ERIC Number: ED338466
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
One's Peers or "The People"? Audience(s) in Multi-Cultural Teaching.
This paper probes the challenges of a white feminist instructor in teaching a course, "Native North American Indian Literatures: An Introduction," at the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Charlotte. A teacher's major audiences are typically one's students and one's peers, the tenure and publication audience. However, multicultural teaching has other audiences as well, such as the communities addressed in the teaching. The UNC-Charlotte English Department's multicultural policy is essentially additive rather than inclusive: a few new staff, a few new offerings. Because the instructor is not part of the culture about which she teaches, she enlisted the aid of American Indian colleagues outside the university in designing the course. Components of the course include community service, attendance at a pow-wow, a journal, a research paper, and Indian guest speakers. The instructor found pressures from critical colleagues within the institution, who perceived multicultural teaching as lacking intellectual rigor. Various requests for travel pertaining to enhancing the course were denied. The instructor believes that a multi-cultural advisory board should be set up for the university in the community. Students seemed indifferent to the fact that a non-Indian was teaching American Indian material. The instructor observed a lack of activities and services for American Indian students on campus. A commitment to multicultural education should include the community of study as an audience of peers. (KS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (5th, Minneapolis, MN, April 13-15, 1991).