Tag Archives: multicultural education

Multicultural education expert joins ASU’s ‘Inside the Academy’

Multicultural education expert joins ASU’s ‘Inside the Academy’

Posted: November 26, 2014
portrait of James A. Banks

James A. Banks

Recognized globally as the “father of multicultural education,” James A. Banks is the latest esteemed scholar to be interviewed for Arizona State University’s “Inside the Academy.”

The free, open-source online archive of conversations with America’s “best of the best” education luminaries was created by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, associate professor in ASU’sMary Lou Fulton Teachers College. The Banks video interview delves deep into the influential educator’s career-long quest for social justice in K-12 classrooms, first in the U.S. and now worldwide.

Growing up in segregated rural Arkansas, Banks explained that he comes from “a long pedigree of farmers and Southerners” and even worked picking cotton as a child. One of his most poignant memories was as a first grader walking five miles to school, with other African-American schoolmates joining him along the way.

“I remember that the white kids would pass us riding in school buses that splattered mud on us,” Banks recalled.

Later on in high school, Banks said he started seeing fellow students who were “as bright as I (was) or brighter” falling by the wayside. It triggered a recurring dream for him, in which he created a school in the South where African-American students could thrive.

“I developed a real strong commitment to make it possible for kids who were black and poor to be successful,” he said.

Today, Banks serves as the Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor of Diversity Studies and director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. A past president of the American Educational Research Association, Banks is perhaps best known for co-editing the groundbreaking, “Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education,” with his wife and colleague, Cherry A. McGee Banks. This seminal work is one of a total of 100 journal articles, 60 book chapters and 20 books he has authored or co-edited.

It was Banks’ doctoral dissertation – an extensive content analysis of how African-Americans were portrayed in the nation’s K-12 textbooks – that launched his scholarly quest to study multicultural issues. He said his thesis found the textbooks generally restricted mention of African-Americans to slavery, depicting all slaves as “happy,” and three famous figures – Booker T. Washington, educator; George Washington Carver, scientist; and Marian Anderson, contralto singer.

Being at the forefront of multicultural research, Banks set a career trajectory that opened space for a new generation of scholars. It also led him to develop the widely recognized five dimensions of multicultural education, including content integration, knowledge construction, equity pedagogy, prejudice reduction and empowering school culture. This conceptual framework is intended to help teachers of all disciplines understand that “multicultural” needs to span all aspects of K-12 education, not simply content.

Banks said his determination to work for social justice in education has been a powerful motivator for him personally and professionally. He added that his efforts also continue to expand to encompass additional minority and ethnic groups in the United States and around the world.

“I always tell my graduate students to study something they have a passion about,” he said. “That is what keeps you going.”

Written by Judy Crawford

Media contact:

Lisa Lucas, lisa.lucas@asu.edu
602-543-6292
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

 

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Jane Elliott on the Oprah Winfrey Show (1992), Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise

Published on Apr 15, 2014

This Excerpt from 1992 episode with teacher Jane Elliott’s showed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” at its best. The Iowa schoolteacher speaks after applied her famous blue-eyes-vs.-brown-eyes experiment to the show’s studio audience, separating the people on the basis of eye pigment and giving one group preferential treatment over the other; by the time the show started, the resentment fostered by this brief period of inequality spilled over into visible, simmering hostility. As a statement about the roots of racism, Elliott’s exercise was powerful stuff — the fact that it was initially designed to impart the lesson for grade-school children didn’t dim its impact on the show’s adult viewers.

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Liberation of Dachau by Japanese Americans 552nd Field Artillery Battalion 442nd RCT April 29th 1945

522FABNliberatecamp

 

by Nihomachi Outreach Committee San Jose

(This article is reposted with permission of NOC.
Please visit their site by clicking on the link above)

The war in Europe was coming to a close as the Allies raced across Germany to Berlin. Elements of the US 7th Army chased the remnants of the German army retreating into Germany. Among the fastest moving units was the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion a Nisei (Second generation Japanese American) unit that was originally attached to the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd won the most decorations for any American unit for its size during WW2. The unit would win 7 Presidential Citations (5 while rescuing the Lost Texas Battalion in France 1944), 20 Medals of Honor (America’s highest decoration for valor) and over 9000 Purple Hearts (decorations for wounds suffered in combat). The 522 had a reputation for having the fastest and most accurate fire in the US Army. They were hand picked by Gen. Eisenhower (Commander of Allied Forces in Europe) to help lead the attack into Germany.

The 522nd liberated several of the sub camps near Dachau and actually opened the main gate at the Dachau concentration camp. Some 5000 survivors of the Dachau concentration camp were liberated by elements of the 522 on April 29th 1945.

Dachau was established in 1933 as the Nazi regime rose to power. The infamous camp was in 12 years of existence with some 206,000 prisoners .Dachau had some 30 sub camps (smaller forced labor and/or POW camps) located near adjacent towns. It was the site of mass exterminations, executions, and death marches. Some 5000 inmates were liberated mostly Jewish, Russian, French, Polish civilians and Allied POW’s.

