Rahil Ismail

Affiliations: 
National Institute of Education (Singapore)

The “New” Multiculturalism: National and Educational Perspectives

"As a self-ascribed “multiracial nation” Singapore has risen to the challenge of managing diversity through its official “Multicultural, Multiracial, Multireligious and Multilingual” (4Ms) components of nation building. The mantra of “unity within diversity,” prompted by economic and political pragmatism rather than a more nuanced understanding of diversity itself, co-opted the education system as a part of societal governance and management. “Comfortable,” yet at times questionable, notions of how diversity was understood, presented and executed in schools dominated the institutionalised narratives prior to more recent seismic changes and challenges which are now compelling the nation to consider the fuller complexity of what diversity or multiracialism/multiculturalism actually entails. "

The Place of History in Multicultural Education

"As a multi-disciplinary subject, history education has been perennially a case of interpretative management of narrative mythologies. In this, multicultural education as a reform process that strives for dignity, equity and social justice has a natural home in history education not just by affirming and empowering pupils marginalised by hegemonic narratives but through its potential in nurturing multicultural values that can benefit all pupils."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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