Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 46
  1. #16
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    Kat -- Absolutely.

    To my way of thinking, the real underlying problem is the lack of diverse kinds of education. Canada, in general, focuses primarily on white-collar education. Setting up curricula to accommodate all types of learning styles and behaviours should overcome cultural qualifiers. The benchmarks over "learning" really aught to be expanded, such that one can demonstrate they understand math by performing a task which requires math, or by writing it down. And ideally, everyone should get some education in as many ways to do things as possible. The problem may appear to be a racial one, but I think we can all tell that the real issue is SES and the failure of the education system to have much meaning to lose who are lower on the SES scale.

    Zorob -- A very interesting idea. That's similar to the reasoning behind why they "forcibly" relocate gang-members through the welfare system here. It doesn't seem to be working here, though. But yeah, Gary's questions... Is it being resisted or accepted?

  2. #17
    Where's Tonto zorobnice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    560
    The first thing I need to point out is that I am an African, I have lived with these huge wide cultures since I was born. When you deal with some of them, you CANNOT think like a westerner, you will go mad. We expect there to be tension etc. but it was a relatively peaceful process, from what I have been able to garner from the people I work with, who were the children back then. Forced integration it was, but I believe the tribal elders with government had got to the point where something had to be done, so It was not one man's idea that was forced down on society, it was done with the elders support.

  3. #18
    Shouldn't it be ironic that after the Black civil rights movement that fought long and hard for integration there is now a movement for segregation?

    What are these proposed schools being set up for? Racial reasons? Religious reasons? Cultural reasons? Economic status reasons? Disability reasons? The problem that sticks out to me is that it is being set up on racial lines. Do blacks need a special curriculum to succeed. If so why don't Asians? Within the current framework already there are probably schools dominated along racial and ethnic lines. I would wager there are high Black population schools already, high Asian populations schools, high Caucasian populations schools. There is no need to create a new category.

    The intentions might be good but the implications aren't. The school if unsuccessful could turn into a dumping ground and if anything contribute further to the notion that certain groups of people are naturally inferior.

    It's strange that in a year which sees probably the most electable black candidate ever in a US presidential election, the above course of action is seen as the best way forward. If we are to consider Obama a model of the kind of black citizen we'd like to see come out of the school system I'm tempted to look into Obama's background. What I see is an individual whose formative years were spent in schools that were probably less racially charged and where there was an absence of both the US black ghetto culture and mentality of victimization and white history of discrimination and privilege. Maybe I can see a case for blacks being separated from whites, that way there's no excuse for being oppressed by whites---but then put them in right beside everyone else. Of course why any other non-white group would consent to that is another story since they don't seem to have the same problem to the same degree.

    By the way, what exactly would a Black-centric or friendly curriculum look like? Would they learn of the likes of a Reginald Lewis who succeeded at a white man's game by simply being better or is it all going to be about a history of being repressed and oppressed serving as much as anything to perpetuate resentment?

  4. #19
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    Hey Bond, this thread is about Canada! Get your American politicking out of here!

    I kid, I kid.

    I agree, it is a bit surprising that after the social revolutions of the 60's we're now examining segregation as the better way. However, if you look at Europe as an example, you see the same thing on a larger scale. Nations and national identity, traditionally, have been based on "racial" and cultural segregation lines. Within the Nations, people generally enjoyed similar rights and privileges. Racism (which in most cases is really culturalism) only becomes a big problem in "integrated" societies. The result -- segregation, where race and culture become class. In a sense, the kind of segregation we're looking at now is the establishment of sub-nations within the Nation.

    The africentric schools are supposed to account for a racial line of class division -- SES is the real problem here, and it's reinforced by the modern oppressed-black get-rich-or-die-trying mentality. Which makes school seem irrelevant to the young black, particularly male, students. You've either gotta rap, be a baller, or in a gang. So the argument goes...

    The idea is to make school relevant to black kids. The curriculum is supposed to be more reflective of black history -- what that means, no one can say for sure. Involuntary colonialism? History of Africa? ...Even though the reality is that many of the kids in question know nothing about Africa and care nothing for it -- it's an abstract "home" like Scotland is to me... I'm at least 9th or 10th generation Canadian, by the way. Which really means my family is pre-Canadian. We haven't found our earliest immigrant family in the tree yet, but it appears that my Canadian family may have started here as Scottish/Irish white slaves. So...

