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The educational philosopher John Dewey (1859– 1952) may rightfully be credited with laying the foundation for what we know today as multicultural education in the United States. In his classic 1916 essay “Democracy in Education,” Dewey put forth the idea that all children should receive an appropriate and equitable education and that the public school was the ideal place to learn democratic practice. Education, for Dewey, should be inclusive, participative, and experiential, thus fundamentally considering cultural diversity. Education, he surmised, should lead to an integrated society where people would not have to renounce their own values but could share them within the society at large.

This notion, that one of the major goals of education is to achieve an inclusive community where all have equal ...

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