Proceedings of The 5th World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education
Education and Multiculturalism: The way illuminating some blind spots within Taylor’s concept of recognition affect education
Kobi (Yaaqov) Assoulin
The two main justifications for multiculturalism are the communitarian argument and the argument from autonomy. In this article I want to examine Taylor’s communitarian argument and to point out what I term blind spots in this argument. Though intuitively Taylor is not working within the liberal terminology of personal autonomy I claim that the process he points out, of dialog and mutual recognition, demands autonomous skills. Developing these skills demands certain characters for multicultural education. Thus, if one might suppose that multiculturalism suggests an educational approach wherein each culture withdraws into itself, I argue, by putting the focus on the justifications and not the conclusion of Taylor’s argument, that the opposite is the case. The article will show the degree to which this demand entails various capabilities and practices that requires the subject to develop significant autonomous skills before he or she can make a legitimate demand for recognition. Following this, and given the limitations of the public sphere, I finally claim that multiculturalism, in its thick and meaningful sense, demands a dynamic and open multicultural educational model. One that draws its power and justification from the educational right to autonomy.
Keywords: multiculturalism, recognition, communitarianism, autonomy, Taylor C.