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Multicultural Education

The Enki Global Cultures Curriculum

Excerpt of a Writing Project
from a 6th Grade Study of Africa

Sunu Rao*: the homeland

Like their fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers for generations beyond counting, the people of Africa lived free, mom-sa-bop*, under hot sun and thick shade trees:

Moan, groan, I paced by the nigunach•, my home. Inside my wife was giving birth. A son was born. I saw my son, Samba, grow and grow. Finally, my son was taken by the men of our tribe. My wife wailed. My heart beat faster and faster. Fump, thump, fump, thump. He was going to the leul•, the initiation. All around quieted.

*From the Wolof language of West Africa

 

At the heart of Enki is a commitment to multicultural education. For us, multicultural education grows from the understanding that fundamental human decency and dignity, courage, and compassion are inherent in all people. We believe that it is important for each family to support the child's connection to and pride in her own heritage in the course of family life, but that it is the role of education, whether in a homeschool or classroom program, to help her develop meaningful connections to the larger world. In this context, we believe that students are best nurtured when they see their own strengths and struggles reflected in all mankind and can experience human greatness in any nationality, race, or religion. Therefore, in both the Enki classroom and homeschooling curriculum, all students are immersed in literature, drama, music, arts, and ideas from around the world.

 


written work from our multicultural education programOur multicultural education curriculum emphasizes the cultural composition of the particular local area, while reflecting the global community. At all grade levels, in keeping with the particular developmental issues of that age, children work with all academic content in the context of several cultures each year. Working with one culture at a time, using stories, songs, drama, games, and the events and ideas of daily life, the children have a chance to absorb that culture directly.


 

This ongoing experience of other cultures creates a ground of deep respect and reverence for human traditions. As the children experience the “everyman” in us all, their natural and open interest, enthusiasm, and compassion are fostered.

Parent in Rhode Island:

I have been working with my son with the music and art of Italy as part of the St. Francis unit. It is fun and he is loving it, but I didn't think all that much about the impact. Then I was watching a movie and at one point it was set in Italy and they played a tarantella. I got all excited and could feel my body wanting to join in, but I couldn't figure out why for a minute. When I realized it was the tarantella I had such a visceral confirmation of why you teach cultures through the arts. I've always agreed with it and understood it conceptually, and seen how my child takes it up, but this time I felt it so clearly and personally - somehow the tarantella had become something of MINE, and so "being with" the Italians was like being with something in my own identity. Cool.

– multicultural education: studying sages

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