Ladson-Billings' culturally relevant pedagogy is not measuring up - and that's exactly as it should be! : a philosophical reading of the problem of static ways of thinking about culture in our epoch of calculative, scientific thinking

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Saras N. Reddy (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Glenn Hudak

Abstract: Since 1989 one of the undisputed leaders in the field of culturally meaningful pedagogy, Gloria Ladson-Billings, has persistently reminded educators about one core idea - any practice that is committed to meaningful engagement with cultural identity should conceive of culture as being fluid. Yet we are recalcitrant in changing how we think about culture. We continue to practice under the assumption that culture can be easily categorized, fully known, preserved, and then seamlessly transmitted from teacher to student, or vice versa. In 2014, Ladson-Billings expressed her dissatisfaction with our static conception and superficial notions which results in the fluidity and variety within cultural groups being lost. If it is indeed our conception of culture that renders it stagnant, should we not then give this problem of a fixed cultural conception of culture a philosophical reading that explores how different modes of thinking can render culture static? To explore different modes of thinking, I converse with four philosophers: Martin Heidegger, a German, who thinks away from the classical western, calculative ways of his time offers us meditative thinking. Calvin Warren, an Afro-pessimist and Marimba Ani, an Afro-centrist open a space for thinking informed by spirit. Carl Mika, a Maori scholar invites us to think speculatively. These scholars all offer us different ways of thinking about the paradox of the human condition - our pre-ontological propensity for openness and fluidity, and our accompanying ontological anxiety that forecloses on this openness. Through close textual analysis, we explore what’s at stake for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in the face of this paradox.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Calculative thinking, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Metaphysics
Culturally relevant pedagogy
Multicultural education

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