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Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education / Edition 4

Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education / Edition 4

4.3 26
by Sonia Nieto

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ISBN-10: 020538692X

ISBN-13: 9780205386925

Pub. Date: 07/16/2003

Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.

Nieto (language, literacy, and culture, School of Education, U. of Massachusetts) explores the meaning, necessity, and benefits of multicultural education for students from all backgrounds in the U.S. The fourth edition includes case studies on sexual identity and being Islamic in the U.S.; mini-case studies addressing adoption, Sikhism, biculturalism, and


Nieto (language, literacy, and culture, School of Education, U. of Massachusetts) explores the meaning, necessity, and benefits of multicultural education for students from all backgrounds in the U.S. The fourth edition includes case studies on sexual identity and being Islamic in the U.S.; mini-case studies addressing adoption, Sikhism, biculturalism, and Asian-American students; and updates on four students introduced in case studies in the original edition. For preservice and in-service teachers and educators. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

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Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Publication date:
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7.56(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.88(d)

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Table of Contents


List of Case Studies.

Foreword by Jim Cummins.

Preface to the Third Edition.



1. Why the Case Study Approach?

2. About Terminology.


3. Racism, Discrimination, and Expectations of Students' Achievement.
Case Studies.

Unless you're mixed, you don't know what it's like to be mixed, Linda Howard.

Self-respect is one gift that you give yourself, Rich Miller.

A good education is like growing, expanding your mind and your views, Vanessa Mattison.

4. Structural and Organizational Issues in Schools.
Case Studies.

Some teachers teach from the point of view of the kid. They don't just come out and say "All righ, do this, blah, blah, blah.". They're not so one-tone voice, Avi Abramson.

If there's something in the history book that's wrong, I should tell them that it is wrong, Fern Sherman.

5. Culture, Identity, and Learning.
Case Studies.

I'm proud of myself and my culture, but I think I know what I should know, Marisol Martínez.

I'd like to be considered Lebanese, James Karam.

They just understand some things outside, but they cannot understand something inside our hearts, Hoang Vinh.

6. Linguistic Diversity in Multicultural Classrooms.
Case Studies.

It's kind of scary at first, especially if you don't know the language,Manuel Gomes.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll start getting practice with people and teachers, no matter if you talk English or Spanish, Yolanda Piedra.

7. Toward an Understanding of School Achievement.
Case Studies.

I don't want to speak too soon, but I'm pretty much on a good road here, Paul Chavez.

I just felt like the realest person on earth, Ron Morris.


