Evaluating Cultural Practices for Inclusion in the Public School Multicultural Curriculum
©2005 E. G. Rozycki & G. K. Clabaugh

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PART I. Attitudes and Actions

A. Consider how the inclusion in a school curriculum of a religious practice, for example,

might be dealt with: (Call these ACTIONS)

a. The religious practice may be mentioned; this is permitted in public schools.

b. The religious practice may be discussed; this is permitted in public schools.

c. The religious practice may be displayed (demonstrated); this is permitted in public schools.

d. The religious practice may be promoted; this is not permitted in public schools.

B. Consider that the schools attitudes vis - à - vis a potential curricular item may be (call these ATTITUDES): a. Encouraging b. Permitting c. Ignoring d. Discouraging e. Condemning

action

attitude

Do Nothing

Mention

Discuss

Display
(Demonstrate)

Promote

Encouraging

         

Permitting

         

Ignoring

         

Discouraging

         

Condemning

         

C. We can combine A and B into a chart to consider how multicultural practices may be handled. Enter the number of each item 1 - 20 below into the chart immediately above indicating with a circled number your personal preference and with an uncircled number what you think the consensus in your school community would be.

1. Participate in a harvest festival

11. Encourage adolescents to have sex.

2. Regard the Earth with respect, i.e. as one's "mother, " so to speak.

12. Regard married women as the property of their husband.

3. Eat the flesh of horses.

13. Have multiple wives.

4. Make fun of disabled persons.

14. Prohibit married women from leaving the house unaccompanied by a male relative.

5. Select marriage partners for children

15. Sacrifice animals during religious practice.

6. Ban girls from formal education.

16. Eat the flesh of cats and dogs

7. Single out homosexuals for special abuse.

17. Take hallucinogenic drugs for religious purposes

8. Use corporal punishment.

18. Surgically remove the clitoris of all pubescent girls.

9. Kill animals for entertainment

19. Eat insects.

10. Eat special foods on holidays

20. Venerate the elderly.

D. Do your preferences differ from what you believe it would be possible to achieve consensus on in your community? Why?

PART II. Evaluating Behavior

E. What kinds of behavior might we observe to indicate an item's being acted upon with a certain attitude? Construct five examples on the following pattern:

Cultural item + acted upon + with attitude: example

Eating insects mentioned discouragingly: "Children, eating bugs is dangerous."

or

Venerating the elderly discussed encouragingly: "You young people should appreciate and respect what your grandparents have achieved in their lives."

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2. _____________________________________________________________________________

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3. _____________________________________________________________________________

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4. _____________________________________________________________________________

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F. What ethical justification would there be for each item in E?

1. _____________________________________________________________________________

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2. _____________________________________________________________________________

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3. _____________________________________________________________________________

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4. _____________________________________________________________________________

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See also, How Multicultural a Teacher Are You Prepared to Be?

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