The Center has been awarded a grant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to implement the project, The Synthesis and Dissemination of Knowledge about Multicultural Education. This project is being implemented jointly with the Common Destiny Alliance (CODA) at the University of Maryland. The project began July 1, 1995 and will continue through June 30, 1999. Some of its major activities are described below.
- Identifying Major Studies and Reports
- Research Synthesis Papers and Consensus Panel
- National Conference
The staff of the Center reviewed over 200 research studies and reports from major journals and databases on multicultural education. Written abstracts of 126 studies were prepared and coded using these categories: teacher beliefs and practices, student achievement data, effective instructional practices, ethnic and racial groups targeted, philosophical perspectives, teacher education programs, and extent of community involvement.
These research abstracts were used to help prepare research synthesis papers, served as a source to identify exemplary programs in multicultural education, and will provide the basis for the development of the REPS (Research and Effective Practices Sources) data base in multicultural education.
Four nationally known scholars were commissioned to prepare research synthesis papers on these topics: Enriching the Dialogue Between Cognition and Multicultural Education: Shared Themes of Knowledge, Conceptualization, Complexity, Situativity, and Individuation, by Patricia Alexander; Educational Freedom and Justice: Creating Empowering School Cultures, by Peter W. Cookson, Jr.; Multicultural Education Effects on Student Achievement, by Geneva Gay; and Improving Intergroup Relations, by Walter Stephan.
Each paper reviews major research studies and programs in multicultural education, develops a theoretical framework, and identifies research questions that need to be further studied. These papers were presented to a Consensus Panel of experts in a meeting held May 4 through May 7, 1996. The Consensus Panel critiqued the research syntheses and drafted design principles for effective practice. These design principles are now being revised. The design principles will be applied in the second year of the project to the multicultural education programs that have been identified.
Two national experts are reviewing each of the synthesis papers for accuracy and thoroughness. After the revisions are completed the synthesis authors will revise their papers.
A national conference, Achieving Educational Excellence in Our Multicultural Society was held in Washington, D. C. from June 27 through June 29, 1996 to focus attention on the research and effective practices identified by the project. Over 140 teachers, administrators, and scholars from throughout the United States and Bermuda attended the conference. The authors of the research syntheses presented their papers. Respondents and small group breakout sessions followed the presentations. Demonstrations of effective practice included showcasing eight model programs to increase the academic achievement of ethnic minority and low-income students.