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2015 | 3(47) | 90-97

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The Conceptual apparatus of the Problem of Multicultural Education in the Researches of American Scientists

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The article explores the conceptual apparatus of the problem of multicultural education in the researches of American scientists. The aim of the article is to analyze the US scientists’ approach to the definition of the main categories of multicultural education. The research has been carried out by means of theoretical methods of analysis, synthesis, comparison, generalization and systematization. The article introduces and defines the major concepts of multicultural education, among them those of culture, subculture, nation, ethnic and racial minorities, cultural pluralism and multicultural competence. In this context the scientific findings of such educators as J. Banks, G. Gay, P. Gorski, K. Grant, and S. Nieto are observed. In American social and pedagogical sciences the notion of culture is dominantly characterized as a dynamic system which combines such things as lifestyle, ethnical, racial, social, and gender identity, national traditions, lifestyle, religious belief, moral and esthetic values, behavioral models, the language of communication, the style of clothes, music, hairstyle and other characteristics, that are shared by the members of a particular group. Analyzing the nature of culture in the USA, J. Banks states that nowadays the United States consists of a shared core culture, which is called the macroculture and many subcultures, which are a part of the core culture and are called microcultures. The research proves that the category of multicultural education still lacks an accurate and clear-cut definition in the US pedagogical literature. But the majority of the scientists admit that it is a process of comprehensive school reform and basic education for all students. It challenges and rejects racism and other forms of discrimination in school and society and accepts and affirms pluralism that the students, their communities and teachers reflect. The major goal of multicultural education is to help the students to develop multicultural competence, that means knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to function within their own microcultures, the US macroculture, other microcultures, and the global community. The practical significance of the research is that its findings may be used for writing textbooks and manuals in the sphere of comparative and foreign pedagogy. The perspective of the further research is investigation of the positive experience of multicultural education at American school.


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