ERIC Number: ED407845
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
What's In a Name? An Argument Against "Multicultural" Education.
Spina, Stephanie Urso
It is argued that what is proposed currently as multicultural education is little more than a series of superficial nods to subordinate groups that often celebrate deficits and disguise the legacy of colonialism, and that a pedagogy of critical analysis of the inequities inherent in such a system is more appropriate. A critical, holistic approach to education is seen as offering a powerful challenge to selectively reproduced cultural politics and provides a way to deconstruct domination, distinction, and dualism, and reconstruct schools and society. Multiculturalism, it is proposed, has been diminished by being relegated to a "type" of curriculum, even in higher education. It unwittingly renders the culture of the dominant group invisible while isolating "others" and treating them as undifferentiated masses by focusing on similarities rather than engaging in meaningful dialogue about difference, artificially separating ethnicity from the integrated whole of a person. A critical pedagogy must challenge the assumptions on which the dominant curriculum is based. Critical pedagogy encourages interpretation of different perspectives in their historical, cultural, and political contexts. The educator's role then becomes one of enabling students to develop their own sensibilities and to support those positions by reason. Contains 35 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 1997).