Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Rudolpho Martinez


The purpose of this study was to examine parent's perceptions of multicultural education, including how they thought a multicultural approach in education may effect their children. The parents were asked to complete a survey. The study was conducted in a small city which butts up against the city of Detroit. Many residents of this city are poor with about 41% of the participants coming from households at the poverty level or below. The surveyed parents had children who attended school in the one district the city has. The children were elementary, middle school or high school students. A total of 367 parents completed and returned the survey that was adapted from Ivezaj (1996) and Harp (1998) to measure parents' perceptions of multicultural education in their school district. Research question 1. To what extent do parents perceive that the concept of multicultural education is important in their children's education? The findings showed the parents to be significantly positive in regards to the purpose of multicultural education in the schools, to the use of such an approach for their children, and positive as well, in their perceptions of the current use of this approach in the school district. Research question 2. Is there a difference between perceptions of multicultural education and the ethnic background of the families? The finding was that the parent's perceptions of multicultural education did differ relative to their ethnic backgrounds as to the purpose and importance of multicultural education but not significant in terms of how they viewed the current use of multicultural education. Research question 3. Is there a relationship between perceptions of multicultural education and perceptions of the effects of multicultural education on students in terms of their affective domain? The findings indicated that parents who had more positive perceptions regarding multicultural education tended to perceive that experiences with this approach to education has positive effects on self esteem, self confidence, school performance, increasing tolerance, development of social skills, reducing prejudice, and educational equality. Research question 4. Can perceptions of multicultural education be predicted from the number of generations that families have lived in the United States, religious beliefs, family size, level of formal education of the mother and father, and level of parental involvement in the schools? There were no reliable predictors found in this study.