    Anyway, the precedent for these schools is based on three or four American africentric schools. I saw an interview with the founder of the first africentric school, and basically the difference appears to be that most of the teachers are visible minorities. In Canada at least, most teachers are middle-class, white, and often women. So...

    As for American politics... the sad thing is, if it comes down to McCain vs. Obama, I'd be inclined to vote for McCain. Sure, he's crusty and old. But I think he is better able to cross the party line than Obama.
    Last edited by Fung Koo; February 22nd, 2008 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #20
    I didn't do it! Fantasyeatergal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Québec, Canada (yes, I'm a french speaker, so you guys be nice when I'm not grammatically correct)
    Posts
    105
    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    So it's a short-term solution to much bigger problems -- economic disparity among neighborhoods and their schools and the economic obstacles faced by immigrants.
    I agree. It goes far beyond the drop-out problem which is in fact mostly an effect of economic disparity. On the other hand, education is often the key to solve that kind of problem. In fact, I think that we are creating an ethnic problem out of a economic problem. Moreover, by doing so, we worsen some hardliving prejudices about ethnic communities. Need I to say that prejudices are what lead many ethnic groups to ethnocentrism?

    I recently read two essays, one written by Sun-Kyung Yi, titled "An Immigrant's Split Personality" (originaly from the Globe and Mail), and a second by Jan Wong, "Jan Wong Wants to See Canadians De-Hyphenate Themselves". They have different views on immigrants' intergration but both agree that, ultimatly, ethnocentrism is the main obstacle to integration.

  6. #21
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    I see what you're saying, FantasyEater, but isn't what we're really doing just asking people to trade one form of ethnocentrism for another? Just because the old ethnocentrism isn't really holding up within our "ethnic" system doesn't mean that the new ethnocentrism we have to offer is attractive.

    I agree, this is fundamentally a problem of economics. But in a country like ours where we promote this idea of "societal mosaic" as compared to the American "melting pot" model for multiculturalism, aren't what we're really saying that ethnocentrism is OK? Ethnic groups should be able to prosper in Canada regardless of their ethnic background, and they are supposed to be free to maintain their ethnicity. While I agree than ethnocentrism is a huge obstacle to integration, Canada is a country that appears to be fighting on both sides of this issue: Maintain you ethnicity! Join ours!

    It makes no sense. And it's especially difficult contrasted against the idealistic media indoctrination we enjoy thanks to our neighbours to the south. I think that's why this is such a hard issue -- we can't decide on a Canadian solution because we're stuck seeing it the American way. And it's interesting that we're adopting an American model of segregated africentric education to combat American melting pot idealism within our supposedly mosaic country.

    Tricky, tricky tricky....

  7. #22
    I didn't do it! Fantasyeatergal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Québec, Canada (yes, I'm a french speaker, so you guys be nice when I'm not grammatically correct)
    Posts
    105
    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    I agree, this is fundamentally a problem of economics. But in a country like ours where we promote this idea of "societal mosaic" as compared to the American "melting pot" model for multiculturalism, aren't what we're really saying that ethnocentrism is OK? Ethnic groups should be able to prosper in Canada regardless of their ethnic background, and they are supposed to be free to maintain their ethnicity. While I agree than ethnocentrism is a huge obstacle to integration, Canada is a country that appears to be fighting on both sides of this issue: Maintain you ethnicity! Join ours!

    It makes no sense. And it's especially difficult contrasted against the idealistic media indoctrination we enjoy thanks to our neighbours to the south. I think that's why this is such a hard issue -- we can't decide on a Canadian solution because we're stuck seeing it the American way. And it's interesting that we're adopting an American model of segregated africentric education to combat American melting pot idealism within our supposedly mosaic country.
    You know, I think the idea of "mosaic" to promote better understanding between different ethnicities is wonderful. I really do. It’s fantastic… and utopian. I agree that everybody should be allowed to flourish here, no matter there ethnic background. See the key word in that last sentence: background. An ethnic group wants to keep some of its customs? I think it’s an entirely legitimate demand, as long as it doesn’t have for consequence the growth of the said ethnic group’s isolation. In the case of this “Black School”, I think it’s precisely the result it’s going to induce.

