The term “melting pot” is believed to have been introduced by the Jewish play writer Israel Zangwill in his Pre-World War I play about the convergence of people and cultures in a single community. The phrase became a cultural and scholarly idiom to signify the belief that different culture/ racial/ ethnic groups can form one homogenous group; each culture is viewed as equally contributing and equally represented. The “melting pot” view of the cultural amalgamation is known in the social and behavioral sciences as the fusion model.
However, the term “melting pot” has become a heated topic of debate among scientific communities, especially in the area of psychology. The recent scholarship on multiculturalism and diversity issues has caused the concept of the melting pot to be questioned. Racial and ethnic minority scholars argue that forming one culture group from many varied groups is an illusion that contributes to continued ethnocentrism and oppression of minority groups that do not fit the cultural group “standard”.
Furthermore, social scientists emphasize that even within one particular group exist marked within-group differences based on individuals’ particular country of origin, their genders, socioeconomic class, religious beliefs, and level of ability.
The “melting pot” theory continues to infuse the secondary education curriculum. Students learn from a mainstream-centric curriculum that suggests that contributions of diverse groups are subsumed under the umbrella of American values and practices.Multicultural scholars have suggested that a curriculum that supports the “melting pot” views provides the majority students with a false sense of superiority as well as the lack of awareness of unique contributions of individuals from other cultural groups. Moreover, the “melting pot” view contributes to experiences of marginalization of students from minority cultures.
For instance, one outcome of the “melting pot” hypothesis is the colorblind perspective in ducation, which continues to perpetuate students’ attitudes of racism and ethnocentrism by emphasizing that “color does not matter” and that “people are the same”. Hence, the “melting pot” ideology is becoming less acceptable both in larger society and within many schools across the United States (U. S. ).
The population of schoolchildren in the U. S. is more heterogeneous with regard to its racial and ethnic composition than ever before.Immigration is the major contributor to this increased diversity of U.
S. schoolchildren. Living in a multicultural society, U. S.
schools must play an essential role in preparing U. S. children for life in this diverse, complex, and interdependent world. Adjusting the educational structure of the school system to reflect the newest shifts in classroom composition will work toward building a multicultural education to ensure that students and families from all cultures will have skills to function together.
Through a multicultural education that does not support the idea of the melting pot, children can learn about and value the diversity that exists in the U. S. and the world. Children can not only become aware of their own cultural ancestry but also become sensitive to other cultures, knowledgeable about viewpoints other than their own, and prepared to live in an increasingly pluralistic society.
School psychology practices that emphasize multiculturalism can similarly focus on the importance of children’s culture heritage and the unique contributions of each culture to children‘s worldview and well-being. In-school and extracurricular counseling-related activities must be inclusive of all students and services emphasize collaboration with minority teachers and staff. In this way, school culture and school services will be more receptive to the needs of all individuals and more affirming to the necessary value of human diversity.
Cite this Melting Pot in School
Melting Pot in School. (2017, May 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/melting-pot-in-school/