“Culturally sustaining pedagogy exists wherever education sustains the lifeways of communities who have been and continue to be damaged and erased through schooling” (Alim and Paris, 1) is an important part from Rodriguez’s “Chapter 4: School and Education of Young Adult Characters” connects culturally diverse literature to culturally relevant pedagogy. Multicultural literature can be used to create culturally sensitive pedagogy by creating “windows” or “mirrors” to cultures that have or are being “damaged and erased through schooling.” America is not a singular entity, so neither should the literature we teach be singular in perspective or voice.
Kumashiro’s Troubling Education covers four approaches to anti-oppressive pedagogy: Education for the Other, Education about the Other, Education that is Critical of Privileging and Othering, and Education that Changes Students and Society. The beauty of multicultural literature is that it allows an avenue to approach all of the kinds of anti-oppressive pedagogical approaches. Literature allows for the creation of windows and mirrors to and between cultural which helps cover Education for the Other (mirrors) and Education about the Other (windows). Further appropriately chosen novels can criticize Privilege and Othering and show students how to resist and recognize systemic oppression.
The Hate U Give has gained popularity in High School classrooms due to its current relevance and its ability to serve as a window and mirror. Further, The Hate U Give dives into the topics of oppression and privilege. It serves as an excellent avenue to trouble education through all four of the approaches that Kumashiro outlines. Knowing what area to focus on will depend on each individual educational setting but the flexibility of the novel demonstrates the importance of multicultural literature in an anti-oppressive classroom.
An interesting take away from Troubling Education is putting oppression into the perspective of repetition of harmful citational practices. Putting oppression into the lens of repetition puts the onus on teachers and educational professionals to draw attention to the reproduction of oppression. Critical Literacy therefore is tied back into the classroom in order to teach students how to “read” many types of multimedia and not stick to reading and analyzing traditional books and texts. Therefore, curriculum should not only include multicultural books but other forms of media that can be used to address Kumashiro’s four approaches to anti-oppressive pedagogy. To create an effective inclusive and anti-oppressive classroom educators need to include a wide breath of texts and perspectives in their curriculum that tie together. This is not a simple thing to create but a necessary one nonetheless.
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Resource: https://teachoverseas.uni.edu/ A yearly job fair at Northern Iowa University for international schools.