chapter  5
28 Pages

Diversity, Difference and Disparity

In order to understand the place of diversity in the interdependent model for critical literacy, this chapter aims to develop the arguments contained in the diversity rows of the model. It discusses the power-without diversity row in the model. Linguistic diversity is often treated in much the same way in educational institutions. A dominant language is chosen as the medium of instruction, lip service is paid to multilingualism, and at best students are allowed to study their home language as a subject. Diversity without access to powerful forms of language ghettoises students. The classic example of the celebration of diversity is what B. S. Nieto, after J. A. Banks, calls the 'holidays and heroes' approach to multicultural education. Diversity provides the means, the ideas, the alternative perspectives for reconstruction and transformation. Ignoring the differences between people, between, for example, readers of Newsweek and refugees living in camps, is a classic example of dissimulation.