8. Learning from Students.

9. Multicultural Education and School Reform.

10. Affirming Diversity: Implications for Teachers, Schools, and Families.

11. Multicultural Education in Practice.






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Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Babski27 More than 1 year ago
"Affirming Diversity" by Sonia Nieto brings to light several issues concerning racism and classism in the school system. A lot of attention is paid to biases within the school system against students of color and students who are characterized by low socioeconomic status. Unarguably, bringing these issues to attention for students who are learning to be teacher is important. However, I found the majority of the content that I agreed with to be self-evident, if not common sense. Furthermore, some of the ideas within the book are presented with a voice that would seem derogatory towards the "success group" i.e. white males. The facts seem distorted in some examples that lead the reader to believe that racism must be at play every time a minority group happened to get even the smallest degree less than white people. An example is given during a discussion of Hurricane Katrina. In a case study, participants were given a picture of an individual who was affected by Katrina and participants were asked how much money the victim should receive from the government over the course of a year to help them to recover. "African Americans would receive $1000 less than Whites, and the darker the skin, the less the victim received" (86). The way that the example is worded would lead the reader to conclude nothing but "racism is at play." However, upon closer examination, the race of the case study participants is not stated. If the participants were 100% White males, then perhaps this argument stands a chance. But for any case study that is to have merit, there must be diversity among the participants. Ergo, if the participants are a diverse group, racism cannot be the conclusion as most groups would not be considered "racist" against themselves. Also, the difference is $1000 over the course of a year. The article never states the total average sum that the victims are receiving and how relevant that $1000 is. If the government is supplying $4000 over the course of the year, the $1000 is more relevant. However, if the government is supplying $12000 over the course of the year the $1000 is less statistically relevant. On a side note, the book moves on to contradict itself. It is later stated society expects less of the Black population and does not challenge students of color to meet their potential. The aforementioned example would claim just the opposite. That example shows that we expect people of color to perform better with less given resources and to be able to recover with less means. I digress. Many examples in the book follow similar patterns, where the situation presented in the way that it is tends to be leading the reader to believe that racism is always the issue and that no other explanations are possible. The examples of "racism" are also presented in a way that anyone who buys into all of the text as if it were gold would think me a racist because I am White and I disagree.
AthaliaStoneback More than 1 year ago
I read the Third Edition, so my book was a little different, but that being said, I loved it. It was powerful to realize how much American schools favor white students. One criticism I have is that when a female case study expressed a desire to have a traditionally female career, Nieto said it was because she didn't know of any other jobs that females could have. It is possible that these girls told her that, but if they didn't, I felt Nieto was jumping to conclusions about what the girls knew they could be.
Wagtacular More than 1 year ago
Nieto provides us with a book that does what some other education books fail with. Affirming Diversity is what gets future teachers thinking. While some of the books regarding education can become extremely dry and boring, Nieto is able to give us a new perspective on the ever growing problems within the American education system. Of the chapters covered in this book, perhaps the most shocking was the chapter on racism, which gives light to the fact that it still goes on within schools even to this day. The book elaborates on the specific problems students face with the current structure. It is this presenting of such problems that make us think and feel like these problems need to be changed. It makes the reader want to be proactive and revolutionary, instead of simply accepting the current situations. Definitely a great read for any prospective teacher.
alk3668 More than 1 year ago
Affirming Divisity is a must have for educators, teachers, administrators, or anyone else in a leadership role in the education world. The division of the book into its chapters is very organized and provides sufficient and well needed information to be well prepared to step into a diverse classroom. The book dives into the many different situations that are faced everyday in the classroom. Nieto does not shy away from the topics that are sometimes put aside in society because they are uncomfortable to talk about; Racism and Discrimination are both addressed in the same chapter together. These two topics have potential to be very emotional topics and yet they are not only talked about, but discussed and dissected as to not "why," but "how" to handle these situations and lead a class steering the students away from these topics in a negative light. Also the book aids teachers in how to handle different levels of intelligence in the same classroom without making some of the students above the others. The book sheds light onto topics that we may never think about, such as being an international student, or just the awareness of the growth of international connectivity and how we should begin to care about not only the people in our country, but the people around the world. There are so many different theories that are discussed and ideas presented that help teachers with trying to decipher why students act the way they do. Some address the fact that schools may be neglecting the students' needs, while others may state the fact that students harass other students that are different than them, or maybe just the understanding that all kids come from different home lives and backgrounds and that these situations should be taken delicately when teaching. The book opens the eyes of the reader to a number of different situations that some people may not even be aware of, let alone know how to handle when confronted in a classroom setting. This reading will certainly give wisdom and knowledge to the reader not only to better their understanding of situations, but also to give them a firm grasp as to how to handle and deal with diverse learners.
