Gosh & Abdi

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Curriculum and Instruction
EDEC 248
Lerona Dana Lewis

GOSH & ABDI READING: ISSUES IN MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION evolution = key element in developmental phases of Canadas education policy liberal rhetoric of multiculturalism implies equal opportunity to all ethnic groups by giving equal status to all cultures modern democratic view ignores ethnic, racial & socioeconomic differences legitimizes Eurocentric view & depoliticizes culture ME aims to provide learning environment devoid of discrimination & inequality to effectively remove discrimination, must be founded on philosophy of education linked to equity & empowerment o involves understanding construction of difference & inequity created around conceptions of race/ethnicity/gender/class o comprises knowledge of & sensitivity to social consequences of difference expressed through prejudice & discrimination through racism/sexism/classism must be motivated by principles of justice & moral/ethical imperatives of caring is equity based, quality education possible? Equity, Quality and Education equity & justice = complementary concepts (equity of educational opportunity = just society) educational aim of democratic society = produce fully enfranchised citizens no matter their origins policy makers have created false dichotomy between equity & quality equity aimed at eliminating discrimination John Rawls A Theory of Justice provides 2 principles o all citizens have same claim to equal basic liberties o social & economic inequalities must satisfy 2 conditions: equality of opportunity principles (implies all positions open to every person fairness concept) & the difference principle (greatest benefit must go to least advantaged members of society equity concept) education equally concerned with difference precept (controversial means there can be affirmative action ie/ special provisions for groups historically discriminated lower standards of achievement? lower standard for jobs?) & equity of opportunity in Canada equity policy in jobs give preference to people from targeted groups when qualifications are similar (levels playing field) rebuttal to critics of equity policy: historically preference for males of dominant group even when less qualified need for a more historically inclusive notion of equity policy to achieve more rational platform equity in education seen from 3 aspects: o equality of opportunity to achieve certain goals radical educational theorists argued this is meaningless to children when coming from unequal conditions with unequal cultural capital o equality of condition o equality of outcome or results different students not treated equally in systems that perpetuates dominant culture/values/norms equity means fairness & implies justice, not sameness or evenness o may require special treatment/opportunities to those with special/different needs o involves passion to continually develop skills to teach all students so theyre empowered to make life choices transformative in individual & social possibilities o quality implies degree of excellence construction of norm & criterion referenced excellence based on culture/values/norms of dominant group if quality & excellence viewed as self-actualization & self improvement, equity & quality converge into equality excellence in education only achieved when all children allowed to develop their potential Multicultural Policy an Inequity since multicultural policy put into effect, impact on Canadian society appears negligible in terms of affecting inequality penetration of ethnic group members into elite groups remains limited gender/class dynamics/race/ethnicity underpin development of Canada socializing in school very important integration is an individual process but groups are stereotyped, not individuals Construction of Difference causes: individual values/beliefs of structural inequities in society/institutions attention to dynamics & contradictions in race/gender/class in schools increasingly highlighted emergence of simultaneous categorization of race with gender & class makes relationships complex tendency to subsume categories of race/gender into class race & ethnicity different but related race/ethnicity/gender/class classifications in social positions & reflect power o race/sex/class not parallel qualitatively different o production of difference says race/class/sex not additive (dont make discrimination 3x worse) modernist discourse views culture as organizing principles that creates borders around race/ethnicity/ class/gender borders create inequalities distance between centres/margins of power reproduced race/ethnicity/gender/class = defining & structuring categories (social constructions) o not fixed entities o not associated with mental/behavioural characteristics o no relevance as basis for assignment of rights/grounds for discriminationo indicate changing social relations & disaggregate populations & form boundaries o symbolic of form of underlying power struggle o injuries hidden but painful Race race & racial characteristics = social constructions initially used to justify unequal treatment of colonized peoples not refers to meanings constructed around arbitrary classification of people on assumption there are biological & genetic variations lack of acknowledgement racism still exists largely responsible for lack of attention to racism in schools term ethnicity implies a shared descent which may assume biological criterion o means common identity & culture religion, language, customs, institutions, history, etc. immigration from postcolonial countries to colonizing countries forces postmodern societies to explore inherent ambiguity that arises from inability of immigrant groups to assimilate physical with white dominant societies o assumes differences in physical/biological characteristics of humans justify discrimination & hierarchy term ethnic evolved to imply non-Western groups (immigrant too) so taken on racial connotations white immigrants
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