Citizens of the world should keep in mind or refresh the following concepts:
- Personal/Cultural Knowledge: what personal experience teaches us.
- Popular knowledge: The facts, concepts, and interpretations that are institutionalized within the mass media and other institutions that are part of the popular culture.
- Mainstream Academic: Knowledge that constitute traditional Western-centric knowledge in history and the behavioral and social sciences.
- School Knowledge: The facts, concepts, generalizations, and interpretations that are presented in textbooks, teacher’s guides, other media forms, and lectures by teachers.
- The Dominant Canon: The ways in which the current structures are justified in the school, college, and university curricula are part of the Dominant Canon. These dominant perspectives emanate from the canon that is to define, select, and evaluate knowledge in the school, college, and university curricula in the United States and in other Western nations. This canon has traditionally been European centric, and male dominated.
- Empowerment: It involves the ways in which students acquire, view, and evaluate knowledge in which they are required to analyze paradigms and explanations of different knowledge systems, forms, and categories. Processes in which students construct various groups within a society often formulate, shape, and disseminate knowledge that supports their power.
- Critical Thinking Skills: Reflective decision-making and personal and civic action must be the main goal of a transformative and empowering curriculum. This curriculum must help students reconceptualize and rethink the experiences of people in both in the United States and the world to view the human experience from the perspectives of a range of cultural, ethnic, language, and social-class groups to construct their own versions of the past, present, and future.
- Stereotyping: This term could be considered the reason of the existence of empowerment in Education. People predict certain behaviors or characteristic of a cultural group. They accept dominant ideologies, political myths to rationalize and justify the current social and political structure of a different ethnic group. In other words, it is a generalized image of a person or group, which does not acknowledge individual differences.
Educators of the world should also consider sharing in classes:
- Making a personal commitment to refuse to laugh at racist jokes and to tell individuals how these jokes make other people feel.
- Making a commitment to challenge people’s own racial and ethnic stereotypes either before or after they verbalize them.
- For school settings, it is recommended to compile an annotated list of books about ethnic groups that educators would access and apply them in their lessons.
- As part of school principals’ agenda, it should include sets of photographs that show African Americans and diverse people who have jobs that represent a variety of careers. Teachers would also get encouragement to display these photographs on their classroom walls.
- Making a personal commitment to read at least one book a year that deals with a racial, cultural, or ethnic group other than his/her own.
- Present students international movies, so that they can be familiar with different English accents.
Teachers are human beings who bring their cultural perspectives, values, hopes, and dreams to the classroom. They can also bring their prejudices, stereotypes, and misconceptions to their audiences. Being a teacher has a lot of compromises and goals to achieve as an educator and as a member of a community. Teachers’ attitudes change people’s minds. Educators need to be dynamic and expand this mission. These actions will encourage students, parents, and members of our communities to meet the social goals to have a better multicultural perspective recognizing the values and costumes of different ethnic groups. Teachers are role models!