Mosaic from Toward a Better Balance cover

Toward a Better Balance

Curriculum Guide for
Multicultural Education

Volume I, Grades K-6
Volume II, Grades 7-12

Project description | Sample activity "Family Folklife Interview"

Toward a Better Balance: Curriculum Guide for Multicultural Education, Volumes I and II
are elementary and secondary curriculum guides for multicultural education produced for Pennsylvania schools in 1987-88.

Client goal

Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives K. Leroy Irvis, through the Legislative Office of Research Liaison, commissioned a model multicultural curriculum in 1987 to begin training the state's secondary teachers to integrate a more multicultural perspective into existing curricula.


The Pennsylvania Ethnic Heritage Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh created a series of interdisciplinary lessons for secondary grades that explored the role ethnicity plays in the lives of everyone. After Speaker Irvis saw the first edition, he asked in 1988 that an elementary guide be produced as well. Through readings and activities in the elementary (Volume I, 227 pages) and secondary (Volume II, 255 pages) guides, students apply creative, analytical research methods to a variety of primary and secondary sources to understand and appreciate the role of culture at four levels of society:

Try a sample activity from Toward a Better Balance: Family Folklife interview


Each State Representative was given guides to distribute to schools in their districts. Inservice workshops continue to be offered state-wide. Many districts, including the Pittsburgh and Lancaster Public Schools, have made Toward a Better Balance part of their official curriculum. For ordering information, contact:

Pennsylvania Ethnic Heritage Studies Center
4G31 Forbes Quadrangle
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260

Sue's role

Wrote, illustrated and designed both volumes of Toward a Better Balance and conducted inservice workshops from 1988 to 1991.

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