The cultural gifts movement was an educational campaign to encourage Americans to appreciate cultural diversity. This movement, which began in the mid-1920s and extended through World War II, aimed to overcome racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices. Its advocated celebrated the cultural contributions of immigrant and minority groups to U.S. life. Their work was a precursor to what later became called multicultural education and ethnic studies. Elements of the cultural gifts approach have reappeared over the years and have foreshadowed more recent debates regarding diversity and multiculturalism. This entry describes the rise of the cultural gifts movement, explains its efforts in the schools in particular, and assesses some of its achievements and failures.

The Emergence of Cultural Gifts

The leaders of the cultural gifts movement were liberal thinkers ...

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