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ERIC Number: ED434870
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural Pluralism: The Search for a Theoretical Framework.
McFarland, Katherine P.
This paper addresses the need for teachers to begin with a theoretical framework that prepares them to handle the realities of working with cultural, economic, and language minority students. Two perspectives of cultural pluralism (multicultural education and critical pedagogy) provide such a framework. Although multicultural education lacks a consensual definition and theoretical framework for analysis, it offers much to the content and process of schooling, especially cultural pluralism. Critical pedagogy presents a more in-depth perspective on the structural and contextual forces that impact the educational experiences of students within a culturally pluralistic classroom. It explains how power and politics interact to reinforce social inequalities in the classroom. This perspective views public education as a mechanism that perpetuates the problem of some students making it in the system while others fail, with the classroom becoming the arena that marginalizes such students. Within the context of total school reform, multicultural education and critical pedagogy can overlap. Both help explain how schools cater to the status quo; advocate for students to become critical thinkers capable of examining their own life circumstances to better control their own destinies; and address cultural pluralism within the context of teacher preparation. This framework addresses the needs of both educators and students within the context of schooling. (Contains 35 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A