United States, Multicultural Education in

A defining ideal of the United States dating as far back as the mid-19th century is that public schools could be, in the words of Horace Mann, the “great equalizer.” Mann, a key player in the push for universal, free, and compulsory education, believed that students of all cultural backgrounds and social classes should share equally in the benefits of a public education. It can even be said that the quintessential battles over public schooling from the 19th century to the present have centered on questions of inequality and injustice. These battles provide the backdrop for understanding the history of multicultural education as it developed in the United States. In this entry, some of the ongoing challenges posed by diversity in education are described.


Although cultural, ...

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