Multicultural Education as Fostering Individual Autonomy
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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.
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