Learning Needs in the Multicultural Classroom Implications to Equitable Teaching

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Gracel Ann S. Saban


This qualitative study identified the learning needs of students in the multicultural classroom. The study utilised a semi-structured interview guide and data were gathered through focus group interviews of six ethnic groups, namely: Asian, Black, Filipino, Filipino-American, Hispanic, and White. Each group was comprised of eight to twelve members purposively sampled from the student population of one multicultural university in the Philippines for the collegiate year 2012-2013. The themes that emerged from the Qualitative Data Analysis of interview transcripts showed that learning needs in the multicultural classroom are culturally responsive teaching, teacher immediacy behaviours, differentiated instruction, and teacher language competence and instructional clarity. It is thus recommended that teachers rethink their approaches so that students from diverse cultural and language backgrounds will have equal learning opportunities. Further, it is deemed imperative to look into the curriculum and instruction to bring about changes in the way educational programmes are conceptualised, organised and taught.


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