ERIC Number: ED409946
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Jun
Multiculturalism: A Design for Introductory Literature on the Community College Level.
The introduction of multiculturalism into the literature curriculum at community colleges has been problematic. Some groups view the trend as an advance of ethnocentrism, while others feel that multicultural texts collide with traditional academic study. Even those who agree with the goal of broadening the curriculum to reflect global diversity do not necessarily agree on how to accomplish that. While the debate continues, literature teachers at community colleges are faced with student populations that are diverse, largely non-white, and no longer ingrained in a U.S. or Western European tradition. In planning an introductory literature class that effectively broadens the curriculum, a constructive approach should be used that draws ideas, customs, and historical contributions from different groups together in an organized manner that enhances students' ability to understand other groups and U.S. society. Three effective methods of doing this include using differences to pursue unity, or emphasizing commonalties among different groups; exploring context, or using topics in a concrete historical or social context; and relating the past to the present through an understanding of the multiple cultures that shape each individual and society as a whole. Finally, the goal of multiculturalism in literature courses should be to help students envision a society in which a wide range of individual beliefs and lifestyles can function together. Contains 21 references. (BCY)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.
Note: In its: Issues of Education at Community Colleges: Essays by Fellows in the Mid-Career Fellowship Program at Princeton University; see JC 970 402.