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This is how I approach multiculturalism. My understanding was that as
communities become more multicultural and the world becomes more
interconnected people will need to respect and understand each other to a
greater degree than has been the case. Our community is rural and small
and it is rapidly changing. Our school now has students whose families'
heritage is from Laos, Mexico, China, Pakistan, Iran, Viet Nam, Peru,
Native American and students whose families have been here since the
founding of the town. My students learn about art (established as
historically important in western culture) that informed and was intended
to foster deep thought and, hopefully, change in a culture, ie. Picasso's
"Guernica", Goya's "The Disasters of War". I present a poem entitled "You
Don't Live on My Street" which is about being black and poor. Then I show
the Judy Baca video from " A World of Art: Works in Progress" which shows a
muralist and educator organizing Hispanic students to "paint their story".
We discuss how the telling of one's story can be a transformative
experience both for the creator of a work and for those who view it. The
stated purpose of my lesson is: Make the world a better place through
understanding. I am not clear on why this happens, but those students who
are black or whose heritage is diverse create art work in the vein of the
poem or Baca's Border People Mural, the others often use thier families'
religious orientation. The students have respected each others' work and
have encouraged the bravery that is needed to enlighten the others about