James Albert Banks is an educator who has been called the “father of multicultural education”. Banks seeks to develop awareness and skills in teachers and students for living in a culturally diverse United States and world. Banks became the first black professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and is also founding director of UW’s Center for Multicultural Education.
Banks has written numerous of books and articles about multicultural education. Through his teaching, research, and writings, Banks has continually tried to explain issues in black studies, ethnic studies, multiethnic studies, multicultural education, and citizenship education. Multicultural education is an idea, an educational reform movement and a process (Banks 1997).
As an Idea: Seeks to create equal opportunities all for all students including those from different racial, ethnic and social-class groups.
As a movement: Tries to create equal educational opportunities for all students by changing the total school environment so that it will reflect the diverse cultures and groups within a society and within the nation´s classrooms.
As a process: Its goals are ideals that teachers and administrators should constantly strive to achieve.
His 4 dimensions of multicultural education are:
- Content integration
- Knowledge construction
- Equity pedagogy
- Prejudice reduction
James Bank explains content of these dimensions in the article that can be found here: james-blank-interview
In this image there is seen 3 aspects of James Banks idea of multicultural education. First it describes “equity pedagogy”, teacher has adjusted her teaching methods to this group of students from different backgrounds. She use step by step discussion as a teaching method. Secondly, prejudice reduction is one of the Blakes important theme too. In the picture there is a world map on the wall, not just map of USA. It helps to reduce prejudice in the classroom. We are living in a same world just in different places across the earth. And third point is that the teacher in the picture is white. Blake writes that it’s not the race of the teacher, but a set of cultural characteristics that make them effective with students of color.