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Multicultural and Social Justice Crew Polaris Expeditionary Learning School 2011-2012

Name: Emma Reust Grade: 11th Post Test- Given 5/24/2012 Directions: Please answer the questions to the best of your ability. 1. How would you define critical multicultural education? Critical multicultural education has many different definitions and meanings. I see multicultural education as an approach to education that involves teaching people how to recognize, analyze and develop ways to address and decrease social inequities like racism, sexism, homophobia and ablism. When I took a yearlong class that was based around critical multicultural education, I was able to learn many different things and change the way that I interact with the world. I learned about oppression and the many forms it can take, both verbally and nonverbally. I learned that oppression can come from judging a person based on stereotypes that surround their name, place of birth, appearance, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, education, religion, income and many others. I also learned what it means to be an ally and how to avoid conflict while helping to support others. Another thing I learned is that while some people joke about and use terms associated with oppression as a way to take back the power of the terms, it does not always work and can just continue the circle of oppression. The last thing I learned in my class was how much oppression, inequities and stereotypes are shown in the media and how much of that we subconsciously absorb. 2. What is your understanding of power as it relates to multiculturalism?

How much power you have in the U.S. depends on how close you are born to normal. The people with the most power are usually white, heterosexual, religious (Christian or Catholic), have a steady income, a good education and are able-bodied and male. The farther away from this normal you are the less power you are freely given and the harder you have to work for simple things. Being a woman but still having all of these other qualities means that you will have more power than a woman who is homosexual or did not complete high school. The more a person differs from the norm the more stereotypes, oppression and judgments they have to face on a daily bases. 3. How are diverse populations in a U.S. society learned about, examined or talked about? Most of the knowledge that my generation has about the many diverse populations and cultures in the U.S. comes from the view point of the white, heterosexual males that control a lot of the media. Mainstream TV is mostly about the normal populations and if there are other groups portrayed they are usually minor roles that are stereotypical or view in a bad light. In most schools the textbooks that we learn from are creates by the normal group and are skewed to show their beliefs of the world. Since we learn mostly from these TV shows and books we inherit the normal beliefs and that makes it seem like there is only one population and culture while in reality there are many. 4. How can different forms of oppression be examined or seen in U.S. society? The more well known forms of oppression like sexism, racism and homophobia are commonly portrayed in books, movies and on TV. Sometimes the portrayal is in a negative light and sometimes a positive light but overall attention is brought to these issues and people know that they exist. It is rare to see other issues like ablism and classism addressed in the media, therefore when people see that form of oppression happening in real life they do not always recognize or

realize that it is a form of oppression. A lot of the last centurys history is based on the conflict that came from people fighting back against oppression. The Civil Rights Movement, feminism, the Americans with Disabilities act, Rodney King Riots and Watts Riots are things that came from people being oppressed and the conflict that came from that. The Civil Rights Movement and feminism are both dealt with the more well known issues of racism and sexism while the Americans with Disabilities act, Rodney King Riots and Watts Riots came from ablism and classism. The Rodney King Riots and Watts Riots dealt with both racism and classism but when people think of them they only see conflict that came from racism. 5. How do you understand power and privilege operating in school or society or systemically? In both schools and society the amount of power and privilege you are given depends on how close to normal you are. In schools the amount of privilege you have can also come from how close you are to what the teacher sees as normal. In society the amount of opportunities you are given comes from your gender, income, religion, ethnicity and background. If you attend an inner city school, have a low income or are a different ethnicity then the norm your ability to have the same education and employment opportunities as someone from a good school who has a high income and is white lower.