Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 373–388

Multicultural Education as Fostering Individual Autonomy

  • Michele S. Moses

DOI: 10.1023/A:1004957802575

Cite this article as:
Moses, M.S. Studies in Philosophy and Education (1997) 16: 373. doi:10.1023/A:1004957802575


This article attempts a philosophical defense of an autonomy-based approach to multicultural education. I contend that multicultural education is necessary in order for students to be able to develop personal autonomy. This, in turn, can empower students to effectively formulate their own version of the good life. The development of autonomy need not, as many critics claim, promote atomistic individualism. Rather, contemporary liberal autonomy strives for a balance between the individual and the community. In defending multicultural education, my argument relies on Joseph Raz's notion of autonomy and Will Kymlicka's concept of a context of choice. I conclude that through multicultural education, students can expand their contexts of choice and consequently develop individual autonomy, an essential ingredient of the good life.

autonomychoiceindividualismliberalismmulticultural educationstudents of color

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele S. Moses
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Colorado at BoulderUSA