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Becoming Multicultural Educators: Personal Journey Toward Professional Agency

Geneva Gay (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-6514-3
368 pages
April 2003, Jossey-Bass
Becoming Multicultural Educators: Personal Journey Toward Professional Agency (0787965146) cover image


To help both new and seasoned teachers to become more effective with their students from diverse backgrounds, Becoming Multicultural Educators edited by Geneva Gay, offers fourteen compelling stories from different regions, cultures, ethnic groups, and stages of professional and personal growth in developing multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. One contributing author declares community participation and social activism are the keys to his professional growth. For another, multicultural understanding comes when she learns to unveil the masks of insidious negative stereotypes. Through these stories, we share their struggles as these educators come to understand diversity among ethnic groups and cultures, resolve conflicts between curricular and multicultural goals, and find authentic models and mentors for their students. But most important, we learn how this laudatory group of educators has come to realize that they need to know themselves if they are to truly know their students. Well-grounded in education theory, Becoming Multicultural Educators is both personal and inspiring. This is the book that will help teachers, and those who prepare them, blossom as educators and human beings.

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Table of Contents


The Authors.

1. Introduction: Planting Seeds to Harvest Fruits (Geneva Gay).

2. We Make the Road by Walking (John Ambrosio).

3. Crystallizing My Multicultural Education Core (Carolyn W. Jackson).

4. Conversations with Transformative Encounters (Audra L. Gray).

5. Making and Breaking Ethnic Masks (Jeannine E. Dingus).

6. Steppin’ Up and Representin’ (Kipchoge N. Kirkland).

7. Clearing Pathways for Children to Go Forth (S. Purcell Woodard).

8. Professional Actions Echo Personal Experiences (Chia-lin Huang).

9. Unifying Mind and Soul Through Cultural Knowledge and Self-Education (Patricia Espiritu Halagao).

10 Hanging Out with Ethnic Others (Mei-ying Chen).

11 Footsteps in the Dancing Zone (Mary Stone Hanley).

12 From Color Blindness to Cultural Vision (Laura Kay Neuwirth).

13 Navigating Marginality: Searching for My Own Truth (Yukari Takimoto Amos).

14 Teaching Them Through Who They Are (Terri L. Hackett).


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Author Information

Geneva Gay is professor of education at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is nationally and internationally known for her scholarship in multicultural education. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Culturally Responsive Teaching, which received the 2001 Outstanding Writing Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).
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"Teachers won't be able to put this book down. In its personal stories, we see ourselves and our students, our visions, our uncertainties, our questions, and the sense we make of our teaching today. Multicultural teaching is a highly personal endeavor, which this book makes poignantly visible."
— Christine Sleeter, California State University, Monterey Bay

"This book captures the struggle to become multicultural educators in a complex global society. The unique collection of voices and styles will be fascinating reading for students, teachers, and scholars alike."
— Marilyn Cochran-Smith, professor of education, Lynch School of Education and editor, Journal of Teacher Education

"Becoming Multicultural Educators: Personal Journey Toward Professional Agency offers a glimpse at the personal and professional paths--sometimes bumpy, often unpredictable, always edifying--associated with becoming effective multicultural teachers. Stories provided herein remind us that teaching AND multicultural competence are, in fact, always acts of "becoming." It is a spiritual offering to rea ders which, if we listen, fosters compassion, illuminates wisdom, and validates the service of those engaged in the critical work of educating for diversity and justice."
— Francisco Rios, professor and department chair educational studies, University of Wyoming and senior associate editor, Multicultural Perspectives

"All teachers along the professional development continuum, but especially beginning teachers, who want to develop and sustain caring learning communities for all students will benefit from Becoming Multicultural Educators. The authors provide an invitational and substantive introduction to the theory and practice of multicultural education."
— Ceola Ross Baber, associate dean for teacher education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"Exceptional and insightful book for teachers, counselors, and administrators about the personal and professional transformations that we all must go through in order to become caring, multicultural educators for all students. A must read."
— Valerie Ooka Pang, professor of education, San Diego State University

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