ERIC Number: EJ810922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Reference Count: 25
Directions and Mis-Directions in Multicultural Education: An Analysis of Session Offerings at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education
Amosa, Wendy; Gorski, Paul C.
Multicultural Perspectives, v10 n3 p167-174 Jul 2008
Founded in 1990, the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) is the largest U.S.-based professional organization advocating for multicultural education. NAME, like many other organizations interested in progressive social or educational reform, faces a series of challenges in its attempts to maintain its social justice thrust, such as the overall rightward political shift in U.S. politics and public education and the varied political orientations of its 1350 individual and 68 institutional members. NAME often has reacted to these challenges in what may be seen as admirable social justice fashion. Still, many challenges remain, some of which may be more visible to NAME members and the wider public than the organization's bylaws and stated objectives. Among these challenges is one around which NAME has faced growing criticism: ensuring that its conference reflects its and multicultural education's social reconstructionist commitment, that it resists pressures to abandon its critical edge for sessions and activities that celebrate diversity at the expense of advocating equity and social justice. As dedicated members of NAME, the authors decided to explore this criticism. Their exploration begins with a critical analysis of the presentations offered at the organization's 2004 and 2005 conferences. The authors seek to answer, as their central question, "to what extent do the presentations offered at NAME's annual conferences reflect, as a whole, the organization's stated philosophies and multicultural education's commitment to equity and social justice?" To inform their response to this question, the authors investigated the topics (i.e., curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, teacher education, etc.) that were most and least frequently focused upon among the presentations at the 2004 and 2005 conferences and which identity-based groups (i.e., Asian-Americans, women, the LGBT community, Muslims, etc.) received the most and least attention in these presentations. The authors also considered whose voices were most and least present in the presentations. While this is by no means an exhaustive analysis, the authors hope that this initial investigation will provide a point of departure for further and more rigorous analysis.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Multicultural Education, Criticism, Educational Change, Organizations (Groups), Public Education, National Organizations, Equal Education, Ethnic Diversity, Global Approach
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A