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Educação e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 1517-9702On-line version ISSN 1678-4634


GONCALVES, Luiz Alberto Oliveira  and  SILVA, Petronilha Beatriz Gonçalves e. Multiculturalism and education: from street protest to proposals and policies. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.1, pp.109-123. ISSN 1517-9702.

The present article follows on some of the elements investigated in a previous text by the authors entitled "Spotting the differences: multiculturalism and its contexts". Considering the profound changes undergone by the context of debate of this theme in Brazil, new issues are raised here which, in the authors view, have been only touched upon in the discussions in the field of education, since those discussions tend to focus on multiculturalism as if it were a movement exclusively related to the school or to education. It is the authors' intention to highlight the fact that, before being introduced into the educational field, expressions of multiculturalism were felt in the arts, in social movements, and in politics. The authors point out how multiculturalism implies the recognition of differences, the right to difference, questioning the kind of treatment that identities have been given in traditional democracies. Finally, the article also intends to draw attention to the significance of the context of each multicultural society in the definition of education proposals and policies. At the international level, reactions against ethnocentrism have not always taken the direction of multiculturality; one can find multicultural proposals as well as ethnically centered ones. The authors conclude that a multicultural education will require a large effort to deconstruct categories. Failure to do that can result in the issue of cultural plurality, advocated by the National Curriculum Parameters, being treated in the classrooms on the basis of meanings that kindle and renew prejudiced and discriminatory discourses and attitudes.

Keywords : Multiculturalism; Education; Politics of recognition; Affirmative action.

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