NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1200862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Revisiting Pluralism and Multiculturalism in the Works of William James and W. E. B. Du Bois for Guidance in Education Today
Novakowski, Julia
Philosophical Studies in Education, v49 p47-57 2018
In the 2011-2012 school year, the teaching population was 82% white, a percentage that has barely changed in over two decades despite significant changes in the diversity of the student body. Considering this gap, as the demographics of students transform and representation in teaching remains largely homogenous, a conversation on pluralism and multiculturalism is timelier than ever. In a conceptual analysis, the author discusses pluralism and multiculturalism as theorized by William James and W. E. B. Du Bois respectively, arguing that while multiculturalism is active in the game of positive social change, pluralism sits on the sideline. This distinction makes it possible to understand their respective significance in current thinking about education. In a democratic society, education has an inherently moral aim of advancing an inclusive and pluralistic society that honors, values, and promotes diverse voices and experiences. Making the distinction between pluralism and multiculturalism, the author hopes to recover crucial ideas between the two and position educational philosophy to better theorize about education today as American society becomes increasingly more diverse. This paper draws on these two figures as (1) James sets up the central idea of pluralism, and then, (2) Du Bois adds another important element to that with early conceptions of multiculturalism. A partial analysis of some of the works of James and Du Bois are presented in order to find common relations in their conceptions and recognize where their ideas diverged. The author begins with an examination of pluralism found in some of the works of James, including "A Pluralistic Universe and Principles of Psychology." After identifying the key elements of pluralism, limitations are presented in order to transition into the voice and extension of thought from Du Bois. In continuing an examination of multicultural history, the hope is that an inclusive pedagogy that considers both the thought of James and Du Bois can help assure that no star or brightness of thought is lost or forgotten today and that action is taken to move from a more passive pluralism to an active multicultural model that values, honors, and celebrates each voice, yet also interprets the future with endless possibilities.
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A