Cultural Diversity and Its Impact On Education

Educ. X558Z

Course Syllabus

last updated on 02/19/04

Course Description

This is one of four CLAD (Cross Cultural, Language and Academic Development) courses designed to prepare teachers for the state examination, or to meet requirements for the CLAD certificate.  The course provides an analysis of the diverse cultures existing in the multicultural classroom and their impact on the instructional process.  Teachers will examine the concept and nature of culture; methods and strategies for learning about cultural differences and similarities; an examination of attitudes of people of different racial, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds; and cultural contact and diversity in the United States and California. Social elements and factors within the U.S. that impact race and ethnicity will be examined.   The course will also explore the inter-relationships of ethnicity and culture within the United States, and examine specific, major ethnic groups in the United States including Native Americans, White ethnics (Italian Americans), Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans.  Issues regarding demographics, migrations, and immigration will also be explored.


As a result of this course students will be knowledgeable about the concept and nature  of culture, and will also be knowledgeable on the impact of the diversity of culture on the United States. 

Students will also know about the social elements in the United States which involve the impact of race and ethnicity, the inter-relationship of ethnicity and culture within the U.S., and current and future issues of race, ethnicity, and culture in this country.

Students will be knowledgeable about cultural manifestations and culturally responsive pedagogy in the classroom, and in addition, students will know more about manifestations of culture and how it relates teachers can learn about their students.  Students will also have a better understanding of cultural diversity in the U.S. and in California.


As a result of this course students will do the following:

1.     Understand the concept and definition of culture

2.     Describe the historical contributions and exploitation’s of different cultures the U.S.

3.     Describe the demographics of cultural diversity.

4.     Compare the causes, characteristics, politics and impact of immigration and migration

5.     Describe the impact of race and ethnicity in the U.S.

6.     Will describe the inter-relationship of ethnicity and culture in the U.S. among White Ethnic Americans, Native Americans, Jewish Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans.

7.     Describe the needs of teachers in the classroom as it relates to cultural diversity.

8.     Describe the techniques and sources of teachers learning about their students.

9.     Describe culturally responsive teaching practices

10. Describe what teachers should learn about their students

11. Describe how teachers can learn about their students

12. Describe how teachers can use what they learn about their students (culturally responsive pedagogy)

13. Describe the concepts of culture concept that include assimilation, accommodation, acculturation/enculturation, deculturalization, pluralism, and biculturalism.  Students will also be able to describe the dynamics of prejudice, and strategies for managing cross-cultural contact.

14. Describe historical perspectives of cultural diversity in the U.S. and California.


Healey, Joseph F. (1998) Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class.  (Second Edition). Pine Forge Press. Thousand Oaks, California.

Diaz-Rico, L.T. and K.Z. Weed (1995). The Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon.

Student Responsibilities and Evaluation

Class participation & attendance      (50 points possible)

Attendance and participation is worth 50% of the course.  A student is allowed one (1) excused absence.  All other absences will result in a five point deduction per absence.  Hence, a total of 5 points are possible per class.  Arriving late to class (more than 10 minutes late) or leaving class early may  result in point(s) deductions.

Class reports (Total Worth 50 points)

For summer school session only: (5 reports, each worth 10 points each)

Every student is required to read the assigned material from the text. There will be class discussions on the assigned readings. 

In addition, from the five of the ten class sessions, each student is required to read an article from a book, professional journal, magazine or related professional source on the material assigned on 5 of the class sessions of that particular week/day of the class, and prepare a paper or report for the class based on that article.   Each paper or report is worth  10 points each.

In other words, each student can select the five topics for paper presentations from  the 10 weekly/daily class assignments.

The grading on each of the 5 papers will be rigorous.  The length, the appropriateness of the article, as well as the quality of the paper will be evaluated.  A superior paper will be a 10 score; an excellent paper will be a 9 or 8 score; a good paper will be a 7 score, an average paper will be a 6 score; a barely passing paper will be a 5 score.  Scores below 5 points will not be given. If a paper is not acceptable, the teacher may return the paper to the student so that the student may re-write it. A re-written paper, or a late paper, will not be eligible for a 10 or 9 score.

Each student will do a minimum (there is no restriction on the maximum number of pages) of a full 2 page written summary (10-12 point font type; one inch margins, single spaced, typed report) of the article and present it to class, if selected. Each paper shall include the author of the article, the title of the article, and any other notations necessary for anyone to be able to find the article.  In addition the paper shall designate the paper as Paper #1, or Paper #2, etc.  Students are required to come to class prepared to present their paper to class each week/day. Class members are to listen to each presentation, take notes as appropriate, ask questions of the presenter, and engage in a class dialogue.  Each student will turn in the assigned work to the teacher, and give a copy to each class member. 

Total   Points For Course (100 points)

Grading system:

A = 95-100 points

A-   = 94-90 points

B+ = 89-87 points

B = 86-83 points

B-   = 82-80 points

C+ = 79-77 points

C = 76-73

C-   = 72-70

D+ = 69-67

D = 66-63

D- = 62-60

F = 59 & below

Course Schedule

(Note: There will be class reports presented every week/day from class members.)

