Multicultural Teaching and Learning with the Internet by Paul Gorski University of Maryland, College Park email@example.com June 1, 2001 Goals Develop a deeper understanding of the Digital Divide its relation to multicultural education
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by Paul Gorski
University of Maryland, College Park
June 1, 2001
Multicultural education is a progressive approach for transforming education that holistically critiques and addresses its current shortcomings, failings, and discriminatory practices. It is grounded in ideals of social justice, education equity, and a dedication to facilitating educational experiences in which all students reach their full potential as learners and as socially aware and active beings, locally, nationally, and globally. Multicultural education acknowledges that schools are essential to laying the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of oppression and injustice.
What is the Digital Divide?
While only 39 percent of classrooms in schools with high concentrations of poverty (based on 71 percent student eligibility for free or reduced-price lunches) had Internet access in 1999, 74 percent of classrooms in schools with lower concentrations of poverty had Internet access by that time.
By January 2000, of the 242 million Internet users worldwide, 120 million are from the United States and Canada, while only 2.1 million are from Africa, 1.9 million from the Middle East, and 8 million from South America.
By 2000, only 4 percent of adults with only an elementary school education used the Internet, compared with 74.5 percent of those with at least a four-year college degree.
While about 70 percent of teachers in schools in which racial minorities comprise less than 20 percent of the student body report having Internet access in their classrooms, only 51 percent of teachers whose schools have 50 percent or more minority enrollments have that luxury.
Though the disparity in Internet usage between men and women had largely disappeared by 2000, women are still more likely to use it recreationally to pursue hobbies and personal interests related to travel, health, and cooking, while men use it largely for professional or economic endeavors like on-line investing.
By 2000, people with physical disabilities were less than half as likely to have computer access at home as people without physical disabilities; 23.9 and 51.7 percent, respectively.
By 2000, 49.6 percent of the worldwide Internet users were first-language speakers of English despite the fact that they make up only 5.3 percent of the world's total population.
CommerceNet. (2000). Worldwide internet population [online]. http://www.commerce.net/research/stats/wwwstats.html
Cyber Dialogue. (1999). The American Internet User Survey [online]. http://www.cyberdialogue.com/free_data/index.html
Global Reach. (2000). Global internet statistics (by language) [online]. http://www.glreach.com/globstats/index.php3
Kaye, H.S. (2000). Computer and internet use among people with disabilities. San Francisco, CA: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
National Center for Educational Statistics (2000a). Internet access in U.S. public schools and classrooms, 1994-1999. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Education.
National Center for Educational Statistics (2000b). Teacher use of computers and the Internet in schools. Washington, D. C.: United States Department of Education.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) (2000). Falling through the net: Defining the digital divide. Washington, D.C.: NTIA.
Smerdon, B., Cronen, S., Lanahan, L., Anderson, J., Iannottie, N., and Angeles, J.
(2001). Teachers’ tools for the 21st century: A report on teachers’ use of technology. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics.
During 1999, teachers in schools with low racial minority populations were more likely to use computers for inquiry-focused or interactive tasks like creating instructional materials, communicating with colleagues, or instructing students.
Women are still more likely to use it recreationally to pursue hobbies and personal interests related to travel, health, and cooking, while men use it largely to further professional endeavors like on-line investing.Digital Divide:Access to Progressive Pedagogy
Socio-cultural and socio-historical barriers to building technology infrastructure in Native American communities:
The Pew Internet Project found a related distrust among Black Internet users. Seventy-two percent of Black people are very concerned about businesses and other people obtaining their personal information, compared with 57 percent of White Internet users.
Group One: Access to computers and the Internet at home and school.
Group Two: Access to progressive pedagogy.
Group Three: Access to cultural capital (pushing through the socio-cultural divide).
3 Principles of Multicultural Education