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Multicultural Activities

The following activities have been developed and refined for multicultural education courses and workshops for pre-service and in-service teachers. All activities that lead to dialogue on issues such as oppression, prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination should be closely examined and appropriately modified for the target audience. Address questions about the following activities to Paul Gorski.

A Guide for Setting Ground Rules
This guide will provide you with strategies for effectively creating ground rules that maintain a sense of community and respect, laying a foundation for constructive dialogue in a multicultural education course or workshop.

The Depth and Breadth of "Multicultural"
Examine the complexities of multiculturalism, challenging participants to move beyond a "heroes and holidays" or surface understanding and to begin to reflect on how they project culture onto others.

Circles of My Multicultural Self
The Circles activity engages participants in a process of identifying what they consider to be the most important dimensions of their own identity, concurrently developing a deeper understanding of stereotypes as participants share stories about when they were proud to be part of a particular group and when it was especially hurtful to be associated with a particular group.

Classroom Inclusion and Learning Needs
Participants share their own experiences as students, exploring different ways people are made to feel included in, or excluded from, the learning process. The existence of different learning needs and the necessity for a wide range of teaching styles emerge.

Student Fishbowl
A student fishbowl gives pre-service and in-service educators an opportunity to hear the experiences, ideas, and critiques of current students while giving the students an opportunity to be active in the dialogue on multicultural education and education transformation.

Connecting with School Prejudice and Discrimination
This activity is designed to facilitate active listening and the development of a humanistic understanding of how different forms of oppression in schools affect individuals in deep, and often life-changing ways.

Multicultural Awareness Quiz
Critical thinking about all media and information is an essential aspect of multicultural learning. Test your and your students' or participants' understanding of race, gender, and socioeconomic class with this activity, leading seamlessly into a dialogue on stereotypes, misinformation, and prejudices and how they inform teaching and learning.

Facilitating the Difficult Dialogue: Role Plays
Teachers are often hesitant to introduce topics like racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism in the classroom because their training has not prepared them to handle the issues and exchanges that may result. This activity provides participants an opportunity to share stories about when discussions about these topics took an unexpected turn they were unprepared to handle, then to share ideas about how to address these circumstances in the future.

Collaborative Problem-Solving: Case Studies in Education
The purpose of this activity is to engage teachers in a process of collaborative problem-solving around multicultural issues through the use of case studies. Participants will develop an understanding and appreciation for the necessity to include a variety of voices and perspectives to successfully address issues that arise around race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, or any other identity dimension. They will also begin to better understand the collaborative process and how they tend to participate in it.