School of Education at Johns Hopkins University-The Scope of Multicultural Education

School of Education at Johns Hopkins University-The Scope of Multicultural Education

by Mary Stone Hanley

Multicultural Education is an idea which has reached its time. Carrying the legacy of the 1960’s and 1970’s, a period of profound social change when the people of the United States were forced to reexamine their cultural heritage, multicultural education has emerged in the 1990’s to address the educational needs of a society that continues to struggle with the realization that it is not monocultural, but is an amalgamation of many cultures. Much of the overt and covert national conflict about race, ethnicity, social class, and gender in the U. S. has been based in the mythology of a superior culture into which all others must be assimilated. The imbalance of power between the dominant culture and subjugated cultures has created centuries of aggression, antagonism, and resistance. Fortunately, the concept that cultural differences enrich, rather than diminish, our society is increasingly acknowledged. It is the suppression of cultures that weakens the society. The ongoing discourse and practice of multicultural education is an effort to mine the possibilities of plurality through education.  ….. read more

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