Multicultural education courses pose individual challenges to both students and instructors. Such courses, by their nature, raise powerful and unavoidable questions about issues of sexism, racism, social in-equality, and linguistic as well as religious diversity, which tend to be uncomfortable topics for students and teachers to discuss. As Ahlquist (1992) indicates, " whether unconscious or conscious, intentional or unintentional, prospective teachers find it difficult to accept that whites have ben-efited economically, socially and psycho-logically from institutional and interac-tional racism, and males have benefited from sexism " (p. 89). Such attitudes can create tension between students and in-structors and among students themselves in multicultural education courses, as dem-onstrated in the article by Gutierrez-Gomez (2002). This tension may raise re-sistance, which is a major obstacle to learn-ing and achieving desired change. The journey towards effectively help-ing students become aware of their biases, stereotypes, prejudices, and privileges must begin with multicultural education instructors themselves. They must explore their own cultural preconceptions and ide-ologies through careful and truthful reflec-tive self-analysis in order to be able to manage and constructively interpret theirs and their students' shared societal and classroom lived experiences. Teaching multicultural education is much more than dispensing content and knowledge. It is about building relationships (Nieto, 1999), and do so in a classroom environment that fosters mutual recognition and validation. This article looks closely at the chal-lenges of teaching a graduate multicul-tural education seminar from an instructor's personal perspective. First, I discuss my cultural identity and my ratio-nale for teaching multicultural education. Second, I explain my philosophy of multicultural education. Third, I outline the objectives of the course. Fourth, I dis-cuss the teaching challenges I encounter in teaching the course, from the perspec-tive of a faculty of color on a predominantly White campus. I conclude with some rec-ommendations for learners and teachers of multicultural education.
- Department of Allied Health Professions, Sport and Exercise - Acting Head of Division
- School of Human and Health Sciences
- Centre for Applied Research in Health - Member