The Place of History in Multicultural Education, pp. 2 of 15

As a multi-disciplinary subject, History and history education has been perennially a question of interpretative management and narrative mythologies. With the latter, the power of presenting the past goes beyond the ability to present a series of sequential “facts” but one that underlines the inextricable intersections of the past, present and future while subsumed by myriad, controversial political objectives. In conjunction with multicultural education as a reform process that strives for dignity, equity and social justice (Banks & Banks, 2005) framed by a respectful recognition of the individual (Taylor, 1994) and the politics of dignity, history education has tremendous potential. Notably this is simply not a case of affirming and empowering narratives for pupils marginalised by the institutionalisation of hegemonic narratives, the potential includes the nurturing of standards and embedment of perspectives that can benefit all pupils as a continual education process that promotes critical awareness in challenging issues of discrimination, marginalisation and the perpetuation of embedded power structures.

What constitutes as multiculturalism or multicultural education, as with other terms used to discuss the nature of History or history education suffers from terminological variations and meanings, social and political inputs and the impact of personal and private experiences on and of policy framework, formulation and application. Generally however, multicultural education advocates concur on the aims of multicultural education as an equalising educational experience that is an ongoing, unending, structurally transformative reform process comprising significant educational and social dimensions (Banks & Banks, 2005, pp. 3-27). Why multicultural education (Banks & Banks, 2005, p. 27) and its primacy?

Multicultural education is an idea stating that all students, regardless of the groups to which they belong, such as those related to gender, ethnicity, race, culture, language, social class, religion, or exceptionality, should experience educational equality in the schools. Some students, because of their particular characteristics, have a better chance to succeed in school as it is currently structured than students from other groups.

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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