Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Multicutural education has been a growing debate within school systems for many years. This has been a problem because their are so many students with diverse backgrounds are coming to school expecting to see some of their own culture being brought in the curriculum. The debate is that when students of different cultures come to school and do not relate well with the traditional curriculum they don't do well in that school. They end up being called "culturally disadvantage". When middle class white students are not doing well, it is often thought that there is a problem with the teaching method. This problem undermines the confidence of diverse groups. Teachers and society assume that the only thing wrong with diverse children is the environment that they live in. The problem rest with the school systems. They need to put different cultures within the schools curriculum.

The word "multiculturalism" is define as being, "a general desire or need for students to have something in the curriculum that relates to their own ethnic traits, if these exists, or to those of their parents ancestors". Culture is define in a way where "a particular group is categorized reality in terms of language, beliefs, values, customs, kinship patterns, skills , and dietary customs". This means that culture with itтАЩs different practices, and beliefs help diverse people make sense of the world. Culture and our whole outlook of the world are put together by our attitudes, values, opinions, and concepts. Also affect on how we think, make decisions, behave, and define events. For people to understand people from other cultures they need to understand their attitudes, values, and beliefs, and where they come from. They need to understand how racism and oppression effects them and how they cope with it. The education system has a responsibility to recognize and respect diversity because it's not going away.

The goal of multi cultural education is to teach students different cultural backgrounds so they can function in a diverse, cultural world, which is reality. The debate over multiculturalism is how to define the content and practices, along with what groups would benefit from it. Some researchers view multi cultural education as "specifically addressing bilingual, bicultural education, race and ethnicity". Multi cultural education shouldn't be categorized to fit one group, mostly the more oppressed or the most talked about minorities. Multi cultural education should be for all diverse and oppressed groups. The problem is that most teachers are not familiar with different cultures, so it starts with teachers. They need to be educated themselves. All the teachers not just the white one's need to be taught different cultural. A lot of teachers don't even know their own background. When the teachers are caught up with their education, then a multi cultural curriculum and can be created, which won't be easy. It requires sensitivity, respect, understanding and acceptance for ethnic social and cultural diversity. It also requires "an understanding that variations in learning experiences have an effect on a students achievement and performance outcomes". Students should benefit from this, to where it boost their self-esteem and academic and personal achievements. This program should be used to minimize stereotypes and prejudices, understanding one's attitudes in order to understand where that person is coming from.

Some states are already starting a multi cultural education program, such as New York. Teachers reported teaching materials on minorities and women. Others dealt with the Holocaust. "A survey of in-service workshops completed by New York State teachers in 1990-91 showed that far more had taken workshops on African History, black studies, ethnic studies, multi cultural education, and cultural diversity than of American and European History". As I said before it starts with the teachers education. How are they suppose to teach a multi cultural education program if they donтАЩt know anything about other cultural. You learn about Euro- American history starting in the 4th or 5th grade till your finish with school all together. The most you learn about other cultural, mostly deals with slavery, war , and protesting, which are all important no doubt, but it doesn't explain everything.

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Marx vs Locke

In Estranged Labour, Karl Marx sets fourth his conception of human nature as a species being. According to Marx, human beings are universal beings because of their ability to live in any environment by changing and preparing their surroundings. Marx differentiates human beings from animals in that animals produce only when doing so is necessary to their survival. Moreover, they produce only in ways that are fixed by their nature. However, human beings can produce many kinds of goods and in many different ways. According to Marx, human beings are unlike animals in that they engage in "free, conscious" productive activity. Their productive activity itself is a product of their will and they can make choices about what and how to produce. Therefore, "man is capable of producing according to the standards of every species and of applying to each object its inherent standard; hence, man also produces in accordance with the laws of beauty."

All four possessions from which we are alienated are related, in one way or another, to our productive activity. As beings who must be productive, human beings must interact with nature and other human beings to make things and effect changes in the world around them. This seems to be the central feature of human life for Marx. Thus to be alienated from our species being is to be distanced from our fundamental nature as productive beings.

Within a capitalist society, work is done for someone else and the worker lacks autonomy. Therefore, human beings are alienated from their species being. They derive no personal satisfaction from their work, in which they must engage to acquire the things they need. Work is not a source of self-fulfillment because it is non-rewarding and non-creative. People do not think of themselves as free, conscious, social producers but rather as being bound by the necessity to do unpleasant work that brings them into conflict with other people. Alienation from species being, then, is essentially misunderstanding the basic nature of human beings.

Essential to Marx’s account of human nature is the notion that people are not lazy – the notion that people enjoy work that challenges and encourages them to produce better products more efficiently. Unfortunately, the predominate worldview that portrays people as lazy slobs who would not work if food, shelter, education, health care, etc. were the guaranteed rights of all people comes to the surface in discussion after discussion of The Communist Manifesto. A worldview perpetuated to divide those lucky enough to find low paying dead end jobs from those not so lucky. However, according to Marx, Luck has nothing to do with it – those who are advantaged in the relations of production will always frame things in a way that perpetuates that advantage.

Marx regards an objective and universal conscious activity as the main ontological character of human being, a species being. Each man represents other men, i.e. each man as an individual contains mankind in his human essence. For Marx, every organism has internal relations with other existence through its objective activity. However, while the objective activity of animal is essentially limited, that of a human being as a conscious species being has universality, which reaches, to the whole world. Man produces not only his purpose and his enjoyment but also those of the whole world including his own species and other species. Marx considers that this universality of man leads us to be a free being.

Unlike Locke, Marx does not incorporate a necessity of God in his theory of human nature. Marx takes a materialist conception which begins with the proposition that "the production of the means to support human life ... is the basis of all social structure". Therefore, an individual's equality in relation to others is compliant in relation to the social relationship, which they are in.
Locke’s theory of the state of nature is that human beings are born in “A state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons . . .” and “A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another.” Locke believes that because human beings are created by God that man = man = man = man. Therefore, we have rights to those goods that everyone in the state of nature seeks – life, liberty and property. Locke’s argument is that we are all the workmanship of God. Thus, we are morally equal and should treat each other, as God would have us be treated. Thus, the law of nature must be equal: it must give every human being the same rights and duties.

The status of a human being, in Locke’s time, was based on sameness and the predominant worldview at that time meant that you had to be male, white, and protestant. Therefore, women did not share equal status with men. Women were human like but because they are different from men, they are not quite human beings. Therefore, Locke believed that males should rule in the state as well as the family. If women were to be considered human beings, they would have a right, in the state of nature, to retaliate against their oppressors and aggressors.

God creates all men being equal to each other and as a result, no man has the right to be supreme over any other. Because men are the workmanship of God who has created him, all men are morally obligated to follow the law of nature, which prohibits taking anyone’s life, liberty and property. Furthermore, man in the state of nature has an obligation to not harm others or another’s property. No one has any authority or right to exercise power over anyone else. In addition, if person A tries to injure person B, then person B has a right to retaliate and if detained against his will, punishment up to and including death is permitted. Moreover, because we are all equal, an attack on one man is an attack on all of mankind; therefore, all of mankind has a right to punish.

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