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Caribbean Journal of Education

Multicultural Education in a Plural Society: A Challenge for the Teacher Education Curriculum in Trinidad and Tobago

Publication Date: 
September 2011

The new government of Trinidad and Tobago has expressed 'multiculturalism' as a policy thrust, and a way of framing the country's plural population. This article suggests that the education of teachers will be a key to arriving at a society in which the different cultural strands can find expression. But the development of such a curriculum can be problematic, requiring a conceptual framework that shows sensitivity to the country's postcolonial status, including the histories that must be taken into account in locating the different peoples. We employ a critical pedagogy approach to such a curriculum and set forth its terrain in terms of 'the what' 'the how' and 'the why' of content to be transacted. The article suggests that a postcolonial account of plural society is much more applicable to the task than equity frameworks that are applied in the North American context. Following Stuart Hall, we propose that the two primary polar counter points of the study of multiculturalism in the country are (a) what groups have in common (Creole culture) and (b) where groups diverge.

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