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Should multicultural literature be included in the high school curriculum? Show more Show less

Multicultural literature includes literature about people who are underrepresented in mainstream society and have been marginalized in some way, including Asian-American, African-American, and Chicano-American literature. For the most part, high school curriculum for English courses revolve around teaching the classics, but should more diverse literature be taught in high schools?

No, multicultural literature should not be taught in schools Show more Show less

Multicultural literacy isn't the school's job to provide.
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The Outsider status

The experiences of any cultural or racial group should only be presented by a member of that group.
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Discriminatory

Context

The Argument

Students will be confused and angered if the teacher presenting the multicultural literature does not identify with the cultural or racial group; they will be an “outsider.” An outsider is incapable of fully empathizing with the experiences of those who are in a different culture to them.[1] By the year 2020, one in every two students in the United States will be a person of color, while less than 20% of teachers are people of color.[2][3] If implemented into the curriculum, the likelihood of a white teacher instructing a multicultural literature course is high.

Counter arguments

A qualified instructor does not have to share their own experiences or talk about cultural groups' experiences for it to be valid for students. Teachers can increase their own cultural knowledge and develop their sensitivity and teaching skills to promote cross-cultural understanding and use multicultural literature to validate expressions of cultural knowledge, perspectives and differences.[4]

Framing

Premises

[P1] Students will question the method of teaching if the instructor attempts to speak on the experiences of a racial or cultural group that they do not remotely identify with. [P2] Therefore, the instructor's credibility will be questioned and students will not be as engaged.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] A teacher does not have to have lived a culture to be able to credibly teach it.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://commons.emich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1061&context=honors
  2. http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_199112_banks.pdf
  3. https://www.the74million.org/article/whats-the-racial-breakdown-of-americas-public-school-teachers/
  4. https://www.worldcat.org/title/not-as-multicultural-as-id-like-white-english-teachers-uses-of-literature-for-multicultural-education-in-predominantly-white-contexts/oclc/931868977

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 10:42 UTC