Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives

By James A. Banks | Go to book overview

PART TWO
THE UNITED STATES
AND CANADA

THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA SHARE a number of historical, cultural, and political experiences. Both nations have cultural and political institutions that are dominated by their Anglo-Saxon culture and traditions that originated in England. One important difference between the two nations is that the French have a strong cultural and language presence in one province of Canada. Both the United States and Canada share democratic political institutions that have equality, justice, and human rights as dominant ideologies. However, as the two chapters in this part indicate, there is a wide gap between democratic ideals and realities in both nation-states. Both nations are also immigrant societies, and both view themselves as such.

The chapter by Ladson-Billings (Chapter 4) describes how the worldview of citizenship in the United States was complex and problematic from the beginning because of the contradiction between American democratic ideals and the practice of slavery. Christianity, ideas about American exceptionalism, and Turner's frontier thesis further complicated ideas about citizenship in the United States. Ladson-Billings describes the rich and growing ethnic diversity in the United States and how individuals from ethnic groups of color experience problems attaining full citizenship rights in the United

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