Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Thomas Turner

Committee Members

Marvalene C. Moore, Olga M. Welch, Charles H. Hargis


The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of multicultural education in educational literature over a ten year period, 1977-1987. The evolution of multicultural education since its first inclusion into the Education Index, 1977, was of major concern. The researcher wanted to know how the development of multicultural education was influenced by the scholarly writing of that period.

Two hundred-twenty articles listed under the multicultural education heading in the Education Index from 1977-1987 were used as data for this study. Sixty-two articles that appeared in journals in 1977 were used to identify the early common themes of multicultural education. The remaining years covered in this study, 1978-1987, were divided into two periods: Period I: 1977-1983 and Period II: 1983-1987. The writings taken from the articles from both periods, I and II, were used for interpretation and analysis of the evolution of the themes identified from the 1977/78 index.

Five multicultural education themes were identified: ethnic minority, culture, teachers, language, and schools. The ethnic minority theme weakened as the years progressed from 1977-1987. The interest was later focused on all ethnic groups, but this became evident under the theme culture. Culture became an umbrella for including all students regardless of race, ethnicity or socio-economic background. These five themes reflected the marginalized or non-mainstream student as the primary concern, but as societal integration increased so did the scope of multicultural education. The teacher theme continued to waffle from improving teacher education programs at the collegiate level to providing lists relating how to deal with marginalized students. The theme school was consistent on encouraging a transformative education. Among the recommendations the researcher suggested further study related to developing a multicultural education curriculum specifically for the practitioner.

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