A Multicultural Approach to Identity Development among Latina Youth
This capstone focuses on the effects of the white, euro-centric dominant curriculum on Latina youth from immigrant families and how that affects their identity development. It is of high importance to incorporate diversity into curriculum today. Oftentimes, students who are diverse from the norm are not being reached by teachers. These students are typically of color, of lower socioeconomic status, have varying English proficiency, and a different country of origin. Their lived experiences are different from the history we teach in schools. This discussion will demonstrate the need for multicultural curriculum reform and its impact on identity development. Through a wide array of research regarding identity development among Latina youth, I focus on the effects of educators, family, and society on their identity development. Using James Banks’ (1993) Five Dimensions of Multiculturalism, I will discuss how the dimensions relate with the specific factors of identity development. This overlap demonstrates the importance of implementing a multicultural curriculum, as it shows how more students are positively affected. One such way to achieve this is through employing immigrant narratives that highlight essential features of transition and negotiation, which I discuss as a specific strategy. I highlight the benefits of employing immigrant narratives in order to support positive identity development among Latina youth. Finally, I discuss the real-world events that support the need for a multicultural education reform. Today’s social and political climate evidence a time of heated discourse that have various impact on students. This evidences a need for changing the way other cultures are discussed, valued, and represented throughout society.