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Lesson Plans

Re: CELEBRATING PLURALISM and appropriation.

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carla harwitt (
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 15:47:18 -0800 (PST)

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Dear Graeme,

I would be very interested in your reply to my concerns about setting up
walls between people and stifling communication when we begin to view
learning by emulation as inappropriate unless you are actually part of
that particular culture. Isn't a white child making a pinata (sorry-don't
know how to write an "nye" in this typeface!), or a Hispanic child singing
"Ride the Chariot" (a Negro spiritual) in a school choral concert, or
Whoopi Goldberg playing Pseudolus (a male Greek slave character created by
Plautus in Ancient Rome) on Broadway, a way of creating empathy for other
cultures? I'm really puzzled about why this is considered by you and some
others to be a problem?

--Carla in LA

On Mon, 10 Feb 1997, Graeme Chalmers wrote:

> Thanks to Cecilia, Nancy, James, Jeff and others for their thoughful
> insights. Perhaps Kim Sherman sent us the most appropriate quote:
> "Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you,
> they're supposed to help you discover who you are."
> Bernice Johnson Reagon
> and I would add: "Who others are."
> Graeme Chalmers
> Graduate Adviser
> Department of Curriculum Studies
> University of British Columbia
> Vancouver, B.C.
> Canada V6T 1Z4
> Tel: 604 822-4842
> Fax: 604 822-9366

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