ERIC Number: EJ818621
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 26
The Soil of Silence: Deconstructing Socio-Cultural and Historical Processes that Have Influenced Schooling for First Nations People and African Americans
Caruthers, Loyce E.
American Educational History Journal, v34 n2 p303-313 2007
Current educational restructuring movements espouse democratic ideas and reordered relations among teachers and administrators under the guise of improved teaching and learning and touts standards and accountability as the only way to achieve equality in education. Unfortunately, these efforts are unlikely to address enduring historical and philosophical ideologies about cultural differences that guide the behaviors and actions of many educators. The refusal to challenge socio-cultural and historical ideologies surrounding differences has perpetuated a soil of silence whereby the roots of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other differences are "undiscussibles" (Caruthers, Thompson, & Eubanks 2004; Smith 2005); subjects that people choose not to talk about because they have often been taboo in educational settings. In this paper, the discourse surrounding cultural differences is expanded by briefly illuminating the development of racial and cultural superiority as a response to cultural differences. Secondly, the ideology of racial and cultural superiority is explored to construct meaning of the idea of civilization and the extension of that idea to the education of Indigenous People and African Americans. Through critically deconstructing the socio-cultural and historical processes that have shaped beliefs, attitudes, and values toward cultural differences educators may produce different readings of experiences. Deconstructing involves connecting concepts to broader ideology or culture rather than explaining their existence as a natural or simple reflection of reality (Alcoff 1988). Thus, recommendations for broader policy changes are offered for prospective and practicing educators.
Descriptors: Indigenous Populations, Ideology, Cultural Differences, Educational Change, Social Influences, Cultural Influences, Historical Interpretation, African Americans, Teacher Attitudes, Racial Attitudes, Educational Development, Educational History, Concept Mapping, Critical Theory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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