At Tucson Unified, we recognize the value of multicultural education in supporting student success. Multicultural education acknowledges that the ways in which students learn and think are deeply influenced by their cultural identity and heritage and that to teach culturally diverse students effectively requires educational approaches that value and recognize their cultural backgrounds. In this way, multicultural education aims to improve the learning and success of all students, particularly students from cultural groups that have been historically underrepresented.
In practice, educators modify or eliminate educational policies, programs, materials, lessons, and instructional practices that are either discriminatory toward or insufficiently inclusive of diverse cultural perspectives.
Why do we need a Multicultural Curriculm?
- To prepare students for diverse workplaces and multicultural environments
- To expose biases, stereotypes, and policies that can restrict achievement
- To ensure that content is fair, accurate, and inclusive
- To accommodate the diverse teaching and learning styles of teachers and students
- To help students, faculty, and staff become advocates for multicultural awareness
The district's Multicultural Framework for Student Academic Success is articulated through the district policies and initiatives. Tucson Unified recognizes the growing diversity of cultures in the district and commits itself to ensure that all aspects of policies, curricula, practices, programs, and services promote intercultural understanding and addresses the needs of students who have been historically marginalized or underrepresented.
Tucson Unified's multicultural curriculum uses the Anti-Bias Framework, developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and culturally responsive teaching as a basis for effective anti-bias education at every grade level. The anti-bias anchor standards provide a set of age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains: identity, diversity, justice and action.
The curriculum, which is inclusive of the histories, cultures, and contributions of diverse groups of people, enriches learning for all students, preparing them to work toward structural equality and equity by engaging them in critical thinking around issues of racism, sexism, classism, linguicism, ageism, genderism, and more.
|TUSD Multicultural Framework for Student Academic Success
|Multicultural Content and Resources
||Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies
- Essential Questions
- Enduring Understanding
- Student-centered classrooms
- Positive learning communities
- Academic identity development
through relevant content integration
- Rigor through critical thinking integration
- Knowledge co-creation
- Student engagement through social justice
Optimal Learning Environment
Adapted from Teaching Tolerance
K-5 Student Outcomes:
Emphasis on Identity and Diversity
Middle School Student Outcomes:
Emphasis on Identity, Diversity, and Justice
High School Student Outcomes:
Emphasis on Identity, Diversity, Justice, And Action
Definition of Terms
Culture: the totality of ideas, beliefs, values, knowledge, language, and way of life of a group of people who share a certain historical background. Manifestations of culture include art, laws, institutions, and customs.
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: an educational approach that responds to student's social, emotional, and intellectual needs by incorporating student social and cultural assets into the curriculum.
Diversity: the unique characteristics that all persons possess that distinguish them as individuals and that identify them as belonging to a group or groups.
Intercultural Proficiency: the ability to successfully communicate, understand, and interact among persons with differing assumptions that exist because of ethnic and cultural orientations.