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ERIC Number: ED497179
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Multisubculturalism: Computers and the End of Progressive Education. WCER Working Paper No. 2005-5
Shaffer, David Williamson
Wisconsin Center for Education Research (NJ1)
As information and communication technologies bring people, places, and events from around the world to desktops, telephones, and televisions, the economic, social, and cultural issues of the globe are becoming increasingly, unavoidably, our own (McLuhan, 1964). Diversity is thus a broader and more complex concept than ever before (Ladson-Billings, 2001a), and preparing young people for citizenship in such an interconnected world necessarily means helping them develop the ability to understand complex cultural issues from multiple perspectives. Multiculturalism is an essential tool for democratic citizenship in an interconnected world. This is not a new idea, of course. Over a century ago, the Pragmatists--including perhaps the best-known Pragmatist in the field of education, John Dewey--saw the essence of democracy in the idea that there is no one truth. Personal beliefs--however deeply felt--were but one possible perspective among many, and as Menand (2001) explains, the central political tenet of Pragmatism was that "the moral justification for our actions comes from the tolerance we have shown to other ways of being in the world" (p. 440). Dewey's Progressive pedagogy, based on his Pragmatic view of truth, emphasized learning as a process linking personal interest with activities meaningful in the world outside of school, and thus might be a likely candidate for the development of a multicultural education for the digital age. In this paper the author argues that this is both true, and untrue. (Contains 3 figures and 6 footnotes.)
Wisconsin Center for Education Research. School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 West Johnson Street Suite 785, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-4200; Fax: 608-263-6448; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Academy of Education, Washington, DC.; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Madison.; Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Graduate School.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A