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ERIC Number: EJ813767
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Making Diversity Desirable: Scientism and the Fetishizing of Difference
Tavares, Hannah M.
College Quarterly, v10 n4 p1-9 Fall 2007
In this essay, the author explores questions about the way identity and difference, as developed in the educational practices of multicultural teacher education and cultural diversity, proceed in directions that leave several fundamental assumptions unexplored. First among them is the assumption that pedagogic practice can and should be aligned with students' learning preferences, thereby leaving unquestioned the norms and competencies that organize school practices and educational goals in the classroom. Second, the assumption that multicultural education and cultural diversity are licensed or authorized discourses that provide the right inventory of cultural norms of different cultural groups leaves unchallenged the social relations and political and historical forces that sustain distinctions and differences. Finally, when cultural diversity and multicultural education are reduced to a "unity-in-diversity" discourse, it has the unfortunate effect of rendering difference and conflict inconsequential. These questions are posed in an effort to reinvigorate the increasingly restricted conception of diversity in education and to call attention to what is politically and ethically substantial about diversity: the issue of justice. The author's provocation is not a bid to reinforce the conceptual dichotomy that has taken over as the key tension in diversity; it is, rather, to solicit thought in a direction that takes into account the social, political, and economic transformations in the present time, and the systemic historic problems underlying racial disparities in education. (Contains 4 notes.)
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii