In keeping with our theme for the month, today’s ¡Mira Look! highlights another of my favorite teacher resource books–Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for racial and cultural justice. In Rethinking Multicultural Education editor Wayne Au has collected the best Rethinking Schools articles that deal with race and culture.
The following describes the intent and focus of the book: “Moving beyond a simplistic focus on heroes and holidays, foods and festivals, Rethinking Multicultural Education demonstrates a powerful vision of anti-racist social justice education. Practical, rich in story, and analytically sharp, Rethinking Multicultural Education reclaims multicultural education as part of a larger struggle for justice and against racism, colonization, and cultural oppression-in schools and society. The book features 40 chapters, split into 4 sections: Anti-Racist Orientations; Language, Culture, and Power; Transnational Identities; Multicultural Classrooms; and Confronting Racism in the Classroom.” The book won the 2010 Skipping Stones Honor Award as one of the “finest teaching resources that promote multicultural awareness”. For more on what’s included in the book, check out the table of contents here.
Like Beyond Heroes and Holidays, this book examines what we mean by multicultural education. I believe it’s a powerful resource for a number of reasons. First, many of the articles included are written by teachers, describing their own experiences teaching about language, culture and race in the classroom. As anyone who’s tried to do this knows, it’s not easy, and it’s often messy. The teachers here don’t sugarcoat anything. They discuss both their successes and failures and model a self-reflectiveness that is so necessary if we’re going to do this kind of work in our classrooms. It’s also powerful because of its applicability. Many of the articles include discussions of actual lesson plans used by the teachers, with a variety of subjects and age levels covered. A teacher can find actual activities to implement in their own classroom.
Voices from the Middle wrote the following in their review:
“This important book redefines the meaning of multicultural education. You will read about the struggles and successes of teachers and students engaged in bilingual and multicultural education; the power and potential of language use; strategies to confront racial issues in the classroom, and ways to include critical literacy practices in the curriculum. This book will leave you with new questions and insights about issues of equity, access, diversity, special education, ELL learners, and anti-racist education. Most of all, it will provide you with a broader, more inclusive perspective that can lead to meaningful professional conversations about social justice and systemic change in our schools.” (Volume 17: Issue 2)
It’s an excellent book–not one that I think you’d regret taking a look at! Feel free to share any comments or suggestions of other resources below!