Diversity is at the heart of today's education debates. Often, school policies and programs designed to encourage and embrace diversity are met with public ire and a deep misunderstanding of how diversity serves learning. This work explains how diversity is an essential element in classroom settings. As children from around the world continue to pour into U.S. classrooms, an understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity in its broadest sense moves to the foreground. In a post 9/11 world, the benefits of understanding diversity take on urgent meaning. The introductory chapter, "Participating in Democracy Means Participating in Schools," sets the tone for the discussion to follow. As the geographic backgrounds of immigrants becomes increasingly diverse, religion must be added to previous discussions of race, ethnicity, and language. Thus, the need for the public to understand how shifts in population affect schools, makes this work a vital resource for anyone concerned with education today.
Terry A. Osborn specializes in Educational Linguistics and Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut. Dr. Osborn taught public school German for six years at the high school level, including one year also at the middle school level. He was on the faculty of Queens College, City University of New York, for three years.
1 Introduction: Participating in Democracy Means Participating in Schools 2 Emergent Possibilities for Diversity in Reading and the Language Arts 3 Bilingual Education: Good for U.S.? 4 Accent and Dialects: Ebonics and Beyond 5 A Case Study in Cultural and Linguistic Difference: The DEAF-WORLD 6 Foreign Language Education: It's Not Just For Conjugation Anymore 7 Multicultural Education Is Good for the United States Beyond Sensitivity Training 8 Policies for a Pluralistic Society 9 What September 11Also Teaches Us