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Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education

What should the civic purposes of education be in a liberal and diverse society? Is there a tension between cultivating citizenship and respecting social diversity? What are the boundaries of parental and state authority over education?

Linking political theory with educational history and policy, Rob Reich offers provocative new answers to these questions. He develops a liberal theory of multicultural education in which the leading goal is the cultivation of individual autonomy in children. Reich draws out the policy implications of his theory through one of the first sustained considerations of homeschooling in American education. He also evaluates three of the most prominent trends in contemporary school reform—vouchers, charter schools, and the small school movement—and provides pedagogical recommendations that sharply challenge the reigning wisdom of many multicultural educators.

Written in clear and accessible language, this book will be of interest to political theorists, philosophers, educators, educational policymakers, and teachers.

279 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2002

Education: Philosophy of Education

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Table of Contents

1. A Short History of Cultural Conflict in American Education
2. A Multicultural Critique of Liberalism
3. A Liberal Critique of Multiculturalism
4. Minimalist Autonomy
5. A Liberal Theory of Multicultural Education
6. Testing the Boundaries of Parental Authority over Education: The Case of Homeschooling
7. Pedagogical and Policy Implications

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