Essay Questions

  1. Given that most adolescents and young adults are growing up with social media as their primary news outlet which doubles as a communication and support system, how can educators incorporate social media and tech to teach/promote conversations around social justice topics for adolescents without focusing too much on “the other” and bringing it into the “self”? Social justice topics include Canadian Indigenous rights, Black Lives Matter, the gender pay gap, etc…

Development and improvement in technology have made it easy for education purposes and advocating for social justice over the past few decades. Adolescents and young adults spend most of their time on social media platforms than in schools. Educators can utilize this channel to spark social justice by providing genuine information in blog posts to create social injustices. For instance, Muslim students are discriminated against and portrayed negatively by the media due to many terrorists belonging to the Islam religion (Watt, 2018). The education system needs to create a course on social justice and rights and use the available channels like online classes, television programs, and electronic books to reach the young generation easily. Communication channels have drastically changed, and the traditional author-reader relationship does not work in the modern world. Schooling cannot continue with the old ways of educating students and should strive to incorporate technology to maintain the modern student relationship.

  • The media misrepresents and skews reality, especially for marginalized groups and high-tension events. What would a curriculum look like if it involved teaching students how to analytically engage with media to avoid misunderstandings?

In the wake of technology and media, it has become difficult to differentiate between real and unreal because the information is no longer attached to the material world. While the media tends to exaggerate information, the youth need to refrain from a monogamous form of knowledge and embrace analyzing information intertwin the connection between human perception and reality (Michell, 2015). Educators need to equip students with diverse forms of knowledge and emphasize analyzing before drawing conclusions about social media information. As the world advances technologically, schools need to teach students new epistemologies of meaning-making. The curriculum needs to provide facts and differentiate them from myths for a better understanding. The media uses myths to propagate fake information, like criticizing the Muslim cultural attire as a hiding tactic for terror. When the curriculum focuses on providing accurate information, students are better equipped to distinguish and separate real and unreal information on the media.

  • What is your experience with multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism? In the wake of globalization and internationalization educational curriculums and other fields, does multiculturalism still have a role to play? Can we focus on the local aspects of culture within the broader spaces of cosmopolitanism? If so, how?

Multiculturalism is a critical aspect that teaches the importance of respecting everyone’s culture. Interaction between people of different cultures allows one to have extensive knowledge and appreciate the differences. Cosmopolitanism promotes multiculturalism by bringing people together. Multiculturalism interaction intends to create discipline by creating room for differences (Pinar, 2010). The education system needs to keep pace with globalization and internationalization. These factors promote multiculturalism by allowing people from different regions to come together in a mutually beneficial relationship. The schools are tasked to teach different cultural practices and shun the traditional form of education about the immediate culture. Cosmopolitanism can erode education about local culture as natives get influenced to imitate foreign cultural behaviors. Local culture can be achieved in a cosmopolitan environment through conducting cultural events to showcase local cultural practices.

  • In terms of curricular theorizing and implementation, how can an educational researcher or curriculum theorizer internationalize curriculums across borders and specifically across cultural, multicultural, national and global contexts. What sort of biases should the researcher avoid, what sort of lens should they adopt to bridge connections and avoid other-ing a perspective that isn’t theirs? (This includes designing a research project, or implementing a curriculum abroad. etc)

Curriculum theorizers need to engage in research projects across the globe so as to develop a learning system that promoted internationalization. Some of the projects they can take include symposiums meant to discuss their experiences and share international education incentives (Smith, 2014). They should develop a common curriculum that is applicable in the world regardless of the religion one is located. Having a common education system will support internationalization since knowledge is available everywhere. The researchers should refrain from prioritizing major cultures over minority ones since this is discrimination. Curriculum theorizers should ensure that they invite delegates from different cultural and regional backgrounds and conduct diverse research cutting across all cultures. Commonalities between the cultures should be encouraged since they provide a connection and promote multiculturalism.

  • After reading about discussions of the duality of secular education and work spaces and the right to express one’s religion or culture (via clothing, etc), I started to think about bridging connections in curriculums between countries that are very culturally different. For example, media and material in the Middle East is sometimes censored or adapted to avoid portraying information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. While it is difficult to see many countries home to women who still cannot partake in education or personal growth as men can, the “Western” curriculum is too often wrongly portrayed (to Westerners) as the ‘true, unbiased’ curriculum, when it is definitely not without its flaws. What would an international or cosmopolitan curriculum look like? How can both Western and non-Western perspectives be shared in this ideal international curriculum?

A cosmopolitan curriculum should have room and space for all people regardless of their culture or religious belief. For instance, despite the western education systems being considered unbiased, Muslim girls continue to feel that the education system does not provide an opportunity to maximize their potential (Watt, 2011). Social activities that are offered by the curriculum are in conflict with their religious belief. A cosmopolitan curriculum should be flexible to accommodate differences that are brought about by people’s culture and religious beliefs. Education in non-western regions is discriminatory in nature, with males having the upper hand over females. Their women are left behind by other regions that allow females to participate in curriculum activities. The western and non-western education practices should be combined after refining and removing hurdles that do not promote internationalism.

References

Mitchell, C. (2015). Fire+ Hope up: On revisiting the process of revisiting a literacy for social action project. In J. Sefton-Green & J. Rowsell.(Eds.), Learning and literacy over time: Longitudinal perspectives, 32-45.

Pinar, W. F. (2010). Hand in hand: Multiculturalism, nationality, cosmopolitanism. Multicultural Education Review, 2(1), 25-53.

Smith, O.G. (2014). Wisdom responses to globalization. In W.F.Pincoz (Ed.), International Handbook of Curriculum Research. pp. 369-377. New York Routledge.

Watt, D. (2011). From the streets of Peshawar to the cover of Maclean’s Magazine: Reading images of Muslim women as currere to interrupt gendered Islamophobia. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27(1).

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