    We have to face it. Regardless of our good intentions, our current way of seeing ethnicity in Canada is not working. And with our growing need for immigrants (cause it seems our national production does not include little Canadians ), we better think of something that could conciliate our two ideals or make a concrete compromise out of them.

    Tricky, tricky tricky....
    Indeed…

  8. #23
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasyeatergal View Post
    I agree that everybody should be allowed to flourish here, no matter there ethnic background. See the key word in that last sentence: background....

    ...We have to face it. Regardless of our good intentions, our current way of seeing ethnicity in Canada is not working...
    One of the other extremely interesting elements of this debate is the disparity/similarity between white cultural background and black cultural background. Canadian identity on the whole is traditionally wrapped up in the debate, and both sides are stuck trying to invent some kind of nationalistic identity based on a shared background we've had to invent. Again, the national cultural line between the USA and Canada -- on the Canadian side at least -- is so polluted that it's incredibility difficult to see the forest for the trees.

    In the States there's an entire mythology surrounding race that is based on an extremely biased interpretation of history, and that point of view trickles north. While Canada shares some of the history of the States as it pertains to the slave trade, it is by no means the whole picture. Once upon a time the Canadian idea was to showcase the positive aspects of our history with respect to race, class, and slavery -- especially the underground railroad.

    So now there's this call for open segregation. And then a few days ago I was watching Going Coastal on MuchMusic and they showed a video by a hiphop group from Halifax and they're rapping about the 60's bulldozing of Africville. Same old story -- displacement of the people -- but newly fueled by this American black cultural ideology. It was truly bizarre. (If anyone reading this post doesn't know anything about Africville, there's a wikipedia article which gives the basics.) I remember when I was in middle school we did a unit on Africville and our teacher (whose father was born in Africville) ran the unit as a debate. I was on the "Save Africville" side -- and it was a damned hard argument to make. The place was an absolute slum on the level of The City of God.

    And now it seems that the typical American mythology has gripped the young urban community in Halifax, and throughout Toronto. It's all just so... non-Canadian. And inaccurate! I don't know what changed or when it happened, but this new sense of ethnic wars in Canada isn't what I expected.

  9. #24
    I didn't do it! Fantasyeatergal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Québec, Canada (yes, I'm a french speaker, so you guys be nice when I'm not grammatically correct)
    Posts
    105
    Fung Koo, if you ever come across the essay entitled Guilt, written by Erika Ritter, you should read it. It’s from her humour essays’ collection, Urban Scrawl: The World as Seen through the Bemused Eyes of Erika Ritter. The essay is about how Canada probably possesses the world’s largest supply of guilt. The first part of the article exposes, among other things, how Canadians seem to borrow others’ guilt and make it their own.

    (There is also a section entitled Guilt in Nature. It says that even Canadian animals have their own stock of guilt. There’s a funny comment about beavers… )

  10. #25
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,695
    What is it we want education to accomplish?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo
    Canadian identity on the whole is traditionally wrapped up in the debate, and both sides are stuck trying to invent some kind of nationalistic identity based on a shared background we've had to invent.
    Quote Originally Posted by PBS.ORG
    Over time, the following have all been goals of public education:
    To prepare children for citizenship
    To cultivate a skilled workforce
    To teach cultural literacy
    To prepare students for college
    To help students become critical thinkers
    To help students compete in a global marketplace
    If the purpose of education is to teach children a national identity, do not the x-centric schools work contrary to the purpose? If the purpose of education is to impart the knowledge the state needs its citizens to possess, do not the x-centric schools work contrary to the purpose? If the purpose of education lies elsewhere, say in allowing each individual to pursue their own destiny, then is not teaching the students a national identity contrary to the purpose?
    What should we want to teach our children?

  11. #26
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    I really wish there were good answers to those questions...

    Ideally I think the idea () is to successfully combine a personalized approach to education with a standardized approach. In practice, that's an unbelievable amount of work. I've had classes with 8 kids and classes with 30. Personally, I find the class of 30 easier to teach -- but that's just because that's what I'm most comfortable with as the educator. Supposedly 8 kids will cause me to do a better job... Ratios are personal to teachers, too, no matter how much the Ministry claims that a certain ratio is universally better than another.

    As a question of social/cultural identity, it's almost impossible to answer the question without some idea or statement about the values and goals of that culture. As a Canadian, the entire concept of "Canadian National Identity" runs counter to our idea of the Societal Mosaic. Our goals are momentary, and primarily functional at best.

    There's this idea that were supposed to teach the kids to be good Canadians, but what that means is anyone's guess. So teacher's are left to push their own agendas onto the kids -- which I actually think can be a positive. If more teachers thought of themselves as ideologues, then the schools themselves would be filled with diverse ideological viewpoints that would themselves represent the "mosaic" ideal of Canadian society. Kids would then be bombarded with passionately argued viewpoints and be left to sort out their own point of view themselves. Instead, we teachers mediate our own views with the established curricula, all the while trying desperately not to get into trouble for saying something "inappropriate"...

    And when we do, natural parental traditionalism and more ideology comes to bear and we all end up living in fear of treading on each others and our own precious personal freedoms (whatever those are). When it comes to teaching The Self versus The State, in democracy we are all The State -- so it seems to me that practicing teachers should be the most opinionated of people and perhaps the loudest activists. But instead, democratic expression is actually discouraged in teachers because it gets us, the system, the ministry, everyone into trouble. Go figure...

    If only I lived under a dictatorship.... this would all be so much clearer!!!

  12. #27
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,695
    Instead, we teachers mediate our own views with the established curricula,...
    How do your text books becomes for use within the established curricula? We in the U.S. do a lot of individual state run selection processes, notoriously exemplified by the Texas Stae Bord of Education, with lazy states following agressive state leads. The issues this process raises are innumerable. You guys figured out a better way?

  13. #28
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    Each Province has its own Education Act which determines the basis for curriculum, and it's own Minister of Education. There's a federal education body, but it's not overtly involved. Mostly it makes recommendations for people to follow to chase funding...

    I did my B.Ed. in Ontario, so I'm not 100% sure on how the other provinces do it, but here there's a thing called "The Trillium List" -- basically a listing of all the ministry approved textbooks. Teachers can ask for a textbook to be reviewed for the list, as can publishers. It's set up based on the Ontario Education Act, and under its provisions allows for teachers to select a textbook that's not on the list provided the principal approves of that resource being used in the school. If someone complains about a given textbook on the list, the board can review it. And if you, the teacher, use a textbook not on the list and haven't run it by your principal you can get into trouble. Similarly, if the problem gets out of hand, then the board can review a resource to see if it adheres the guidelines. It's a reasonably fair, though cumbersomely bureaucratic approach to censorship. But it's only for textbooks, not novels, short stories, picturebooks, etc...

    I'm honestly not sure on the process for novels and stuff. I suspect the model is same, but I've never seen an official list of Ministry approved novels. I'm guessing that looks too much like fascism! I've seen lots of recommendation lists -- most of which are actually put out by publishers. Usually it's a budgetary thing though -- all the teachers get together to decide on what resources they'll be getting for the year. That process is the biggest controlling factor.

    This is all part of why this africentric model is so frightening. Presumably, the africentric curriculum will still use "normal" ministry approved textbooks for the sciences and language courses. But it introduces the problem of institutional racism "by omission" -- a factor which is expressly listed as a no-no in the education act. If the curriculum tries to lay out specific textbooks and novels along racial lines, and doesn't allow teachers to go outside of that list, then it's overt racial censorship and technically illegal.

