(Almost) Everything I Need to Know about Multiculturalism I Learned on Jury Duty




Smith, Shanna

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Caddo Gap Press


In this article, the author states that during her experience on jury duty--spent with a melting pot of socially-conscious citizens--she reflected upon the implications for education and her own teaching practice. Three major themes centering around her understanding of multiculturalism surfaced: (1) Defining multiculturalism; (2) The cult of personality; and (3) Teaching multiculturalism. The author describes her understanding of the impact of multiculturalism on teachers and education. These include the findings of her research on the issue through three questions sent to eight colleagues, asking them to define multiculturalism, describe how multiculturalism affects their professional work, and who should teach multiculturalism. She examines the flexibility of society in its perception, the adjustment of colleagues in teaching to the social needs of their students, and the effect of a minority background on the tendency to empathy. She discusses the acceptance of differences as a strategy for successful coexistence. Finally, she asserts that as the U.S. is the quintessential melting pot of culture, it is time that American educational practices reflect true multiculturalism.



teaching methods, personality traits, multicultural education, definitions, social attitudes, culturally relevant education, minority groups, empathy, cultural differences, cultural awareness


Smith, S. (2013). (Almost) everything I need to know about multiculturalism I learned on jury duty. Multicultural Education, 20(2), pp. 40-42.


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