Teaching Multicultural Education

Multicultural education is the development and application of teaching methods for students from diverse backgrounds. Read on to learn more about academic requirements, career outlook and salaries for this field.

Is Teaching Multicultural Education for Me?

Career Overview

Students in the United States, especially within cities, represent a variety of cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and the number of minority students is growing. Multicultural education focuses on identifying and implementing educational approaches that are inclusive of these individuals. You can learn how to apply these approaches in a multicultural teacher education programs; such programs may be paired with bilingual education studies.

Instructors who teach students with a mixture of backgrounds need to understand beliefs and behaviors within the context of different social traditions, values and family systems. For this reason, multicultural education course topics may include cultural diversity, gender studies and linguistics, in addition to goal setting and lesson planning.

Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of elementary teachers is projected to grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Middle and high school teachers should experience growth of 12% and 6%, respectively. Over the same period, employment for adult literacy educators is predicted to increase by 9%. If you seek teaching opportunities in inner-city and rural areas, as well as specialize in subjects such as English as a second language (ESL), you should see the best opportunities.

As reported by the BLS in May of 2012, elementary teachers earned a median yearly salary of $53,400. Middle school and secondary teachers earned $53,430 and $55,050, respectively. Adult literacy instructors received $48,590 in median annual wages that same year.

How Can I Work as a Multicultural Teacher?

Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate degree programs in multicultural education aren't commonly offered, but you might find a bachelor's program in early childhood multicultural education or an education major that offers relevant classes. Through coursework, you can learn to teach subjects like writing and reading, assess students' development, design new curricula and understand the roles of nutrition, health and family in the learning process. Upon graduating, you can seek licensure and employment. Depending on your major, you might be limited to the grade levels you can teach.

Graduate Programs

Master's and doctoral degree programs in this field can prepare you to become a specialist in teaching diverse populations. After earning a bachelor's degree, you can apply to a Master of Education program. Through coursework, you may explore education standards worldwide and statistical applications in education research. You can teach in schools up to the high school level with this degree, and you might also find work at a community college.

To teach this subject at most postsecondary institutions or to conduct independent research on education methods, a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in multicultural teaching is required. To be considered for acceptance, you likely need a master's degree in an education-related subject and a teaching license.

Topics of Study

Graduate multicultural education programs may include coursework in research design, urban education, ESL, educational anthropology, parenting roles, literacy standards, multiethnic literature and educational policy, as well as curriculum theory and pedagogy in teaching. Additionally, you might enroll in courses that focus on education strategies for African American, Native American or Native Alaskan students. Multicultural education programs also typically require you to complete a practicum so you can gain hands-on experience in real classrooms.

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