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Understanding Human Differences: Multicultural Education for a Diverse America

UW-L Author: Kent L. Koppelman, Ph.D.
Educational Studies
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon

Koppelman, Kent L., with R. Lee Goodhart. Understanding Human Differences: Multicultural Education for a Diverse America. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2005.

For multicultural education/diversity as well as general education courses. Students develop conceptual understanding about complex and emotionally-charged issues of diversity in today's world. The author uses clear examples, lucid language, and engaging activities to involve students in thinking through fundamental ideas that ground their understanding of diversity. The author investigates three converging elements in his examination of human differences: individual attitudes and behaviors, cultural expectations, and institutional policies and practices. This examination provides the basis for the conceptual organization of the text.

About the Author

Kent attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned a BA and MA in English. He taught high school English for six years before receiving a teaching assistantship at Iowa State University in Ames where he earned his doctorate in Education. Following his graduation in 1979, he accepted a position at UW-La Crosse and would spend the next 28 years there teaching courses primarily in diversity and multicultural education. His first book, The Fall of a Sparrow: Of Death and Dreams and Healing published in 1994, described his grief experience following the death of his 19-year-old son in an auto accident. In 2000 a book of his essays on a variety of diversity issues was published under the title Values in the Key of Life: Creating Harmony in the Human Community.

In 2004, Allyn and Bacon published Kent’s textbook (with Lee Goodhart) entitled Understanding Human Differences: Multicultural Education for a Diverse America. The second edition of this textbook was published in 2007, and he is currently working on the third edition, scheduled for publication in 2010. Since retiring in May of 2007, Kent has written another book on his grief experience including essays, fiction, and poetry entitled Wrestling with the Angel: A Literary Anthology and Reflections on Death, Dying and Bereavement. He is currently working on an anthology on diversity issues to be published by Allyn and Bacon in the spring of 2010. Kent and his wife Jan live in La Crosse, but make frequent visits to Kansas City to visit their daughter Tess, who is a television reporter for Channel 4, WDAF.

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