Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 1997 Issue »

    Ethnicity and Education Forum

    What Difference Does Difference Make?

    HER Board
    For over sixty years, the pages of the Harvard Educational Review have provided a forum for authors to discuss, debate, and share their ideas about important educational issues. On December 12, 1996, six distinguished scholars gathered in a live forum at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, entitled "Ethnicity and Education: What Difference Does Difference Make?" The participants responded to questions about issues of ethnicity and their connection to education. They approached the topic from several disciplines - ranging from sociology, psychology, and ethnic studies to elementary education - which provoked a multifaceted discussion that reflected their particular strengths and areas of knowledge. This edited transcript of their discussion highlights the current debates about ethnicity, race, culture, and identity. The speakers address the following questions: What is ethnicity? Who decides? How is ethnicity connected to education? What does it mean that racial minorities are sometimes referred to as "ethnics"? At a time when the student body in the United States is becoming more culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse, and the faculties of our schools remain mostly White, this debate is both timely and crucial.

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    The panelists were (in order of appearance):

    Enrique (Henry) Trueba (Moderator)
    Visiting Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA

    Ronald Takaki
    Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California at Berkeley

    Victoria I. Muñoz
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Wells College, Aurora, NY

    Sonia Nieto
    Professor of Education, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

    Margaret L. Andersen
    Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Delaware, Newark

    Doris Sommer
    Professor of Latin American Literature, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

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    Summer 1997 Issue


    Ethnicity and Education Forum
    What Difference Does Difference Make?
    HER Board
    Between Nationality and Class
    Stanley Aronowitz
    Latino Studies
    New Contexts, New Concepts
    Juan Flores
    Dancing with Bigotry
    The Poisoning of Racial and Ethnic Identities
    Lilia I. Bartolome, Donaldo P. Macedo
    Communities of Difference
    A Critical Look at Desegregated Spaces Created for and by Youth
    Michelle Fine, Lois Weis, Linda C. Powell
    Rewriting the Discourse of Racial Identity
    Towards a Pedagogy and Politics of Whiteness
    Henry A. Giroux
    Learning in the Dark
    How Assumptions of Whiteness Shap Classroom Knowledge
    Frances A. Maher, Mary Kay Thompson Tetreault

    Book Notes

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