This curriculum unit is designed to introduce elementary teachers, to the effects that diversity and culture have on the learning styles of students and teaching methods.
The unit is based on a horizontal approach(2) to multicultural education where the learning styles of each student are explored. This will be accomplished through the use of cultural universals such as housing, food and dress, as an example, where the children are introduced and given choices and opportunities to bring back from home their cultures and expressions of self. This approach focuses upon the similarities among cultures, instead of studying them vertically, where the differences between the cultures are highlighted.
The unit is to be used as a framework to the different areas of the curriculum and integrated with other curricular content areas having as their core the six developmental pathways (psychological, language, ethical, cognitive, and social) as stated by James Comer.(3)
Through out the unit a series of lessons will help the students to strengthen their self-identity, develop greater self-understanding, improve their self-concept, and to better understand themselves in light of their ethnic and cultural heritage. A different perspective and way of looking at children based on a theory of individual learning preferences and teaching styles, and rooted on the developmental pathways is offered.