Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Caulfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Ron Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Doug Davidson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Gunilla Holm

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The focus of this thesis is a socio-historic analysis of the multicultural education movement and its relationship with Higher Education. This research has four objectives: (1) to identify the multicultural education movement as a social movement; (2) to identify the historical background of the multicultural education movement and explain its relationship to the social movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s; (3) to identify and discuss the social theories developed to explain and understand these movements and their relationship to each other; and (4) to review and analyze data gathered concerning the impact of the multicultural education movement on higher education.

The research gathered has shown that the multicultural education movement arose out of the socio-political climate of the 1960s and early 1970s, and occurred as a result of, and in conjunction with, other social movements of that time. Even though recent research found that over half of all colleges and universities in the United States have instituted cultural and ethnic study programs and more than one-third have a multicultural general education requirement, they also show that the issue is by no means resolved, and will remain a high priority for some time to come.