The Awkwardness of the M Word: Canadian Multicultural Education After the Death of Multiculturalism Wright, Handel
This session presents two tales of Canadian multiculturalism in general and multicultural education in particular. One tale is of a common sense, dominant multicultural education that underscores multiculturalism as a symbol and premiere characteristic of Canada. There may have been some critiques from the left and the right in the past and there’s always the awkwardness of Quebec’s interculturalism and intercultural education but these are past and peripheral matters that do little to trouble the idea that Canada and its approach to diversity education are decidedly multicultural. A rather different tale emerges when we consider multiculturalism and multicultural education in the context of global developments such as “the death of multiculturalism” discourse, the emergence of European interculturalism and intercultural education and even national and local developments of a variety of school board approaches to diversity, all of which constitutes cracks in the façade of a completely dominant Canadian multiculturalism and multicultural education. The invitation is for us to consider what the future of diversity education ought to be locally and nationally given the contradictory state of affairs of complacently hegemonic Canadian multiculturalism and multicultural education on the one hand and passé, challenged and undermined multiculturalism and multicultural education on the other.
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