Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Public Schooling in English Canada: Addressing Difference in the Context of Globalization

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Public Schooling in English Canada: Addressing Difference in the Context of Globalization

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT/RESUME

Our understanding of Canadian polity formation is based on a pluralistic moral democracy that recognizes a fluid concept of cultural retention, differentiated citizenship as explained by Kymlicka, and a social ethic of care. We argue that multicultural education has not addressed issues concerning the national question with respect to Aboriginal nationalist and Quebec demands, or has done so only in a fragmentary manner. Anti-racist education has developed a refreshing oppositional approach that deals with structures sustaining racism, sexism, and power issues. However, we contend that the dominance of globalization as an economic ideology and concomitant educational changes have generated conditions to deal with difference in terms of a democracy that has great faith in the power of the free market and lacks confidence in the possibility of conscious collective efforts to build a space to define and redefine a public good. There is no doubt that the economic agenda is influencing citizenship formation in our schools even as teachers and students mediate those influences. Relevant to the understanding of the building of a Canadian polity is the clarification of the concept of democracy in light of the market imperative which has permeated language and the construction of meanings.

Notre comprehension de la formation du regime canadien se base sur un modele de la democratie morale pluraliste qui reconnait un concept fluide de la conservation culturelle, d'un humanisme decentralise etd'une citoyennete differenciee comme expliquee par Kymlicka et d'une ethique sociale de soin. On soutient que l'education multiculturelle n'a pas adresse les problemes au sujet de la question nationale en ce qui concerne les revendications nationalistes des Autochtones ou des Quebecois, ou l' a fait seulement d'une facon fragmentaire. L'education antiraciste a developpe une approche oppositionnelle rafraichissante qui traite des structures qui soutiennent le racisme, le sexisme et les questions du pouvoir. Cependant, on pretend que la predominance de la globalisation comme ideologie economique et les changements educatifs concomitants ont genere une nouvelle situation qui exige l'attention des educateurs multiculturels/antiracistes critiques. Cependant, on pretend que la predominance de la globalisation comm e ideologie economique et les changements educatifs concomitants ont genere des conditions pour traiter de la difference sur l'angle d'une democratie qui a grande fois dans le pouvoirdu marche libre mais qui manque de confiance dans Ia possibilite d'efforts collectifs conscients de construire un bien public. Il n'y a aucun doute que le programme economique est en train d'influer sur Ia formation des citoyens dans nos ecoles au moment meme ou les professeurs et les etudiants servent d'intermediare entre ces influences. Pertinente la comprehension de la construction d'un regime canadien est la clarification du concept de la democratie la lumiere de l'exigence du marche, qui a penetre dans la langue et la construction des significations.

Introduction

In recent years Canadian scholars and political and social commentators have produced a spate of books which attempt to grapple with what many authors claim is a crisis of identity among Canadians. (1) Will Kymlicka argues that perhaps the most devastating cause of this malaise is that English Canada has lost confidence in its ability to define itself. Kymlicka worries that in their confusion over identity, English Canadians can never negotiate a satisfactory resolution to meet the constitutional demands of the two other groups (Aboriginal and Quebecois) which claim national status within the structure of the Canadian federation. (2) Formerly the dominant force in brokering the cultural identity of Canada, English Canada, he contends, continues to harbour a traditional conception of the meaning of nationality which does not permit multiple nations to reside in a single state. …

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