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Monday, September 5, 2011

Cultural Difference? What Should Multicultural Educators Try to Deal With?

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. -- Mohandas K. Gandhi
There is no scarcity of proposals for what should be added to an already overloaded public school curriculum. It is easy to get carried away with enthusiasm for a favorite item. But is it possible to evaluate a proposal with minimal bias?

Also, it is important to distinguish what might be ideal as opposed to feasible in the circumstances you find yourself it. There are many cultural practices around the world that would be considered “too strange” to be acceptable in some American communities.

For example, eating cats, dogs or horses or insects. Should public schools adjust their lunch menus to reflect such practices? What about killing animals for religious sacrifice, or entertainment? What attitude should school boards adapt toward these practices?

But more than attitude adjustment may be at issue. Don’t forget that anything put into a public school curriculum is using taxpayer money to support it.
To examine these issues further, see Evaluating Cultural Practices for Inclusion in the Public School Multicultural Curriculum

Cordially
-- EGR