Multicultural Education and Arendtian Conservatism: On Memory, Historical Injury, and Our Sense of the Common
Advocates of multicultural education are not only partisans of identity groups (although they are also very often this); they are partisans of the world in an Arendtian sense. This chapter elaborates on the distinction Hannah Arendt draws between politics and education, examining on what grounds and to what ends she thought it necessary. It develops Arendt's best arguments and most important concerns, and then reflects on their usefulness to contemporary debates over multicultural education, taking aspects of Chicano/Chicana scholarship as examples. In examining some of the scholarship the Chicano movement engendered, one can hope to identify and clarify both the problems and the promises of the marriage between politics and education in multicultural education. Arendt's categorical distinction between education and politics cannot be sustained. Nor, however, can one do without the tension it places on the urge to politicize education.