order to provide every student with “the implicit cultural assumptions and frames of reference and perspective” of mathematics, it is important to analyze the language used (Banks & Tucker, 1998). For example, I am currently working on a different approach to solving word problems. Instead of focusing on the operations required to solve word problems, we will focus more on the language used in the word problem.

Another one of Dr. Banks’ five dimensions of multicultural education is equity pedagogy. In this dimension, Dr. Banks suggest that teachers change their methods to accommodate diverse learning needs (Banks & Tucker, 1998). Ever since my first year of teaching, I have attempted different methods of teaching. Specifically, I have incorporated cooperative learning, direct interactive instruction, differentiated instruction, and problem-based learning into every lesson. I plan to continue using these methods as a means of promoting student engagement and increasing the opportunity for every student to excel.

Lastly, Dr. Banks addressed the question of maintaining our unity as a community, a community that is inclusive of all its many perspectives (Banks & Tucker, 1998). This made me think about the open-mindedness essential to successfully teaching any subject, especially as we transition to the Common Core State Standards. In mathematics, for example, students always suggest other ways of solving certain problems. Instead of dismissing their suggestions, I have found it beneficial embracing their suggestions and encouraging further thought. This not only motivates them to think more creatively about mathematics and share their differences, but it sets up the classroom as a community of learning and exploration.



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