Project Director

Smith, Margaret M.

Department Examiner

Pape, Joselyn D.; Bibler, Thomas E.; Wofford, Barbara A.; Fuller, L.C.


Dept. of Education


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Since its beginnings, the United States has been a country that welcomed diversity. "Respect for diversity is the hallmark of democracy," states Asa G. Hilliard m (1991-92). We are a society that is multicultural. This unique characteristic sets us apart from most other countries. The schools in the United States have recently been coming to terms with the realities of educating a multicultural student population. The term "multicultural education" is prominent in the field and nearly always sparks some controversy. However, there is general consensus about the need for some type of multiculturalism in America's schools. Though the United States has always been a country of diversity, its population is constantly becoming more heterogeneous. "Once a predominantly white, non-Hispanic nation, the United States will be more multicultural by the end of the 1990s, especially among youth" (Wagner, 1992, p. 43), predicts a recent article in The Futurist. McCarthy (1990) verifies this prediction by stating that " ... current, demographic projections indicate that by the third decade of the next century, a third of the American population will be minority" (p. 126). These changes are becoming increasingly evident in the schools. McCarthy also says that the majority of students in the nation's 25 largest school systems are now minorities. This phenomenon is clearly demonstrated in the Chattanooga Public Schools as well. According to Deems in the office of Attendance Monitoring and Zoning (personal communication, March 5, 1993), the tenth day enrollment figures for 1992-93 show that of the 19,982 students in the city's schools, 11,885, roughly 60%, are minorities.


I would like to express my appreciation to the people who have helped and supported me in this honors project. Thanks to Dr. Daniel Black and Jimmy McGee for challenging my attitudes and sparking my interest in this topic. Thanks to Mrs. Mary Joyce Gee, principal of Howard Elementary, and Mrs. Mary Uchytil, principal of Big Ridge Elementary, for their willingness to support this research. Thanks to Dr. Richard ·Gruetzemacher for his assistance with the statistical analysis. Thanks to Latonya Dargon, Cody Gaston, Salin Geevarghese, Marlo Ross, and my parents, Bill and Mairzy Truex, for their ongoing support and insight. Special thanks to Dr. Margaret M. Smith, project director, for going above and beyond the call of duty in her support, encouragement, and assistance of this project. This project is dedicated to the children of GlenCastle,Atlanta, Georgia, whose creativity, intellect, and love inspired me to seek a career in teaching and to my Lord Jesus Christ, who I trust for the strength to be effective in that career.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Multicultural education--Tennessee--Chattanooga


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education

Document Type



iii, 42 leaves





Call Number

LB2369.5 .T784 1993