There has been increasing concern about the academic failure and the school dropout rate of U.S. children and adolescents, particularly those with serious emotional disturbance (SED). Although the rates of identification, placement, and achievement of children and adolescents with SED are strongly corrclarcd with gender, race, and other cultural dimensions, these are typically not addressed in our educational system. The growing diversity in students has increased the potential for misidentification and provision of inappropriate educational and related services to these children and adolescents. Target 3 of the National Agenda for Achieving better Results for Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance deals with issues involved in providing culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services to students with SED. Within the context of this target, we define the concepts of diversity, culture, cultural competence, and cultural sensitivity before discussing historical and current approaches to multicultural education. The limitations of current approaches indicate the need for a new paradigm of multicultural education. A holistic model of multicultural education is sketched, and the applications, examples of best practices, and implications of this model for the education of diverse learners are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health