ERIC Number: ED362899
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct-8
Reference Count: N/A
Multiculturalism in the 90's: Teacher and Student Perspectives.
This informally written, first-person account describes the self-education in multiculturalism of a community college English instructor, telling in detail how he broadened his knowledge and understanding in preparation for teaching a 16-week course on Meso-America. The instructor, a generalist by profession, began by working with a mentor to design the course syllabus. The instructor received a grant from his institution, Illinois Central College (ICC) to spend six weeks in Mexico, three of them at the Spanish Language Institute in Cuernavaca. His stay gave him an aesthetic appreciation for a culture much different from his own. The course developed out of these activities focuses on the Mayans and Aztecs; historical periods from the original encounter with the Spanish to the Mexican Revolution and the Mexican Revolution to the current Central American crises; Meso-American artists; social structures; politics; and a variety of other areas. Surveys were sent to students who had taken the first-year Chinese culture class taught at ICC to discover how they had changed from their course experience. Twenty of the 31 students who returned surveys indicated that the course had changed their perspective. Some students also indicated that they were more aware of stereotypes and misinformation about China. Students, writing in their journals for the course on Meso-America, preferred to write about how the course is being taught rather than discussing course content and writing their impressions of it. Issues that still need to be considered about teaching non-Western or third-world cultures include: which cultures should be studied; how to persuade faculty members that multiculturalism is not a fad; and how professors can change their attitudes about other individuals, groups, or societies. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: English Teachers; Illinois Central College; Mesoamerica
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Midwest Regional Conference on English in the Two-Year College (Madison, WI, October 7-9, 1993). For a related paper, see CS 214 086.