Multicultural and Anti- Racist CurriculumBy: Reena Bhagani, Siddharth Lobo, and Grace Wong
Sleeter & McLaren This is an introduction to the book “Multicultural Education, Critical Pedagogy, and the Politics ofDifference”. Sleeter and McLaren highlight the conceptsof multicultural education and critical pedagogy and the connections between them, for the purpose of transforming current classroom practices.
Multiculturalism• Demands for school reform by groups of color (beginning with African-Americans), women, individuals with disabilities and LGBT groups
Critical Pedagogy:• An educational advancement empowering teachers and students towards change in areas of social relationships, equality, and democracy.
Multicultural Education & Critical Pedagogy Both Sleeter and McLaren emphasize that embracing critical pedagogyand multicultural education is not a list of practices to add to an already existing system but rather an attitude or point of view to “confront and engage the world critically and challenge power-relations”. The context of the book itself stems from the struggles schools arefacing in confronting white supremacist views. The authors describe the importance of both, stating that multicultural education and critical pedagogy complement one another in raising awareness and criticizing global capitalism and its social injustices in educational settings, including the school atmosphere.
The Need for ActionThe authors note when looking at what multicultural education in some of today’s schools, it is criticized as moving away from its initial stance of assessing racism in the classroom asmany teachers have directed their attention to the celebration of cultural festivals and foods as the definition of multicultural education. Sleeter and McLaren stress that it is crucial to integrate “social critiques of oppression” along with critical pedagogy and into multicultural education. They are in accordance when they say that multicultural education and critical pedagogy “require action”. Students and teachers both need to take their experiences and reflect upon them critically to build a change in social forms of oppression. Understanding that they themselves are both white and have benefitted from white supremacy, the authors encourage other “whites” to not feel guilt but rather critically assess their privileges and use their knowledge to further the movement towards social justice. The authors last point is their belief that having an open dialog and collaborating with others is the means of truly bridging the gap of knowledge and allows for a praxis of social justice through confrontation and communication.
The Importance of Multicultural Education By Geneva Gay- Demographics, social conditions, and changes in political circumstances havecaused multiculturalism in schools and society to take on new complexity and practicality (Gay, 2003-4, p. 315). - “Domestic diversity and unprecedented immigration have created a vibrant mixture of cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and experiential plurality” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 315). - “Unfamiliar groups, cultures, traditions, and languages can produce anxieties, hostilities, prejudices, and racist behaviors among those who do not understand the newcomers or who perceive them as threats to their safety and security” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 315).
The Importance of Multicultural Education- Developing instructional programs and practices that respond positively and constructively to diversity is important (Gay, 2003-4, p. 315). - “The lack of a genuine community of diversity is particularly evident in school curriculum that still do not regularly andsystematically include important information and deep study about a wide range of diverse ethnic groups” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 316). - Multicultural education is important for improving the academic success of students of colour and preparing all students for democratic citizenship in a pluralistic society (Gay, 2003-4, p. 316).- Educators often perceive multicultural education as a luxury, it has not become a central part of the curriculum that is regularly offered to students, and it often targets students of colour (Gay, 2003-4, p. 316).
The Importance of Multicultural Education the worth of multicultural - Many educators are also unconvinced about education to developing academic skills and to building a unified community (Gay, 2003-4, p. 316).- They believe that multicultural education is separate content that must be addedusing separate lesson, units of courses (Gay, 2003-4, p. 316). - “Multicultural education is more than content; it includes policy, learning climate, instructional delivery, leadership, and evaluation” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 316). - “Making explicit connections between multicultural education and subject- and skill-based curriculum and instruction is imperative” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 317). - Teachers must develop an intentional and orderly process for including orderly content such as introducing different ethnic groups and their contributions on a rotating basis or using examples of different ethnic experiences to explain subject matter (Gay, 2003-4, p. 317).
The Importance of Multicultural Education - “A persistent concern of curriculum development in all subjects is helping students understand the realities of the social condition and how they came to be as well as adequately representing these realities” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 318). - Curriculum designers have been more exclusive than inclusive with the range of ethnic and cultural diversity that exists with society (Gay, 2003-4, p. 318). - “They gloss over social problems and the realities of ethnic and racial identities, romanticize racial relations, and ignore the challenges of poverty and urban living in favor of middle-class and suburban experiences” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 318).- School curriculum needs to include equitable representations of diversity byacknowledging the contributions of different ethnic groups to different areas (Gay,2003-4, p. 318).
The Importance of Multicultural Education - “Many ethnically diverse students do not find schooling exciting or inviting; they often feel unwelcome, insignificant, and alienated” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 319).- “Students from different ethnic groups are more likely to be interested andengaged in learning situations that occur in familiar and friendly frameworks thanin those occurring in strange and hostile ones” (Gay, 2003-4, p. 319).- “Multicultural education will teach students content about cultures andcontributions of many ethnic groups and use a variety of teaching techniques thatare culturally responsive to different ethnic learning styles (Gay, 2003-4, p. 319).- Students perform better in school when there is greater congruence between theircultural background and their school experiences (Gay, 2003-4, p. 320).
“Destiny Has Thrown the Negro and the Filipino Under the Tutelage of America”: Race and Curriculum in the Age of Empire“Mass public schooling, for the colonizers, served as a resolution to the White man’s burden,and persists as a legacy of Western imperialism in many postcolonial nations” (Coloma 2009)“New Directions in American Educational History,” Rubén Donato and Marvin Lazerson (2000) pointed out that there is “almost no synthesis or intersection across the communities [of color];much of the history has been written in isolation—with Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans and others writing from or about only their particular communities” (Coloma 2009)Adult White colonizers in America had influence over Negro people and after the war they had control of the Filipinos. The colonizers set up a system similar to how black people were educated and treated. Since the United States had power over the Philippines Filipinos had very few options. The first one is they could assimilate the culture of the white teenager, Thesecond was to be like the isolated natives at a boarding school isolated from your culture andwhiteness. The third one is that of the chinese person not allowed school access and the forth option is that of the African American doing manual-industrial training. Since whiteness, extinction or exclusion were not an option they took the last one. (Coloma 2009)
“Destiny Has Thrown the Negro and the Filipino Under the Tutelage of America”: Race and Curriculum in the Age of Empire “We should heed the lesson taught us in our reconstruction period whenwe started to educate the negro. The education of the masses here mustbe an agricultural and industrial one, after the pattern of our Tuskegee Institute at home” (Coloma 2009) In addition, Atkinson intended to make the U.S. public school system in the Philippines distinct from the Spanish version that existed before.Hewanted a secular and practical education that was available to morestudents with English as the primary language of instruction. In his 1903 annual report, Atkinson indicated that during the Spanish era, formal schooling from primary to the university was limited to Spanish, nativeelite, and mestizo (mixed-race) children, and was controlled by Catholic religious orders. (Coloma 2009)
“Destiny Has Thrown the Negro and the Filipino Under the Tutelage of America”: Race and Curriculum in the Age of Empire In many instances negative comments and stereotypes were placed on the oppressed individuals by the white supremacist views in U.S. . Not only was it verbal but many were psychological through the use of images.“The captured images on the photographs used byU.S. colonial administrator and scientist Dean Conant Worcester worked precisely to perpetuatethe imperialist visualization of Filipino/as as racially Black” (Coloma 2009). The images capturedalong with comments put down the Filipinos and established power by the white colonizers. AlsoAfrican Americans looked at Filipinos in a negative view as trying to steal jobs. To be the lowest of the low devastated the Filipino people. Also having many of the U.S. colonial administrators believe that “the quickest and surest way” for Filipino/as to “arrive at an understanding of Western civilization” was “to live among Americans in the United States and be taught inAmerican schools” (Racelis & Ick, 2001, p. 224). By studying and living abroad, Filipino/as were “to gain knowledge of American life, education, and government” (Coloma 2009). This helped enforce the power that America was superior and if you had money or skill you should move to American and leave your country. Teachers who were selected and who were Filipino were allowed to work in American and come back to praise and teach in the Philippines. Filipino instructors would be influenced to say and lecture on how great America is and how it saved them from Spain and the plans they have for it. Also because American had so much power they focused school more on manual-industrial curriculum which benefited themselves as they could export goods from the Philippines to other interest groups for consumption. This self- interest along with other factors discussed help marginalize the Filipino people.
Required Readings ConnectionsIn the required readings Multiculturalism and Anti-Racist curriculum is the main focus. Culture, sexuality, gender and class are all important issues connected to multiculturalism. In the article by Asher it deals with teachers and teacher education through preservice of educating teachers. Interesting information is provided such as how their a “gap between teachers and students” and how it continues to grow (Ladson-Billings, 1999; Sleeter, 2001) This is evident more in todays society. In the article in the Globe and Mail the Toronto District School Board had a leaked memo to staff indicating that they are looking to hire more males and racial minority people. As a result, this raises concerns of fair hiring policy and keeping schools representative of the school population as well as showing more multiculturalism and diversity among the staff. In Asher’s article it is mentioned that “Preservice students come to the craft of teaching with little cross-cultural experience and knowledge and tend to have limited visions of what multicultural teaching entails” (Sleeter, 2001).
Required Readings Connections This poses a problem because schools try to foster and promote multiculturalism even though they may not be successful at it. In the Dei andStanley article it discusses how racism is in schools and how children pick up on subcultures and acquire behaviors. It also mentioned “the two most powerful poisons crippling our school systems today, namely, those of race and poverty” (Dei, George J. Sefa & Doyle_Wood, Stanley. (2006). The control and dominance ends when “it is the educator and more accurately the deep curriculum that determines which bodies should speak and which should not,what is considered speech and what is not, what should be spoken for how long, in what form and in what language” (Dei, George J. Sefa & Doyle_Wood, Stanley. After all students should have the opportunity for “learning and succeeding well in society, both socially and academically”Dei, George J. Sefa & Doyle_Wood, Stanley. (2006). Hopefully we as teachers and educators can play a positive role in multiculturalism and eliminating racism in schools and society by empowering teachers and students so that democracy and equalitycan continue to grow so that disadvantage groups and people will also be able to benefit. This can be done with the help of society and by - Teachers through "developing an intentional and orderly process for including orderly contentsuch as introducing different ethnic groups and their contributions on a rotatingbasis or using examples of different ethnic experiences to explain subject matter