The Story of Sgt. Oiye

On April 29th 1945, Staff Sgt. George Oiye was member of a forward observer team (patrols to search for targets for artillery to shoot ) for artillery battery C leading the 7th Army racing into Germany. Elements of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion were spread out over a 30 mile radius. They had orders to destroy military targets in Munich and to demolish the headquarters of the dreaded SS. They also had warnings to be on the look out for top Nazis such as Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun (Hitler’s mistress). They chased the retreating German units,captured and disarmed them. According to 522 records they were the first Allied unit to reach Dachau.

Unintentional Liberators

“We weren’t supposed to be there” said Oiye. Since they were spread out over such a wide area (30 KM) and Dachau was so big they simply ran into it. Japanese American soldiers shot the lock of the main gate of the outer perimeter fences. Then opened the barbed wire gates of the infamous crematorium the site were thousands of Jewish prisoners bodies were burned into ashes. The building had tall smoke stacks and large ovens with bodies smoldering still inside. Prisoners were often gassed or died of the harsh slave labor conditions at Dachau.

“A Hard Thing”
Oiye explained his reaction to visiting the infamous camp: He was mainly on the muddy roads out side the camp when it started to snow. “It was very cold and he saw the prisoners shivering. Some were in very bad shape,”emaciated, sick, diseased, bugs crawling on them and dying” He recalled the stripped suits they wore and some had no shoes. Oiye and his fellow soldiers gave the prisoners their extra gloves, bed rolls, and food. His reaction to the prisoners: “we were not prepared to deal with coming across a concentration camp.” “We came across by accident and were not prepared. It was a hard thing” He remembered that he ” felt bewildered, then angry and fearful. ” Oiye explained the sense of guilt “that mankind had transgressed so far…. the worst case of sin I know of.”

“War was one thing but that kind of treatment of mankind; thats is not normal” Oiye stated. Some of the 522nd soldiers found ladies handbags made of human skin. He could remember seeing “intricate” tattoos on these handbags. Gloves and lampshades were also found to made of human skin. Other soldiers reported that dozens of prisoners that were horribly tortured and murdered.

 

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Why Asian Americans hate hearing “Where are you from?”

This has been a good week for sometimes contentious but bracing conversations on Facebook. The latest one started when I posted a link to an excellent Forbes article by Ruchika Tulshyan titled “‘Where Are You From?’ And Other Big Networking Racial Faux Pas”

The article raises the oft-aired complaint by Asian Americans that asking “Where are you from?” (sometimes linked to the even more irritating “You speak English so well…”) is a social, racial no-no.

I certainly can’t argue with that. I’ve written plenty about this very topic. I once criticized Martha Stewart for pulling the “Where are you from?” card, and in the post also included the conversation from my book, “Being Japanese American” that so many Asian American are all too familiar with, which starts with “You speak English so well” and veers off into “where are you from?” territory.

The Forbes piece quotes a South Asian news producer making a point that many Asian Americans should learn by heart and recite whenever we’re asked the question:

“I’m American – just like our president is American, just like the actress, Mindy Kaling is American, just like Abraham Lincoln is American. I am also American. I think once people realize that being American doesn’t mean being white, then we can move the conversation forward and we can have a better dialogue about race.” says Shefali Kulkarni, digital producer at PRI’s The World.

Tulshyan offers these suggestions for more appropriate ways to learn about someone’s ethnic heritage (I generally ask people “What’s your ethnic heritage?”):

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Norway government recognizes multicultural education advantages

A mere 4.7% of teachers in primary schools are immigrants or born to immigrant parents, 2012 data from Statistics Norway shows. The new bi-Partite coalition intends to improve this teacher percentage.

The figures also reveal 40% of the students have a mother tongue other than Norwegian or Sami.
Joke Dewilde, at eastern Norway’s Hedmark University College teacher education faculty, states a higher number of bilingual teachers will be good for students, and good for Norway.

“Norway is part of a global world and getting more teachers with a different background to a Norwegian one will be reflected in tuition. In turn, it will be easier for students from different backgrounds to find their place,” she told Aftenposten-run website osloby.no.

Neither SSB nor the Ministry of Education have a list of teachers’ backgrounds, but the government intends to increase the proportion of teachers from minority groups.
“We need talented people with diverse backgrounds in the teaching profession, and we want a teacher capable of reflecting society and students in the classroom. The school system currently has 11 per cent of pupils from immigrant backgrounds. This therefore makes intercultural competence important in schools,” said the Conservatives’ (H) Deputy Minister of Education, Birgitte Jordahl.

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Multilingual Children: Beyond Myths and Toward Best Practices

     
Multilingual Children: Beyond Myths and Toward Best Practices

If you’re looking for current resources on how to conceptualize and implement supports for children who are multilingual, you will enjoy this issue of the Social Policy Report. It considers issues that range from the strengths of multilingual children (and the practices early childhood professionals can use to develop those strengths) to who is multilingual, with thoughtful attention to supporting young children who may speak different dialects.

Access the entire issue at http://www.srcd.org/sites/default/files/documents/E-News/spr_27_4.pdf

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Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

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