  14. #29
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,695
    As you suggest, guidelines can create confusion. Take, for example,:
    Quote Originally Posted by Trillium List Guide
    Canadian Orientation
    The content must have a Canadian orientation. It must acknowledge Canadian
    contributions and achievements and use Canadian examples and references
    wherever possible. It must use Canadian spelling conventions and SI units (units
    of measurement of the Système international d’unités, or International System of
    Units) for measurement references. The vocabulary and examples should be
    familiar to Canadians….
    Bias
    The content must be free from racial, ethnocultural, religious, regional, genderrelated,
    or age-related bias; bias based on disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic
    background, occupation, political affiliation, or membership in a specific
    group; and bias by omission. The material should present more than one
    point of view, and be free from discriminatory, exclusionary, or inappropriately
    value-laden language, photographs, and illustrations….
    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/trilliumlist/guide.pdf
    Now, in Texas, such confusing instructions lead to exciting confrontations such as:
    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times
    ''Out of Many,'' the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
    ''It makes it sound that every woman west of the Mississippi was a prostitute,'' said Grace Shore, the Republican chairwoman of the Texas State Board of Education. ''The book says that there were 50,000 prostitutes west of the Mississippi. I doubt it, but even if there were, is that something that should be emphasized? Is that an important historical fact?''
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE7DC113EF93AA15755C0A9649C8B 63
    So, how would Canadian textbooks handle the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Canadian Encyclopedia.com
    Throughout the 1800s, prostitution in Canada was organized primarily around brothels. The houses were grouped together, often sharing their neighbourhood with taverns in the poorer parts of town. In Ottawa and Québec City the brothel districts were in the "lower towns"; in Saint John, Halifax, and in Kingston, Ont, they were near the docks; Montréal and Toronto each had a couple of districts. The brothels in Saint John and Halifax provided gambling in addition to sex and alcohol, and were known to be some of the most financially successful houses in the first half of the 19th century.
    With the development of the transcontinental railways, there was a mass migration westward at the turn of the century. Unlike the earlier settlers of the West who had been mainly farm families, these migrants were mostly single men, either bachelors or husbands who had temporarily left their wives and families at home. This mass migration of single men created an environment in which prostitution flourished. Brothels were located close to the railway stations. Unless they or their inmates came to the attention of social or moral reformers, little was done to close them. The authorities were inclined to feel that prostitution had to be tolerated because it could not be eradicated. On occasions when the North-West Mounted Police did take action, it was usually for reasons other than a mere violation of the prostitution laws. Such reasons included complaints that prostitution was having a damaging effect on the native population or on the railway construction projects, or evidence that brothel inmates were involved in other criminal activities. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006521

  15. #30
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The Fung Küniverse (Currently: İstanbul)
    Posts
    2,447
    Blog Entries
    1
    I'm not aware of any official policy with regards to the history of prostitution

    I'd like to think that it wouldn't be a problem if properly contextualized. But as with everything in education, teachers have to be very careful about what information they present because there is NO telling what kids take home with them. You could create the most carefully organized, beautifully structured, absolutely genius lesson on some totally benign and uncontroversial topic in history... make one reference to sex, and it's all the parents will hear.

    A personal lesson: When I was a student teacher, it was very hip amongst the grade 8's to call each other "he/shes." I got fed up one day and, believing that information can overcome ignorance (oh how wrong was I), I says to them I says: "You know that could be really very rude. Do you even know what you're saying?"

    Dumb looks: "Um, no? Maybe? Like you're a fag?"

    "And what does that mean to you exactly?"

    Dumb looks: "Ummm..."

    "You should at least use the proper terminology" says I.

    "Why, what does it mean?" they ponder innocently.

    "It means when someone is born with both the boy parts and the girl parts. Hermaphrodite" says I.

    "GROOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

    And I think you can all imagine where the story goes from there, and what was chanted through the halls for the rest of the year. And the grandest irony, it was right before a Health class... So I get a sit down with the big guy and a polite lecture on how information is dangerous in the wrong hands. That it's better to let kids be...

    Ridiculous.

    When I was in junior high a teacher got in trouble for saying "masturbation is normal" after kids started calling each other normal.

    Ridiculous.

    Anyway, I can only imagine where this systemic segregation will go. Doubtfully anywhere all that good, but likely not really all that bad either so long as we're deliberately reinforcing ignorance...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •