Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives

By James A. Banks | Go to book overview

I have argued that new approaches to multicultural and citizenship education have never entirely replaced older approaches. However, the older approaches and the ideals they represent have generally ceased to be part of the public dialogue. When the federal government, for example, embraced a social justice perspective on multiculturalism, it was common to hear officials talk about “song and dance” in disparaging ways. Given the current shift, as both Jenson (1998) and Ball (1998) have implied, if we wish to reinsert social justice, identity, and an activist orientation into multicultural and citizenship education, we need a new narrative. Peace education, by responding to concerns about violence in schools and society, provides the possibility for a new narrative. There is a wealth of literature on education for peace from which we can build. The tasks that remain are to define programs of action and to influence the public debate.


NOTES
1
There are many terms used to describe the aboriginal peoples of Canada. The term First Nations has been adopted by aboriginal peoples to insist on their status as the original inhabitants of the land and to underscore their right to self-government.
2
The 2001 census data indicate that the population is now just over 30 million, but Statistics Canada has not yet released the data on the immigrant and ethnic breakdowns.
3
The percentage of people indicating support for statements such as “diversity is one thing I like I about Canada” has consistently been 65% or higher.
4
This was later lowered to $100,000.
5
This measure was introduced by the left-of-center government that held power until the mid-1990s, and although its right-of-center successor dismantled many equity and diversity programs, this policy has remained in place.

REFERENCES

Anderson, J.T.M. (1918). The education of the new Canadian: A treatise on Canada's greatest educational problem. Toronto, Ontario: J. M. Dent and Sons.

Ball, S. (1998). Big policies/small world: An introduction to international perspectives in education policy. Comparative Education, 34 (2), 119–128.

Behiels, M. D. (1991). Quebec and the question of immigration: From ethnocentrism to ethnic pluralism, 1900–1985. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Historical Society.

-152-

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