Teaching Multicultured Students: Culturism and Anti-Culturism in School Classrooms

By Alex Moore | Go to book overview

4

Symbolic Exclusion

The Denial of Experience

Routine Marginalizations
There are many ways in which, in physically inclusive micro-systems, bilingual students are routinely marginalized and excluded symbolically. These include, inter alia:
• Schools absenting students’ first languages from public display (for example, public notices, welcoming signs, or classroom/corridor wall-displays of students’ work)
• Teachers ignoring bilingual students’ presence in the classroom (for example, avoiding eye contact, not offering help, not allowing or encouraging students to ask questions in whole-class discussion)
• The systemic imposition of a curriculum that is culturally biased and which is unproblematically reproduced locally through tasks and worksheets
• Schools assessing students’ capabilities and achievements on entry through a language in which the student is not yet fluent
• The provision of support for the development of students’ second-language skills (for example, through the provision of EAL teachers) but not for supporting the development of first languages or for promoting cognitivelinguistic development through those languages (for example, through the provision of bilingual support teachers)

Without wishing to underestimate the impact of such marginalizations on bilingual students’ development and self-perception, it is my central purpose to evaluate teaching-learning situations in which teachers themselves do make positive efforts to help their bilingual students and to avoid their marginalization. The intention of such an evaluation is that it may help teachers who already operate in this way to be more effective in their operations and to be aware that, even within the overtly inclusive classroom, marginalizing culturist practices can sneak in ‘through the back door’.

I have already implied that withdrawing bilingual students for ‘decontextualized’ language work immediately suggests a certain kind of pedagogy

-62-

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Teaching Multicultured Students: Culturism and Anti-Culturism in School Classrooms
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Series Editor’s Preface xi
  • 1 - Themes and Perspectives 1
  • 2 - Marginalizing Bilingual Students 16
  • 3 - Bilingual Education Theory 43
  • Notes 59
  • 4 - Symbolic Exclusion 62
  • 5 - Partial Inclusion 82
  • 6 - Partial Inclusion 101
  • 7 - Working with Bidialectal Students 126
  • 8 - Exercises in Illumination 153
  • 9 - Afterword 175
  • References 186
  • Index 196
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