Week/Day 1     Introduction to course: texts and requirements

Discussion: The Concept and Nature of Culture

Read Healey,  Introduction and Chapter I: Diversity in the United States: Questions & Concepts- p. 1-33.

Read Diaz - Rico, The Nature of Culture and Cultures in Contact, p. 191-197

Week/Day 2     Read Healey, Chapter 2: Assimilation & Pluralism, p. 35- 66

Week/Day 3     Read Healey, Chapter 3 Understanding Prejudice & Discrimination, p. 67-106

Read Diaz-Rico, Cultural Contact p. 198-211

Week/Day 4     Read Healey, Chapter 4 Prejudice in the 1990’s: Is It Declining? P. 107-148.

Week/Day 5     Read Healey, Part III: Understanding the Past- Chapter 5: Minority Groups in Preindustrial America: African Americans, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans p. 149- 190.

Read Healey, Chapter 6: Industrialization and Dominant-Minority Relations, p. 191-248.

                        Read Diaz Rico, Cultural Diversity in the U.S., p. 212-217.

Week/Day  6    Read Healey, Part IV: Understanding the Past p. 249- 252, Chapter 7, African Americans, p. 253-302.

Week/Day 7     Read Healey, Chapter 8: Native Americans: From Conquest to Tribal Survival in Industrial Society, p. 303-354.

Week/Day 8     Read Healey, Chapter 9: Hispanic Americans: Colonization, Immigration, & Ethnic Enclaves, p. 355-414.

Read Diaz- Rico, Manifestations of Culture, Learning about Students, p. 229-260.

Week/Day 9     Read Healey,  Chapter 10: Asian American, p. 415-472; and

Chapter 11: European Americans, p. 473-518.

Read Diaz-Rico- Immigration & Migration, p. 222-228.

Week/Day 10   Read Healey, Part V: A Global View, A Summary, Some Conclusions, and a look at the future, p. 519-520, and Chapter 12: Minority – Dominant Relations in Cross-National Perspectives, p. 521-558.

                        Read Healey, Chapter 13: Minority Groups and U.S. Society: Themes, Patterns, and the Future, p. 559-578.

                        Read Diaz-Rico, Demographics, p. 218-221.


Course Bibliography and References

A basic overview of cultural diversity is provided by the text The Crossscultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook (1995) by Lynne T. Diaz - Rico and Kathryn Z. Weed.  Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

An indepth analysis of culture, race, and ethnicity in a multi-ethnic, multicultural society can be found in the text by Martin Marger’s Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives (1994); also in S. Dale McLemore’s Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1994)  (Fourth Edition) Boston: The University of Texas at Austin, Allyn and in the class text Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class by Joseph F. Healey (1995) Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge . The book Interracial America: Opposing Viewpoints  ed., by David Bender and Bruno Leone (1996) San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press, Inc. provides contrasting view points regarding cultural diversity and its’ impact on American society.

Other CLAD resources include the following:

J. Cummins.  (1996) Negotiating Identities: Education For Empowerment In A Diverse Society.  Ontario, CA.  California Association For Bilingual education.

Gollnick, Donna M. and Chinn, Phillip C. (1990)  Multicultural Education In A Pluralistic Society.  Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Publishing Company.

Phillips, S.U. (1993) The Invisible Culture: Communication in Classroom And Community On The Warm Springs Indian Reservation.  Prospect Heights, Il.  Waveland Press, Inc.

An excellent classroom resource is Discovering Through Community Resources (1978) by ed., Magdalena Benavides Sumpter.  Migrant Inservice and Curriculum Development, P.S.J.A School District, Austin, Texas.

General Bibliography

Au, K.H.  (1993) Literacy Instruction in Multicultural Settings. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Banks, James A. and  McGee Banks Cherry A.  (1997) Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives.  Third Edition. Needham Heights. MA : Allyn and Bacon.

Baruth Leroy G. and Manning M. Lee.  (1992).  Multicultural Education of Children and Adolescents.  Needham Heights. MA.  Allyn and Bacon.

Bennett, Christine I.   (1986)  Comprehensive Multicultural Education: Theory and Practice.  Newton, MA:  Allyn and Bacon.

Crawford, J. Bilingual Education: History, Politics, Theory, And Practice.  2nd Edition.  Los Angeles: Bilingual Educational Services.

Crawford, J. (1992).  Hold Your Tongue: Bilingualism And The Politics Of “English Only.”  Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Cummins, Jim. (1996) Negotiating Identities: Education For Empowerment In A Diverse Society.  Ontario, CA.  California Association For Bilingual Education.

Diaz-Rico, Lynne T and Kathryn Z. Weed.  (1995)  The Crosscultural, Language, And Academic Development Handbook.  Needham Heights, MA: Allyn And Bacon.

Early, M. “Enabling first and second language learners in the classroom.” Language Arts, 67 (October), 567-574.

Gollnick, Donna M. and  Chinn, Phillip C.  (1990) Multicultural Education In A Pluralistic Society.  Columbus , Ohio: Merrill Publishing Company.

Krashen, Stephen D. (1982) Principles And Practice In Second Language Acquisition.  Elmsford, New York: Pergarnon Press.

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