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ERIC Number: ED534726
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 303
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-0509-0
Autobiographical Interrogations of Multicultural Education: Complicating Conversations in Curriculum Studies
Moon, Seungho
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This dissertation study explores how dominant discourses in multicultural education can be informed by perspectives in poststructuralist theories and curriculum studies, and vice versa. This inquiry explores possibilities of conducting identity research that go beyond unitary ways of understanding cultural sameness/difference. A major focus in curriculum studies, writ large, is to interrogate discourses of "what" knowledge is considered official as well as "who" decides what/how to teach/assess. With the assumption that U.S. curriculum and teaching are predominantly grounded in Eurocentric and middle-class practices, dominant discourses in multicultural education aim to include "Other" cultures in educational practices. Furthermore, multicultural educators attempt to narrow the cultural gap between (White middle-class) teachers and students with "different" backgrounds. I explore possibilities (a) to work on the reconceptualization of identities as discursive constructions in motion within specific sociopolitical, economic, and historical contexts in an effort to minimize the essentialization of cultural sameness/difference; (b) to apply poststructuralist versions of autobiographical inquiry necessarily associated with these reconceptualizations; and (c) to complicate fixed binaries of self/other, White/of color, and national/international in order to create openness and fluidity in the discourses of curriculum studies. This study investigates alternative perspectives on diversity as a political engagement with the aim of challenging the binary of self/other that normalizes cultural sameness/difference as well as of committing to imaginative explorations of possibilities for more "equitable" education. This inquiry serves as an example of possible ways of challenging the "discovery" of preexisting self as is the current practice (although collective "we-ness" often is politically/strategically motivated). Methodologically grounded in self-reflexive autobiographical inquiry, I attempt to interrupt the aforementioned dominant educational practice by working toward alternative means to examine "how"; my identities have been discursively and politically constructed both in the U.S. and South Korea. An emphasis on permanent openness and resignification of interpretations of culture invites educators to challenge the implementation of the "best" curriculum and teaching practices--usually informed by essentialized notions of sameness/difference. This dissertation, overall, participates in complicated conversations in order to generate cacophonies to enrich multi-referenced conversations about identities and multicultural education, and, thus, to expand discourses on curriculum studies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea