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Lauren Sander
Dr. Abrahams
Critical Pedagogy II
8 October 2016
McCarroll, Jesse C. “Another Perspective: Multiculturalism- Can It Be Attained?” September
2016, pp. 70-74. DOI: 10.1177/0027432116664513
Critical Review of Another Perspective: Multiculturalism- Can It Be Attained?
Jesse McCarroll was a man from the Southern United States who was very interested in
multiculturalism as an educator. His article Another Perspective: Multiculturalism- Can It Be
Attained? touches not only the importance of bringing cultural awareness into the classroom but
also gives ideas as to how to become culturally responsive. This article is reviewed from the
framework of culturally responsive teaching.
Jesse C. McCarroll begins his article by providing his background in music. Not only is this to
prove ethos for statements he makes later in the article, but it connects to the perspective of
culturally responsive teaching. He supports the idea through his background in musical
experience. Between the many places he’s visited, his music leadership experiences in NAfME,
NASPAAM, his lecture in Beijing on “Blues in the United States,” and extensive teaching
background, McCarroll facilitates the notion that students should also have high expectations for
themselves (Ladson-Billings).
Another Perspective: Multiculturalism- Can It Be Attained? cites multiple definitions of
multicultural education from varying sources. This is an example of the culturally responsive
theory because it focuses on the fact that there’s more than one way of knowing (Ladson-

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Billings). This encouragement of open-minded learning shows the teacher’s role as a facilitator
as described in Gloria Ladson-Billings’ definition of culturally responsive teaching in her book
The Dreamkeepers.
McCarroll’s concept of multicultural teaching aligns nearly identically with four of
Ladson-Billings’ principles to culturally responsive teaching. He states that “multicultural
teaching is to accept all cultures as equal and not think of one as being superior to the others.”
(McCarroll 5). His focus on equality among cultures without exceptions proves he, like a
culturally responsive teaching theorist, believes in “communication of high expectations”
(Ladson-Billings). The equality and focus on all cultures also shows the importance of the
“inclusion of culturally and linguistically diverse students” along with keeping a “cultural
sensitivity” in the classroom (Ladson-Billings).
McCarroll’s belief about multicultural teaching also calls for a “reshaping of the
curriculum” (Ladson-Billings), especially when he discusses the trips he takes “to concerts in
places of worship,” (McCarroll 5). However, McCarroll does not discuss all aspects of cultural
sensitivity into his article. “Cultural sensitivity” is more than awareness and equality of cultures
(Ladson-Billings). Especially in regards to modern times, it’s important to consider the political
aspect. For example, if one of your students is a Jehovah’s Witness; the student may not be able
to participate in the musical performances due to religious beliefs, therefore not including every
child in the learning experience. This also applies to restrictions in schools. If performances
aren’t allowed to use songs with “Lord,” “Savior,” or “Jesus Christ,” in them as McCarroll
laments often occurs, it’s in order to respect the nature of those who cannot sing those types of
songs, if an educator were to emphasize true “cultural sensitivity.” (Ladson-Billings).

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Throughout the article McCarroll encourages students going out and exploring other aspects of
culture for themselves. He does this using his own life as a model for self-motivated cultural
exploration: “I spent an inordinate amount of time in the library listening to recordings of
Gregorian chants. I attended Catholic masses to hear how this music was used in services. […]
My quest for knowledge and my curiosity about other people have taken me to the five
continents of planet Earth.” (McCarroll 1-5). This reflects the culturally responsive teaching
theory in that it’s another way to focus on students becoming culturally aware as they develop a
desire to learn more (Ladson-Billings). Unfortunately, McCarroll’s self-fueled curiosity as a
student is not the majority. For example, many students at the Westminster Choir College of
Rider University hear Gregorian chant in their music Historiography class, but unlike McCarroll
do not feel as motivated or inclined to find out more or go to a Catholic mass to hear it in action
in our world today. Further learning is more frequently facilitated by the student when they know
why the “knowledge is being taught in the first place” (McLaren 71). This is why it’s important
to keep the learning student-centered so they can find their success in the classroom (LadsonBillings). As an educator it cannot be assumed that all students will have the self-motivation as
McCarroll. Instead the author should have encouraged the teacher to facilitate the relevance of
Gregorian chant to the student’s “social, cultural, and linguistic experiences” (brown.edu).
McCarroll also discusses his experience with disappointment in the lack of African American
representation in the leadership of the Music Educators National Conference of 1972. His actions
to start the Black Music Caucus appeal to the culturally responsive teaching theorist. McCarroll
reshaped the curriculum of the MENC through his leadership to include culturally diverse
leaders (Ladson-Billings). This was an effective connection to the perspective of culturally
responsive teaching because he “reshaped the curriculum” of the Music Educators Conference

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(Ladson-Billings). His empowered movement battled hegemony in the highest level of the
educational organizations (McLaren). He helped to create an organization for the marginalized
group of minority music teachers and leaders and battled the oppressors of cultural hegemony
through drawing attention to the lack of an inclusive environment by drawing on the people who
share his cultural capital.
McCarroll was effective accomplishing his initial goal in providing awareness and solutions to
the lack of musical diversity in teaching at all levels - from the classroom to national education
conferences. However, he was unsuccessful in providing solutions to the potential conflicts that
may arise to the religious or cultural beliefs of students along with the possibility of students
lacking inner drive to learn more out of the classroom.

Works Cited

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"Brown University." Teacher as Facilitator. The Education Alliance: Brown University, 2016.
Web. 20 Oct. 2016. <https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/teaching-diverselearners/teacher-facilitator>.
Ladson-Billings, Gloria. The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children.
2nd ed. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2009.
McLaren, Peter. Critical Pedagogy: A Look at the Major Concepts. 1996.
"Dr. Jesse McCarroll Obituary." Obituaries & Guestbooks. Legacy.com, 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 18
Oct. 2016. <http://obits.al.com/obituaries/birmingham/obituary.aspx?page>.