B_Carter More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education by Sonia Nieto and Patty Bode talks about how multicultural education can affect a classroom. This book provides not only aspiring teachers but also seasoned veterans examples of do's and don'ts in deal with situations such as racial discrimination, expectations of student achievement, organizational issues in schools, linguistic diversity in the classroom, ect. This book is a must have for any teachers library. I enjoyed the fact that after each lesson they would provide not only a summary but activities that would help in with situations such as dealing with discrimination in your classroom, and how to avoid this from becoming a bigger issue. This book does not sugar coat anything, it tackles the main uses in your classrooms head one and provides ways to help you improve as a teacher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KatieO-SEC210 More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity discusses multicultural education in classrooms. I like the fact that provides detailed examples and case studies. It doesn't only talk about the theory behind multicultural education, it also gives you ideas and strategies to use in the classroom. I would recommend the book to future and current teachers. It also discusses aspects like discrimination, cultural identity, and linguistic diversity. I like the "What you can do" sections. I find the summaries helpful also as a way of putting all of the information about the section into a concise section. The book takes the time to discuss diverse learners like ELL (English Language Learners) and ESL (English as a second language). It also talks about students with all types of disabilities and outlines strategies to use in the classroom to help students with disabilities exceed.
William_Redd More than 1 year ago
Sonia Nieto understands the needs of diverse students and the importance of teachers learning and embracing those needs and the diversities. In Affirming Diversity, we have those diversities broken down and explained. While the book is informative, it seems to deal heavily in generalities and the theories are just mentioned and explained without any sort of ruling on how effective they are. The Spotlight sections help with more specific examples. As a textbook, Affirming Diversity is great for new teachers who will be teaching students with the issues discussed in this book. It's good that Nieto and Bode focus on a lot of the current problems these students face and give some possible ideas of how they are being handled now or ways they could be handled in the future.
Allison_Lloyd More than 1 year ago
The book Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education was written by Sonia Nieto and Patty Bode. This is the fifth edition of this book and it was published Pearson Education Inc. in 2008. This is a nonfiction book that expertly challenges and instructs educators to understand diversity in American and how to implement teaching for diverse learners in American Public Schools. The three main focuses of the book are on multicultural education with a sociopolitical context, developing a conceptual framework for multicultural education, and the implications of diversity for teaching and learning in a multicultural society. This is an informative and instructional book because it puts the reader into the perspective of diverse learners such as bilingual students, students with special needs, students with disabilities, and how students feel in the classroom. Furthermore, the book gives background information that is useful to any person in the education field. Nieto and Bode provided an insightful look into the real meaning of diversity in America. It raises issues as to how to challenge and bridge the opportunity gap in American education. Furthermore, it provides a memorable exchange of information about the structural and organizational issues in schools and how they greatly influence student learning.
CJT7803 More than 1 year ago
Sonia Nieto and Patty Bode do an excellent job on bringing to light the issues of diversity and education and what needs to be done in order to make education an equal and beneficial experience for all students. We have always been a very diverse country and our schools reflect this in the student population. "Affirming Diversity" shows how our schools are not meeting the needs of all students and are perpetuating inequalities based on race, economic status, culture and language. As a student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, it was not too long ago that I was a high school student in the public school system. Nieto and Bode point out issues which I can clearly recall occurring in my high school, and my peer's high schools as well. As an aspiring educator, I need to be able to identify these issues and do what is necessary to combat them. "Affirming Diversity" examines and analyzes these issues and also informs the reader on what needs to be done and how it can be done. Because of this, I believe that this book will be invaluable to all prospective teachers throughout their teaching careers.
EricaWalpole-UNCW More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity by Sonio Nieto and Patty Bode is an easy, excellent read! Most of the time, text books for classes are boring, dry, and tough to get through. This book is the opposite! Every week as I assigned, I could easily read the chapters and genuinely be interested in the information I was reading and comprehending. As I plan to be a high school teacher, this book also gave me insight that I think I will use in my future. With case studies numerous examples, Nieto and Bode give good examples and situations that I might face as a high school teacher. They give good advice of different ways to handle situations. Nieto and Bode discuss how important culture is to one individual and emphasize the importance of embracing diversity. If you're looking for an easy read, and a book that will take into the issues of society today, this is an excellent read!!
med_chawk More than 1 year ago
Sonia Nieto does a spectacular and beautiful job of providing teachers with means and components of giving all diverse students a priveleged and multicultiural education. What makes this book so intentional is the way Nieto pushes for not only classrooms for diverse students, but also a society in which students do not discriminate; more, discrimination is abolished. I love how Nieto provides readers with insight as to how multicultural education is important not only for a specific group of students, but for all students. Truly, she exhibits knowledge and creates a sense that all students are diverse from one another, and therefore there isn't one group that is any better or worse. I also thought it useful that she includes variuos sorts of diversity, ones that education majors aren't usually prepped for; gay and lesbian students and middle eastern students, both of these groups being discriminated against societally, were the examples I found the most useful. More than anything, Nieto is clear in her arguments and provides sufficient evidence for readers by using students' case studies and their own voices in her book. This provides readers with different lenses through which to view multicultural issues in public school. The way she discusses public school being the last and best hope for all students was moving; she takes that claim to the next level by discussing how we, as teachers, have an obligation to ensure our students that they will be receiving a stellar education in a public school setting.
JChittenden More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity by Sonia Nieto and Patty Bode addresses some of the most pressing issues in public education today. The book deals with how the social and political aspects of our country address the challenges surrounding today's multicultural student body. In the introduction, the stage is set for any perspective teacher to see how the role of new educators need to be, among other things, to make pubic education accessible to all types of learners. The book does a good job at covering the context that brings out the multicultural education practices; the history of public education and today's standards and laws are thoroughly elaborated upon to give the read a strong understand at the circumstances he/she might go into when starting a career in public education. Along with giving the cultural context or education, the book goes into classroom management, curriculum and lesson building. Each subject is presented with a multicultural student body in mind and serves as a good foundation for any perspective teacher dealing with a diverse classroom. The book is very politically and ethically sensitive; meaning that it uses all the proper terms to define students; terms like ELL (English Language Learners) and ESL (English as a Second Language) are used to group diverse learners. The definitions can be overly PC, and often the book does not provide a real life scenario to help make the terms more understandable and relevant. Overall, the book hold a lot of solid information for anyone interested in public education today and the challenges/potential solutions of a multicultural student body.
DK_210 More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity was assigned to me for one of the first Secondary Education classes I have taken, and it was a wonderful tool to use. This book goes through biases in the classroom, some of which I was aware of and some of which I was completely unaware. Not only does this book go into the problems in the classroom, it discusses the attempts by the federal and state governments to intervene, and gives the reader case studies and techniques that the reader learns from and can apply to the classroom instruction. However, one of my favorite parts of the book is the "What you can do" section, with tips from subjects such as classroom decoration to classroom management, Affirming Diversity is a great read for any secondary education student. The problems of inequality, the achievement gap, racism and discrimination are discussed in length: how they have penetrated the education system, the history of discrimination in this country, and how we, as teachers can overcome those. I recommend this book to any secondary education student looking to combat discrimination in their classroom.
Brooke_sec210 More than 1 year ago
I am currently working to become a secondary education teacher and believe that in order to be a great teacher you need to be able to understand the diversity that will be in the classroom. All students come from different backgrounds and Nieto and Bode take you through social classes, ethnicity, race, gender, achievement, and language. Affirming Diversity is a great tool for future teachers and those who are currently in the field. Multicultural education is important and something teachers need to be aware of and know how to incorporate all differences in their classrooms and lessons taught. This is a book all should read to help themselves gain a better understanding of those who depend on teachers for their education. This book also offers great suggestions for incorporation and offers answers to questions teachers and future teachers may have.
Hillary_SEC210 More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity is an inspiring text that implements the importance of multicultural education in our school systems. For beginning educators, it is a necessary tool for understanding diversity and how it relates to teaching. For most experienced educators and people in general, it would be a wakeup call. Ideas of culture, identity, privilege, learning, and achievement are meticulously and effectively brought together by Nieto and Bode. Both offer to the table the reasoning why it is so important for teachers to embrace and accept diversity not only in the classroom, but in life. The authors take a journey though the education system identifying the racism and biases found in schools, the expectations of students' achievement, and aspects of culture such as ethnicity, race, gender, language, sexual orientation, and social class. Hoping to become a teacher myself, I found this book intriguing. In a way, understanding and affirming diversity is the missing puzzle piece for most teachers and is something we should all practice. It will teach you to address and or accept multiple viewpoints and enrich our minds to bust out of our stereotypical close-mindedness.
TaylorJ14 More than 1 year ago
As a student currently enrolled in a secondary education class, Affirming Diversity offers strategies and insight into world of multicultural education. Growing up in a world and education system as diverse as ours, it is important for a text like this to provide an accurate portrayal of the issues students and teachers face on a day to day basis. Affirming Diversity does this. This text combines research, strategies, and the presentation of problems educators may face in classroom. It also defines terms frequently used when discussing culture and education. Definitions are key when discussing issues as controversial as racism, discrimination, culture, and identity. By defining these abstract terms and presenting problems and issues that educators face, Affirming Diversity is thorough guide for navigating multicultural education. As a future educator, I found the text extremely useful. Getting past the wordiness that sometimes comes along with a text like this is a small price to pay for a book as useful as this.
SJLSEC210 More than 1 year ago
I am a student in education classes and this book was required. Affirming Diversity is a great book for learning about the different types of students you will face as a teacher. Not only does Nieto discuss various learning styles and difficulties students have in classrooms, but it also gives suggestions for what teachers can do in different situations. It discusses slower learners, students with English as a second language, students with disabililities, and much more. The text is clearly written and understandable. It is very informative as well as interesting.
SNGrooms More than 1 year ago
I am a student in a secondary education classes and this book has been very informative, and got me off to a great start. This book was insightful, and it kept my attention to learn the content that I needed to. It helped me to understand the many differences in the students that you will encounter as a teacher. Not only does it tell you about the different diverse learners it also tells you what you as a teacher you should be doing to make students more comfortable. The professors that wrote this edition of the textbook did a great job making sure that the context could be understood easily. I did not realize how much standardized testing had taken over the school system. So many teachers now "teach to the test."
MPT210 More than 1 year ago
I'm currently in SEC 210- a secondary education class focused on teaching for diversity. This book very good at describing different situations and the theories behind them. Nieto gives good descriptions of the various theories involved in teaching for diversity in high schools today. However, I feel that at some points, the book can be slightly repetitive. It also doesn't include as much detail as I'd like towards actual teaching skills. It's mostly more the idea of involvement, though it's a good starting point. Overall though, this book is very good at educating future teachers about situations they may face and answering many questions they have. I've learned many things about teaching and involving multiple cultures and languages, the achievement gap, and other ways to help students.
LET-SEC210 More than 1 year ago
Nieto's Affirming Diversity was a required text for my secondary education class and I believe it should be a must read for all future teachers. Nieto does an excellent job of bringing the social, racial, and economic differences and gaps that America's school systems are struggling with. Although, in our current society the issues are brushed under the table, Nieto is clear and concise in bringing these ongoing problems to the reader's attention. The "achievement gap" is presented in the first chapter and is seen throughout the book. The main idea of this achievement gap is the fact that in general White students have continuously achieved more academically in school than Hispanics and African Americans. The fact that Nieto bluntly brings the evident issues of racisms in schools really shows readers her desire to make them aware of the degree of racism that is still prevalent in America. She also provides case studies to give her audience real examples of racial discrimination students face. Although most of her book discusses the unequal education students of color are receiving, she spends time explaining the issues with standardized testing and No Child Left Behind. The increasing rate of dropouts is a real eye-opener and standardized testing is part of the problem. So many of today's teachers are "teaching to the test" and have lacking curriculum for students because of standardized tests. This limits a teacher's creativity and is boring to students. One thing I thought was lacking in the book was the absence of visual aids, especially because most of the time she is throwing statistics at her audience. Including charts and tables would have been helpful for our comprehension of the differences in data when she talks about academic achievement for various races. It would also help her argument because giving readers a visual of the obviously unequal data.
AMG-SEC210 More than 1 year ago
