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Cindy Bailey

Markham (Ont.)/ Pembroke Publishers, 1991. 104pp, $14.95
ISBN 0-921217-63-3. CIP

Reviewed by Gail Lennon.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

Cindy Bailey has been a classroom teacher for more than fifteen years. She has worked with elementary grades and special education students. Bailey was inspired by attending several work­shops on multiculturalism to produce a resource book that would help teachers to make multiculturalism a part of their curriculum. With assistance from the Secretary of State, she worked with teachers and administrators from several school boards throughout Canada to ensure that Start-Up Multiculturalism would reflect the specific needs of all parts of the country.

This well-organized resource book contains thirty-one activities intended to be integrated into curricula in grades 5 through 8. These classroom-tested ideas emphasize social studies/language arts, and religious education/moral values. The activities are clearly outlined, provide lots of variety, and are sup­ported by black-line masters and an excellent annotated resource list.

As well, the author has provided multicultural aims, skills objectives and very detailed procedures for conducting each of these activities. An introduction provides rationale for teaching about multiculturalism and specific proce­dures for getting started.

The author is to be commended for what is obviously a very thoroughly researched handbook. However, I did have some reservations about the specificity of the activities. In this day of emphasis upon meeting the specific needs of children at all levels of ability and the whole language philosophy, a book that offers such step-by-step uniformity of process fails to acknowl­edge those individual differences that form the entire point of the book.

The activities have merit as part of a broader study of multiculturalism that would allow children to take a more active part in the thematic planning and would provide both teachers and students with more scope for making choices and formulating their own learning experiences.

However, if this book motivates the timid instructor to explore this vital topic, it has not been written in vain. It is to be hoped the more accomplished professional will use these ideas as starting points for planning multicultural learning experiences with his/her students.

I would suggest the purchase of this book as a resource for the professional reading section of the school library and would caution against teachers' mind­lessly following any or all of the activi­ties without concern for what is rel­evant, appropriate and of interest to their students.

Gail Lennon, Lambton County Board of Education, Sarnia-Clearwater, Ont.
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