Addressing Critical Multiculturalism in Online Education Using a Poly-Framework Approach

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Originally Published In

K. Milheim (Ed.), Cultivating diverse online classrooms through effective instructional design. Harrisburg: IGI Global.

Page Numbers



Given the increasing number of available e-learning platforms, individuals are now able to pursue degrees and courses through an online modality. As a result, education has proliferated to include individuals from varying cultural groups, age distributions, and occupational qualifications. With the inclusion of a wide variety of groups, multicultural considerations are critical. However, from a multiculturalist and poststructaralist perspective, conventional models of multiculturalism are considered essentialist and often fastened by tradition rather than dynamic and continuously evolving practices. In this paper, the authors will apply multiculturalism to online education; present a critical perspective; and finally demonstrate a novel, dynamic and adaptable model that uses a poststructuralist viewpoint in order to meet the multicultural needs of the online student of today and possibly tomorrow. This model is derived from the key strengths of the Social Ecological Model, Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory, and Kolb's learning styles. (from publisher website)