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Conflict and Resolution NSCSS Fall Conference Ft Omaha October 21, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Conflict and Resolution NSCSS Fall Conference Ft Omaha October 21, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conflict and Resolution NSCSS Fall Conference Ft Omaha October 21, 2006

2 The Conflict of Multiculturalism Dr. Tom King, Doane College Professor of Secondary Education Director of Secondary Education Social Studies Methods

3 Multiculturalism and Social Studies There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americans… The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibilities of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.

4 Where did the Social Studies Go Wrong? This 2003 report from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation consists of penetrating critiques by renegade social studies educators who fault the repugnant teaching methods and curricular ideas of their field and suggest how it can be reformed.

5 Two Visions of America Melting Pot Multiethnic society Whites, nonwhites Anglos, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, etc. What are you? Cult of Ethnicity nonAnglo whites Nonwhite minorities Denounce goal of assimilation Challenge goal of one people Wants to protect, promote, and perpetuate separate ethnic and racial communities

6 What kind of MC education is most appropriate for our children? Two Visions Cultural Pluralist Critical Separatist

7 Cultural Pluralist Vision Before 1960s-ethnicity treatment weak By 1980s-Majority acceptance of CP What is it? While recognizing our differences, we should accentuate what Americans have in common and our positive evolution as a diverse society.

8 Critical Separatism Second vision-1990s to present What is it? Stresses cultural and ethnic differences and the nations failure to live up to its ideals.

9 Fordham Report Problems? Leading theorists within SS support Critical separatism Influences NCATE Many education faculty believe and teach this vision! This affects Social Studies Education!~!

10 Reasons to reject CS Misleading Attacks American Ideals Fosters ethnic discord Promotes extreme relativism Objectionable on evidentiary grounds

11 Critical Separatism Bad points Rejects unifying vision of America Promotes group identities not individualism We are defined by race and culture? Promotes fragmentation Negative view of European heritage Glorifies pluribus over unum! Good points Recognition of minorities Teach history from different perspectives Learn about other races, cultures

12 Main objective of public education should be the protection, strengthening, celebration and perpetuation of ethnic origins and identities. Separatism nourishes prejudices and stirs antagonisms History and literature should be taught to raise minority self-esteem not as intellectual disciplines. Attack whiteness as distortion of reality

13 N. Ukpokodu (1999) Most white children have spent their academic lives looking into distorted mirrors of their history, and culture which only reflected people like themselves.

14 White privilege? Negative view of whites Race more than merit Role of MC in schools is not to promote true appreciation for diversitybut advocate social reconstruction.

15 Christine Sleeter on Thanksgiving teaching But that isnt the story. From the perspective of indigenous people, the real story has been one of genocide and of taking land away.

16 Appraising the CS Racism of whites ( EAm) runs contrary to the facts. Greater inclusion today than ever before. Steady increase in const and legal rights for minorities

17 Robert Putnam (1997) without a doubt, America in the 1990s was a more tolerable place than America in the 1950s or even the 1970s.

18 Fordham Recommendations Develop courses that fairly describe experiences and contributions of minority groups Teachers should reject notion that all cultures are equal. Teach about unity as well as disunity in the U.S. Teachers should not assume the role of social activists. Focus on students own interpretations of history Teach with content based curriculum

19 Call for a Common Culture! As U.S. becomes more heterogeneous the quest for unity and a common culture is all more urgent!

20 Role of Public Schools Train new citizens Promote common culture What does it mean to be an American?

21 E pluribus unum One out of many Create a national identity Point of America was not to preserve old cultures but to create a new American culture!

22 John Stuart Mill, 19th philosopher Two elements that define a nation Desire of people to be governed together, Common sympathy instilled by a shared history, values, and language.

23 Mahatma Gandhi We must cease to be exclusive Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, or Jews. Whilst we may staunchly adhere to our respective faiths, we must be Indians first and Indians last.

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