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Lesson Plans


multicultural questions

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mike
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 10:59:22 +0100

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>> Most of the world
>> today seems to share a common culture. Industry, commercialization and
>> communication technologies are minimizing true cultural differences as we
>> have understood them (I did not say they are obsolete!)

>In spite of this (maybe because of this) indigenous peoples hold on to
their
>cultures and traditions. All cultures have not become the same. Exactly
>what and where is this common world culture? While all human beings share
>some cultural attributes, differences persist. Cultures are unique...and
>they have a context. That is the point that has been made here. How do we
>teach and learn about other cultures in context, a context that is not
white
>and eurocentric?

Fred:

While I agree with your point that "differences persist" in regard to
various world cultures, I would also probe a bit further with that question.
Before you dismiss entirely the "global culture" issue, consider this: how
does one define "indigenous peoples" today, when living in isolation (that
is to say, without contact with another group of people) is becoming almost
impossible? Colonialism, capitalism, multinatinal corporations, an
exploding global population and the ability to travel just about anywhere
have all played a part in both cross-fertilizing cultures and, on the down
side, eroding differences. An interesting take on this subject is the
novel, A Bend in the River. The author's name escapes me right now.

I know this doesn't answer the question of how do we teach and learn about
other cultures, which is a difficult question indeed. I won't presume to
answer this, but will suggest that the first step is to recognize and
acknowledge where you're at and where you coming from.

Just my two cents.

Mike

Mike Willis
Curator of Education
ExhibitsUSA


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