Multicultural Literacy in Canada
This workshop reports in a highly participatory manner on a study examining the state of 'multicultural literacy' among a broad sampling of Canadian youth. The study is premised on the hypothesis that the values and fears which structure the cultural and historical fabric of racism are undergirded by the legacy of Eurocentrism in school curricula and in cultural and political institutions (mass media, the arts, governments, community organizations, etc.). As a step towards understanding the progress and future directions of multicultural curriculum reform, this study set out to measure the current 'multicultural literacy' levels of our nation's young people: that is, the actual knowledge and understanding that youth have of the many intellectual, social and cultural contributions of the world's diverse cultures. Our workshop will both engage participants in an understanding of the methodological challenges of such research, and report on initial findings and implications from a large-scale survey of Canadian high school students to measure their 'multicultural literacy.' We are adopting the concept of 'cultural literacy' from the book of the same name by E.D. Hirsch (1988), but transforming it into an inclusive, rather than exclusive concept and project. In so doing, we will highlight pertinent implications of this study for multicultural reform in diverse societies. *** El taller sera bilingue, ingles y español ***
Keywords: Curriculum and Pedagogy Revisited., International, Global, Multicultural and Cross-cultural Education.
Dr. Lisa Taylor
Assistant Professor, School of Education, Bishop's University
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, McGill University