An activist group works to bring a multicultural education program to an urban public school system.
Just outside a major urban center on the east coast of the United States an activist group struggled to create a system-wide multicultural education program. Through a seven-year qualitative study, Pepi Leistyna documents and interprets—via a critical pedagogical lens—this group's work with professional development, curriculum and instruction, faculty and staff, and community outreach. Through engaging examples, stories, and participant voices, Leistyna offers a comprehensive, accessible ethnography with implications for others who might attempt similar sorts of systemic change.
Pepi Leistyna is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the author of Presence of Mind: Education and the Politics of Deception and coeditor (with Arlie Woodrum and Stephen A. Sherblom) of Breaking Free: The Transformative Power of Critical Pedagogy.
"An active engagement with Leistyna's work will help educators, administrators, and community activists to break ranks with the misleading conceptions of mainstream multiculturalism, and to lay the groundwork for the development of a critical multiculturalism. " — from the Foreword by Peter L. McLaren
"What does it take to make a school system truly multicultural, in reality as well as in name? Few scholars have taken on this difficult problem, and Leistyna is one of a handful we can turn to for direction. With both insight and generosity, Leistyna points to the tensions and possibilities inherent in designing a school system that affirms all students and their families at the same time that it confronts difficult and troubling questions of structural inequality and deep-seated biases. " — Sonia Nieto, author of Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, Third Edition and Language, Culture, and Teaching: Critical Perspectives for a New Century