Course:EDCP562/Chapter 9

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Identity, Community, and Diversity Sonia Nieto, Patty Bode, Eugene Kang, John Raible

Chapter 9 pages 176-194 Key Vocabulary: • Colourblind racism: serves to shield white people in particular (although not exclusively) from accusations of racism and “otherizes [racial minorities] softly.” One that reflects the belief that racism and other inequalities are largely a thing of the past. • Colourmuteness: deletion of race in both classroom practice and policy talk (a deliberate and race-conscious act). An unwillingness or inability to engage in any conversation about diversity and difference. • Transracialization: is a positive outcome that can happen when a person of one race spends a lot of time with individuals of another race. Transracialization can be understood as an alternative to the more typical socialization process known as racialization. About the Authors: Sonia Nieto: is a Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture, School of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Taught at all levels and continues to speak and write about multicultural education teacher preparation, the education of Latinos, and other culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. ( Patty Bode: is the Director of Art Education for Tufts University in affiliation with The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her research interests include: the arts in urban education, the role of visual culture in art teacher preparation, and the intersection of postmodernism and multiculturalism in art education. ( Eugene Kang: Was a Graduate student in 2004 in the Language, Literacy & Culture program. Her research interests fall into the areas of critical multicultural education, identity, and achievement. ( John Raible: He holds a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies, concentrating in Language, Literacy, and Culture. His thesis examined the experience of non-adopted white siblings who grew up with adopted African American or Korean brothers and sisters. Prof. Raible’s research examines the ways racial identities unfold in multicultural social contexts, as for instance, among members of transracial/transnational adoptive families or within racially integrated schools. (

Introduction: Education Environment (page 176-177) • Curriculum is viewed in many ways including not only texts, but programs, projects, physical environments for learning, interactions, intended and unintended messaged about curriculum o How does curriculum function in diverse school and non-school settings? o Everyone brings a multiplicity of experiences, talents and goals o Traditional curriculum perpetuates a deficit perspective that values some students backgrounds (race, culture, social status, language) as problems to be fixed • Chapter challenges curriculum by situating it directly in the lives and experiences of students, their families, and communities • Identity in this post-modern era can best be described as fluid, multiple, and complex. • Concern for educators today: how the growing presence of newcomers in previously homogeneous schools influences understandings of diversity and related implications for updated curriculum • Multicultural Curriculum: o What does it mean? o What are the contradictions and tensions of understanding curriculum within a multicultural perspective?

• Apple (2004) o “a true critical study of education needs to deal with more than the technical issues of how we teach efficiently and effectively..” o Whose knowledge is it? o Who selected it? o Why is it organized and taught in this way?

Curriculum and Multicultural Education (page 178) (Connections among Postmodernism and Identity, multicultural education and curriculum, critical pedagogy and community contexts) • Literature, theory, and practice of multicultural education have much to offer curriculum and instruction in diverse societies, which include all contemporary societies o Even though multicultural education has made an important contribution to schools and communities, few long-term institutional changes have taken root. • History: o roots as far as back as the first decades of the 20th century- activists who worked for a pluralistic approach to education grounded in social justice and equity (du Bois 1973, Woodson 1933, intercultural movement 1950’s, 1960’s, then beginnings of multicultural education in 1970’s • Sleeter and Bernal note that “ironically (given its historical roots), a good deal of what occurs within the arena of multicultural education today does not address power relations critically, particularly racism”

Definitions of Multicultural Education (page 179): • Banks (2004b) “a broad concept with several different and important dimensions” (that includes content integration, knowledge construction, prejudice reduction, equity pedagogy, empowering school culture and social structure • Nieto and Bode (2008) “ purposely elastic collection of characteristics, rather than a fixed and static definition, that addresses the varying contexts of communities and the changing process of education” focus on seven basic characteristics: “antiracist, basic, important for all students, pervasive, education for social justice, a process and critical pedagogy” • Multicultural education has come to mean little more than decorating for multiple winter holidays or adding a unit of study about a culture other than the dominant one o Who counts in multicultural education and why? o How are race and identity to be accounted for in curriculum and pedagogy? o How can the field accommodate changing circumstances for teaching and learning and incorporate shifting perspectives both in and out of the classroom” • Geneva Gay (1994) “ Multicultural education means different things to different people”

Linking Identity, Community, and Diversity (pages 180-181): • Nadine Dolby (2000), identity and categories of difference have been “one of the predominant theoretical floors of multicultural education” • Identity as a problem or project on modernity • Race has increasingly taken on a “colourblind” tone • Polluck “the deletion of race in everyday talk can be seen in schools. NCLB (no child left behind) achievement gap, drop-out rates, need for basic skills, accountability testing calls for English only, the elimination of bilingual education. • Sleeter and Montecionos “education is not a neutral activity because, teachers who understand that education must be both multicultural and social reconstructionist must, by necessity, be politically literate” Beyond Colourblindness: Attending to Other Differences in Multicultural Curriculum (pages 182-184) • Understanding identity that is complex and situated in a multiplicity of contexts consequently has significant implications for curriculum. • Erikson looks at culture and suggests that culture can be thought of as a construction- it constructs us and we construct it. • Without postmodern understanding, multicultural curriculum may fall out of step with the increasingly complex, unstable, and hybridized realities of today’s youth • Boundaries are constantly being drawn and redrawn • Dualistic view of gender, queer studies, contributes to the shifting conceptualization of identity and community • Digital technologies-how do we now speak of community or identity politics when post human bodies interact daily through chat rooms, webcam to webcam sites, and instantaneous private messaging technologies that connect young people transnationally in cyberspace.

    • developments in postcolonial theory, queer theory, critical race theory, feminist theory and critical theory leads us to conclude that new conceptions of identity, culture and communities will reshape theories of multicultural curriculum

Research that Retheorizes Multicultural Education: Three Cases (page 185) • Teachers and other educators must daily face the realities of students and must strive to develop curriculum that best meets the needs of their multiple identities and their struggles to be heard and acknowledged. Educators need to listen as students talk about their lives, their identities, and their communities.

• Three Case Studies: Ethnographic

1. Multicultural Art Education: Voices of Art teachers and students in the postmodern era – Patty Bode (pages 186-188) o Considers how the perspectives and realities of art teachers and their students may inform curriculum development and art teacher education in the postmodern era o Students expressed the significance of teacher solidarity and empathy with students o Necessity for teachers to include student voice and student perspective in the curriculum o Reconceptualizing the role of the art in society, a change which is integral to all curriculum reform. Visual culture art education weaves postmodernism and multicultural education, creating expanded notions of curriculum for what counts as art, who counts as artists, and by extension what counts as knowledge

2. The Discursive Underground: An Investigation of Colourblind Classroom Discourse – Eugenie Kang (pages 188-190) o Applies the phenomenon of colourmuteness, the linguistic equivalent of colourblindness in teaching, to research in an urban high school, and she describes how teachers may inadvertently choke off discussion and inclusion through this practice o The way teachers and students talk about issues of race and identity and investigates the ways colourblind ideology impacts classroom discourse o Dominant societal discourses of power, identity, and inequality may be reproduced in classroom settings and that the attitudes and perceptions of both students and teachers have, to varying degrees, been shaped by these discourses o Presence of many missed opportunities for students and teachers to mutually engage in an investigation of issues of diversity, difference, and representation o Failure to take advantage of these opportunities serves to further marginalize students whose backgrounds and experiences may already be largely ignored and limits a teachers ability to expand their understanding of issues of equality and diversity

3. Sharing the Spotlight: The Nonadopted White Siblings of Transracial Adopties – John Raible o Uses a multicultural education perspective to frame John Raible’s inquiry into transracial adoption and the learning process that White individual family members undergo as they become transracialized o Untransracialized identities reflect identifications delineated largely by racialization- that is, as more limited by racialization than those enacted when racialization is transcended. o Responding to the needs for education and support of transracial adoptive families requires an expanded vision of curriculum and pedagogy in multicultural communities o Abandoning an essentialist view of racial identity, a retheorized perspective on curriculum in multicultural communities permits educators, researchers, curriculum developers, and social workers to focus on the actual lived experiences of transracial adoptive families Implications for Multicultural Curriculum in Schools and Nonschool settings: (page 193) The Three studies point to a new model for conceptualizing curriculum. Figure 9.1 The Sociopolitical Context of Curriculum From a Critical LLC Perspective • shows the relationship between curriculum and its broad socio-political context, which must be accounted for and understood by critical multicultural educators. • LLC (language, literacy, culture) • Curriculum as the result of the tension between ideologies and the conscious actions undertaken by the cultural workers at the center of the diagram (teachers/students and communities). • Link between theory and curriculum which are cultural actions taken by teachers in conjunction with the students and the communities which they are part. • Gray arrows signal the permeable walls between and around the activity of cultural workers and the ways they are both influenced by and may influence curriculum and its socio-political context. • Transracialization offers a way to reconceptualize approaches to multicultural pedagogy and curriculum in higher education • The studies suggest that Multicultural Education is undergoing an important expansion as it broaches into new territory and shifts the definitions of communities, identities, and curriculum itself Final Thoughts (page 194): • While multicultural educators and scholars continue to challenge and push these well-intended but flawed understandings of curriculum, we propose that multicultural educators must also reconsider the very ways we have come to talk about identity, power, and inequality • Explore how these issues can be understood and confronted in actual classrooms and other educational settings • We cannot leave the marginalized, the most vulnerable, and the most impoverished of our students languishing while theorists toss around heady semantics that take no action towards social change

Freedom writers:

John Raible transracialzation: