International Journal of Art & Design Education

Navigating a Way through Plurality and Social Responsibility

Volume 27.1   2008



Teachers need to have a clearer understanding of the dynamic process effecting change in culture and identity if they are to overcome fears about teaching diversity. This article draws on Eastern and Western insights on culture to clarify its dynamic process. In particular, teachers need to be aware of the two phases of culture: in one it appears as an organic integrity that suffers violence when any aspect of it is changed, removed or replaced; in the other it appears as a mechanical assemblage of parts momentarily caught in a particular relationship, comfortable with change. Each moment requires appropriate curriculum planning and pedagogical practice. Crucial to achieving that end is keeping the two phases distinct while exploring and exposing their relationship in culture and identity transformation. This will help a great deal to alleviate teachers’ fears about teaching diversity or multiculturalism.