I am currently enrolled in a Secondary Education class where we use "Affirming Diversity" as one of our text books. I have truly enjoyed reading the different assigned chapters and find myself even reading the questions in the text because they really help a reader understand the previously read section. The majority of education textbooks can become repetative and boring, however, this book takes a different perspective in teaching prospective teachers and uses great examples. When the text is describing a definition that may be unfamiliar to the reader there is usually an example that accompanies the definition. While a simple example may see unimportant it truly helps lead the reader through the different chapters. When studying such a significant subject such as diversity and diverse learners it is imperative for students to truly understand and comprehend the material. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this textbook and would suggest to all Education professors to use this book when teaching about diverse learners. In a course where a student may believe that diversity is common sense, this books challenges that thought and brings new material and ideas to the mind of up and coming teachers!
EEW More than 1 year ago
I am taking a Secondary Education class this semester and this book, Affirming Diversity, was one of the textbooks that was required. For classes I have to purchase books that are required and half of the time I never end up reading them due to different factors, however, for this book that was not the case. For my class we had required readings in the chapters and instead of dreading reading the book I was excited about learning something new that would benefit me becoming a future teacher. Affirming Diversity kept my interest and had new ideas about schools, teachers, students, and parents that I had not come across in other education books. In the book there are activities for personal, school, and community change at the end of every chapter. I think this was a great tool in the book, especially when trying to implement the book's ideas into the school system, or a classroom if you're a teacher. Also in the book there are What You Can Do boxes in the chapters that give ideas to the reader; what they could do to make a difference in the school, community, or classroom. In the book there are parts where the reader can have a student's take on certain issues. For example, in Chapter Nine, Learning from Students, there were statements from actual students discussing their opinions and their personal experiences about their culture, teachers they had, and their family life and how that influences their school career. This is a great insight! This information is good to know. Every good teacher wants to know what a student thinks about certain things. What works best for students when English is their second language; how to teach these students the best and easiest way in which they can understand it. This type of information is crucial when teaching diverse students and this book will help the reader come up with new ideas and better ways at teaching these students. I thought this book was worth reading and it made a difference in the way I see and interpret things about schools, students, and teaching. It was interesting and had plenty of good information. Affirming Diversity had me asking questions about why things are not changing in our school systems to help teach these diverse learners. This book is a great read and will inspire teachers and future teachers to be an encouragement to diverse learners and help them to succeed in school.
KET-SEC210 More than 1 year ago
Affirming Diversity offers supreme revelation into the realities of multicultural education. The reader becomes immediately aware that multicultural education expands past one's ethnicity and race. The assumptions that are brought into multicultural education are immediately addressed, outlining its inclusiveness, importance of quality, sociopolitical context and goals. Major issues such as the "achievement gap" and No Child Left Behind are debated, offering insight into their advantages and disadvantages. Race is defined in the most specific, truthful, and respectful way I have ever read. The descriptions of each race and ethnicity are refreshing and new rather than the typical textbook characteristics. The seven major characteristics of multicultural education that are outlined in this book offer every possible angle to compile an all-encompassing description for the subject of this textbook. Struggles such as discrimination, embracing diversity, and student achievement are discussed while Neito and Bode offer suggestions and tips for overcoming the daily and common struggles that educators face. Such an informative and enlightening perspective regarding such a relevant and current topic is essential for all education majors, as well as veteran teachers. In an field that is constantly changing and adapting to a twenty-first century world our schools must be prepared for a literal melting pot of a classroom, and this book more than prepares one for that challenge. This book is ideal for students, teachers and professors alike; you should not forgo this read!
EFP2194 More than 1 year ago
"Multicultural education is a process of comprehensive school reform and basic education for all students." Affirming Diversity by Sonia Nieto and Parry Bode explores the subject of multicultural education in the classroom. The text provides many case studies and "snapshots" as examples of classroom experiences and students, and how to apply the methods presented in the text. This text has inspired me to invest in my students completely and approach my classroom with a multicultural perspective. Student achievement is one of my biggest concerns I have as a future teacher. I want my students to succeed and love learning. I found great interest in reading Ch. 8 on understanding student achievement where the authors discussed many theories that have been presented over time as an explanation for achievement. However, the author quickly tosses those aside and reminds the reader that achievement is "a combination of personal, cultural, familial, interactive, political, relational, and societal issues" that we have to interpret for each student. Understanding each individual student's achievement through this lens is so important. I would recommend this book to future and current teachers. This text is a new and fresh perspective on multicultural education that we shouldn't miss.