Multicultural Education it Is Useless to Deny Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1438 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

Multicultural Education

It is useless to deny that racism is even today, in the 21st century, a subject of controversy in many fields, education included. In spite of the fact that we seem distant of times when we spoke of segregation and public racial discrimination, we may still be deemed to consider the White dominance as a fact in some areas, consciously or not, and to act accordingly, whether it may be "paternalistic and condescending of people of color." Gary Howard's goal, approached in his book, "We Can't Teach What We Don't Know: White Teachers, Multicultural Schools," is to make the White educators aware of the existing racist phenomena in schools and teaching centers, to make them identify possible behaviors in their own teaching skills and processes and to identify possible means by which such racist techniques can be fought. A review presented on the Web best resumes the book's content as a "racism 101" for white educators" and a "introductory text."

On the other hand, the book leaves, at times, the area of a simple anti-racist manual and several chapters are used to define white dominance and historically trace it back several centuries ago. Further more, the author's personal experience and his passing from ignorance to activism are emphasized in the book. The book's thesis, in this sense, is a uniform meld of personal experience and historical facts with present day advice on dealing with racism in the education process.

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The chapter entitled "White man dancing: a story of personal transformation" is the best in emphasizing the author's personal life and educational experience, as well as the way he felt the impact of race and culture on the respective process and on the methods he used.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Multicultural Education it Is Useless to Deny Assignment

If we are to refer to the author's own experience, we should start by mentioning perhaps his first cultural conflict, as he relates it. Speaking about identity, he identifies his great grandfather's farm in Minnesota to be one of the focal points of his cultural heritage. Land represents for Gary Howard, as for many other American families, a place where the roots of the family come together and where a common identity is formed. However, he discovered that the lands that his family presently owns were once in the possession of the Ojibwa tribe and that, unconsciously and indirectly, he was one of the beneficiaries of racial exploitation that has marked America for the last centuries.

This simple fact does not necessarily make the author aware of a racial issue, however, it had the merit of making him think about racial issues. The multicultural environment in college, a typical place where cultural differences were met and where you certainly faced cultural issues on a daily basis, turned him towards a keen analysis of the racist phenomenon in America. The college experience turned him to a historical perspective and a thorough analysis of historical facts.

Impacts of different cultures were pregnant in the author's life, especially in his many trips abroad and his interconnection and impact with communities of Maori, Balinese, Nepalese or Aboriginal people. The tour of 1990-1991 somewhat revealed to Gary Howard what alternative cultures were all about. However, in his own words, it was the trip to Europe that provided "the most powerful personal experience." This is closely related to what I have previously mentioned: Howard's search for his own identity.

The trip to Europe revealed to him not only his own appurtenance to the European, possibly Celtic culture, but also "a connection to the universality of all human experience." This universality is, in my opinion, important as a view on how Howard chooses to see the future in America: rather than a White isolated minority dominance, a joined recreation of American values.

In my opinion, the personal experiences and his own beliefs turned Gary Howard from someone not aware of racial issues or simply ignorant of them and did so more than his enormous professional expertise, including his degree in Cultural Anthropology and Social Psychology at Yale University or his work with the REACH Center for multicultural Studies, that he himself founded.

In order to refer to similarities to Gary Hoard's experiences, both from living and educational perspectives, I should briefly mention one of the author's fundamental ideas that "there are many ways of being white." Indeed, he identifies… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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