Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Teaching Multiculturalism, Not Eurocentrism

This is a basic guide to learning and teaching from a multicultural view, not a eurocentric view. I hope that our understandings of history, science, philosophy and all areas of study progress from eurocentrism to multiculturalism.


The Eurocentric View of the Ancient World:


Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Western mind and culture, distinct from others in critical rational inquiry and diverse individual freedom.

The Multicultural View of the Ancient World:


All ancient cultures had critical rational inquiry and diverse individual freedom. Ancient cultures, including ancient Greece, were neither exceptional nor perfect in the exercise of reason and freedom.


The Eurocentric View of the Modern World:


Modern Europe is the rise and success of the Western mind and culture, distinct from others in critical rational inquiry and diverse individual freedom.

The Multicultural View of the Modern World:

All modern cultures have critical rational inquiry and diverse individual freedom. Modern cultures, including modern Europe, are neither exceptional nor perfect in the exercise of reason and freedom.


The Eurocentric View of Trade and Cultural Influence:

Ancient cultures had little contact or trade. Thus, there was little cross-cultural influence in the ancient world. Ancient Greece, ancient Rome and modern Europe share the same culture and so influenced each other. In modern times Europeans opened the world to international trade.

The Multicultural View of Trade and Cultural Influence:

Ancient cultures had much contact and trade with each other. Thus, there was much cross-cultural influence in the ancient world. Ancient Greece, ancient Rome and modern Europe are one example of a chain of cross-cultural influences. In modern times Europeans took over trade that was already international since ancient times.


The Eurocentric View of Mathematics:

The great discoveries in mathematics were made by the ancient Greeks and modern Europeans.

The Multicultural View of Mathematics:


Much of the ancient world, including Greece and Rome, shared the Egyptian system of mathematics. Islamic Algebra, which took much from Indian mathematics, replaced the Egyptian system in modern times because it was far more useful and precise.


The Eurocentric View of Science and Technology:

The great discoveries in science and mechanics were made by the ancient Greeks and modern Europeans.

The Multicultural View of Science and Technology:


Much of ancient science and mechanics were discovered by the Babylonians, Persians and Egyptians. The Chinese and Muslims made great leaps in science and mechanics just before the great leaps of modern Europe.


The Eurocentric View of Philosophy:

Ancient Greece was a philosophical culture, and ancient Rome and modern Europe share this culture. Thus, Western culture is more critical and skeptical than other cultures.

The Multicultural View of Philosophy:

All cultures have philosophers, critics and skeptics, even though these thinkers are often counter-cultural and go against the dominant culture as they did in ancient Greece, ancient Rome and modern Europe. Western culture is not distinctly philosophical.


The Eurocentric View of Politics:

Ancient Greece was the first democratic culture, and ancient Rome and modern Europe share this culture.

The Multicultural View of Politics:

Since ancient Sumer, most societies have had a democratic body or group decision process that supported the rulers in decision making, even though this body was often composed of land-owning elites as it was in ancient Greece and Rome.