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The Debate Over Multicultural Education in America America has long been called The Melting Pot due to the fact that it is made up of a varied mix of races cultures and ethnicities As more and more immigrants come to America searching for a better life the population naturally becomes more diverse This has in turn spun a great debate over multiculturalism Some of the issues under fire are who is benefiting from the education and how to present the material in a way so as to offend the least amount of people There are many variations on these themes as will be discussed later in this paper In the 1930s several educators called for programs of cultural diversity that encouraged ethnic and minority students to study their respective heritages This is not a simple feat due to the fact that there is much diversity within individual cultures A look at a 1990 census shows that the American population has changed more noticeably in the last ten years than in any other time in the twentieth century with one out of every four Americans identifying themselves as black Hispanic Asian Pacific Islander or American Indian Gould 198 The number of foreign born residents also reached an all time high of twenty million easily passing the 1980 record of fourteen million Most people from educators to philosophers agree that an important first step in successfully joining multiple cultures is to develop an understanding of each others background However the similarities stop there One problem is in defining the term multiculturalism When it is looked at simply as meaning the existence of a culturally integrated society many people have no problems However when you go beyond that and try to suggest a different way of arriving at that culturally integrated society Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what will work Since education is at the root of the problem it might be appropriate
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