Read e-book online Defining and Designing Multiculturalism: One School System’s PDF

By Pepi Leistyna

Simply outdoor a big city heart at the east coast of the USA an activist crew struggled to create a system-wide multicultural schooling software. via a seven-year qualitative learn, Pepi Leistyna files and interprets—via a severe pedagogical lens—this group’s paintings with specialist improvement, curriculum and guideline, college and employees, and group outreach. via enticing examples, tales, and player voices, Leistyna bargains a entire, available ethnography with implications for others who could try related types of systemic switch.

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Extra info for Defining and Designing Multiculturalism: One School System’s Efforts

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One of the major obstacles of critical transformative education in the United States is that theory of any kind is often devalued among educators. Such ambivalence is not surprising when it comes to schooling considering the fact that most educational theory has been removed from everyday practice and left in the hands of academic “experts” who have little contact with the actual classroom dynamic. Furthermore, theories of learning and teaching are often uncritically passed down to future teachers to inform more efficient ways that students can assimilate basic skills.

As such, it neglects to engage how these multiple and interconnecting relationships that define a politics of identity and difference shape the cultural realities of everyday life. For example, capitalism and social class are often not considered significant issues when dealing with raising consciousness about multiculturalism. In fact, they are generally not understood as culturally formative entities. Consequently, economic exploitation and the concomitant social antagonisms and cultural values, beliefs, languages, and world views that are shaped by class relations are rendered invisible, as are the ways in which schools act as socializing agencies for capitalist logic and as sorting machines for a hierarchically divided labor force (Anyon, 1980; Aronowitz, 2000; Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977; Bowles & Gintis, 1976; Saltman, 2000; Willis, 1977).

Regardless of intention, this style represents a pedagogy of imposition rather than exposition. By including all voices in the classroom, and having theory work through students, rather than on them, teachers move away from the traditional relational restraints—that is, the limits of the relation of knowledge imparter to passive recipients. Real dialogue, which demands critical reflection, debate, and negotiation, affords the necessary conditions for everyone, especially students, to act as knowers, learners, and teachers, and to reach beyond their own cultural boundaries.

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