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Schlesinger 2012 2


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  • 1. Arthur Schlesinger: Multiculturalism Robyn Clarke and Ava Marron Dr. Cacciatore Educational Foundations
  • 2. Before we begin…0 Think back to your elementary/ middle school days when you were learning about immigration and America.0 Which “model” of America were you taught? 0 (Keep this in mind through the rest of the slides.)
  • 3. Who was Arthur Schlesinger Jr.?• Mr. Schlesinger became a Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at the City University of NY• Close ties with the Kennedy Administration 0 Speech writer in 1960 0 Special Assistant in 1964 0 Speech writer for Robert Kennedy in 1968
  • 4. Who was Arthur Schlesinger Jr.?0 Continued to write historical and political accounts0 Won 2 Pulitzer Prizes0 He comes from a family of academics. Read what his son thought about him:0 2614044512791302523&ei=S16YS8zWENeXlAfcgo2 MAw&q=arthur+schlesinger&hl=en&view=3
  • 5. What do YOU think is multiculturalism?0 Think of the following questions:0 What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “multiculturalism?”0 How can multiculturalism be used in the classroom?0 What are the benefits of multiculturalism?0 Are there any negatives of multiculturalism?0 Is teaching a pluralist “melting pot” conception of America better than a multicultural conception of America?
  • 6. Many Different Definitions:0 Multicultural education is a shift away from the “melting pot” view of society to a respect for cultural pluralism (Vold, 2003; Webster, 1997).0 Multicultural education values, builds upon, and celebrates the language, race, culture, and ethnicity of the school community (NJDOE, 2004).0 Multicultural education should help conceptualize a vision for equity and social justice (Suleiman, 2004) and empower students to construct relevant knowledge in order to act as agents of change (Banks, 1995).
  • 7. Multiculturalism Disunity“The point of America was not to preserve oldcultures, but to forge a new American culture” (Schlesinger, 1992, 13).
  • 8. Multicultural Disunity0 Schlesinger argues that the “cult of ethnicity” has destroyed the theory of a “united” America.0 When taken too far, it emphasizes the ethnic group over the country and prioritizes differences over similarities. Then one values their minority group over the feeling of unity/integration/patriotism for one’s country.0 Schlesinger argued that this is what causes the most grievous of internal conflicts such as those in the Soviet Union and South Africa.
  • 9. Multicultural Disunity in Schools0 “The pot did not melt everybody, not even all the white immigrants” (14).0 Common Issues: 0 1) Equity, 0 2) Knowledge Construction, 0 3) Curricular Implications (social action, transformation, additive & contributions- Banks, 2004), 0 4) prejudice reduction
  • 10. Multicultural Disunity in Schools0 Schlesinger states that the issue is not to promote cultural pluralism and Afrocentric or African history. The issue is whether or not to teach this new history under specific ethnic banners and according to specific ethnic values.
  • 11. Research on Multicultural Education0 Aboud & Doyle (1996): Talk between friends with different “levels” of prejudiced attitudes. Children became significantly less prejudiced. Young children can much more easily modify racial attitudes than older students & adults0 Litcher & Johnson (1969): Multiethnic readers had a positive effect on the racial attitudes of second-grade White students
  • 12. Research on Multicultural Education0 New Jersey DoE (2004) Diversity and Multiculturalism: 0 A high-quality early childhood education program embraces the heritages of the families being served. 0 The early childhood education program must provide activities, materials, and experiences that allow and encourage young children to become aware of the differences and similarities of the members of the community in which they live. 0 It is important that the program administration and staff understand their own personal attitudes and biases, be culturally sensitive, and be willing to learn about and accept the range of differences present in the program.
  • 13. “Ethnocentric” Curricula• Article in Support of • Arguments Against Afrocentric Curriculum ‘Afrocentric Learning: • • Isolates children of color walker/afrocentric.htm • Encourages reverse discrimination • Separates instead of integrates
  • 14. Teaching “Bad History” Quotes0 “Its underlying philosophy is that America is not a nation of individuals at all but a nation of groups, that ethnicity is the defining experiment for most Americans, that ethnic ties are permanent and indelible, and that division into ethnic communities establishes the basic structure of American society and the basic meaning of American history” (16).0 “The multiethnic dogma abandons historic purposes, replacing assimilation by fragmentation, integration by separatism. It belittles unum and glorifies pluribus” (16-17).
  • 15. Outside research to support Schlesinger0 Vold, 2003: A focus on differences to the exclusion of similarities Swadner et al. (1995): In terms of early childhood education, children’s “egocentrism” make it difficult for young children to avoid superficial or stereotypical conceptions (as cited in Vold, 2003)0 Webster, 1997: The cultivation of “microcultures” could lead to the dissolution of the macroculture0 Weil, 1998: Overemphasis on and concern with issues of assimilation and separation as they relate to racial diversity
  • 16. So How Should We Teach?0 Do you think there is a balance between the melting pot theory and multiculturalism?0 How do you teach history honestly while encouraging integration and not self segregation?0 Do our schools focus enough on being a unifying force?0 How do we repair a fragmented culture in schools?
  • 17. More Schlesinger Info:0 “ A cult of ethnicity has arisen both among non-Anglo whites and among nonwhite minorities to denounce the idea of a melting pot, to challenge the concept of “one people,” and to protect, promote, and perpetuate separate ethnic and racial communities” (15).0 More quotes from Arthur Schlesinger:0 Article written shortly after the death of Arthur Schlesinger:0 /03/not_just_camelots_historian.html
  • 18. References--Asante, Molefi Kete. “Afrocentric Curriculm” Valdosta 2010--Arthur M. Schlesinger,Jjr.. (n.d.). Retrieved from Reference/Biographies-and-Profiles/Arthur-M-Schlesinger-Jr.aspx--Banks, J. (1995). Multicultural education: Historical development, dimensions, and practice. In J. Banks & C. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education. New York: Macmillan.--Banks, J. (2004). Multicultural education. In J.A. Banks & C.A. McGee Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education, 2nd ed. (pp. 3-29), New York: Macmillan.--Marklein, M. B. (2009, Augs 06). Sat scores show disparities by race, gender, family income. USA Today. Retrieved from (2004). Preschool Teaching & Learning Expectations: Standards of Quality. Retrieved July 16, 2012 from, A. M. (1992). The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society. (Rev ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.--Schlesingers multicultural dissent. (1192, July 12). The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved from, E.B. (2003). Young children’s affirmation of differences: Curriculum that is multicultural and developmentally appropriate. In J.P Isenberg & M.R. Jalongo (Eds.), Major trends and issues in early childhood education (pp. 30-46). New York: Teachers College Press--Webster, Y.O. (1997). Against the multicultural agenda. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.--Weil, D.K. (1998). Towards a critical multicultural literacy. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc..