Academic journal article Educational Foundations

Identity-Centered Multicultural Care Theory: White, Black, and Korean Caring

Academic journal article Educational Foundations

Identity-Centered Multicultural Care Theory: White, Black, and Korean Caring

Article excerpt

Introduction

There is a very intimate relationship between how caring the teacher is and the knowledge that students gain. Actually, it is not limited to student-teacher relationships only but also student-student relationships. Knowledge is something people acquire as they build relationships and have interactions with others and the world around them. Depending on how caring the teacher is and the other students are, the students can improve their chances of becoming knowers. When people talk about someone being a knower, they tend to focus mainly on the pure knowledge they gain, instead of looking at the process of gaining knowledge. Care theory plays an essential role in the process of gaining knowledge and teachers or other care givers should pay attention to this process instead of only what they get as a result, which is knowledge. In other words, instead of teachers focusing on the result-centered education such as assisting students to get good grades, they should pay more attention to learn the effective way of caring that can positively influence students and eventually assist students to receive better results.

It is my desire to encourage people to realize the importance of care theory, but what should be more focused is valuing differences while the one-caring and the cared-for engage in caring relationships. It will be problematic if the act of caring is taken up from the teacher's perspectives instead of considering the students' perspectives since there is not a universal caring. Especially in the U.S. where it is known as the country of salad bowl due to being diverse, it is more important for teachers to become color conscious in their classrooms and acknowledge the differences of defining or conceptualizing caring between White, Black, and other ethnic or racial groups such as Korean in order to become more effective caring teacher. Many teachers used to think it was wrong to notice the race of their students since they thought everyone is the same (Johnson, 2002). In this paper, the analysis and the comparisons of White, Black, and Korean caring across different boundaries are provided. It is more of analyzing and comparing by looking at the whole picture which means that it is more of an overall analysis in sum. When people are asked about multiculturalism or multicultural education in the U.S., often times the answer is related to including and focusing more on Black culture along with White culture such as having Black History Month at school (Lewis, 2001). As myself being a Korean, the limitations of more popular understandings of caring are very evident to me and I decide to include Korean perspective of caring along with White, and Black caring since it brings another meaning to caring.

Throughout this paper, philosophical analyses such as ordinary language analysis, phenomenology, existential, and pragmatic are used to analyze the work. When I analyze, I value logical analysis/ ordinary language analysis by focusing on caring and how other people use the term in an effort to clarify this concept. According to pragmatism, philosophy should worry about real problems which we have, and it strives to relate theory to practice. From the view of pragmatism, we can realize that philosophy is not neutral, so one's own narratives are insufficient. Thus, it is necessary to add other people's voices in order to have a valid argument. Also I agree that according to pragmatists (Dewey, 1966; James, 1979; Peirce, 1958; Seigfried, 1996; Thayer-Bacon, 1998), we can never figure out an answer by ourselves since we are all limited beings. This is one of the reasons why I bring various philosophers' thoughts on care theory to explore and help me with the analysis. Phenomenologically, I tune into my personal experiences to help me explain Korean care theory. Since Korean care theory has somewhat distinctive approach compared to White and Black caring, due to the influence of Confucianism embedded in the society, more in-depth attention is placed on Korean care theory in the discussion. …

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