Multicultural Education In Greenland

Powerful Essays
Institute of International Education
Department of Education

Majority becoming minority, minority becoming majority

The hardships of multicultural education of indigenous Inuits in Greenland and Denmark

Assignment for the course
Educational Planning

Emőke Csoma

December 2014 The situation of the Inuits has always been an extremely intriguing one, full of unresolved conflicts, frustration and untapped possibilities. Even though Greenlanders have their own land which is called an autonomous country, over the past centuries they have always been ‘forced’ to mix with Norwegian and especially Danish colonists, constantly facing significant social and educational challenges. However, the world’s largest island still
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In the case of the Inuits these can be complemented with some of Coulby’s highlights such as colonialism and neo-colonialism; warfare, victory and defeat; cultural and linguistic imperialism; nation-building and nationalism; asymmetric bilingualism; inclusion and exclusion; globalization and the knowledge economy. In terms of approach these notions summarize the current problematic weaknesses in Greenlandic education. The concept of multiculturalism in Greenland can be a bit different from the ‘traditional’ meaning of the word, since it does not involve that many different cultures directly and it is highly focused on the social and cultural differences between teachers and students, not only between the students themselves. Danish educators must be prepared to engage in the promotion of Inuit culture with special educational activities for the indigenous students, whom are considered to be marginalized groups at this point. When considering the curriculum, their perspectives and visions must be included as well, respecting their traditions but preparing them for the integration to the Western culture. However, just as Banks suggests , the Western civilization needs some reinterpreting, also when it comes to the indigenous integration. Since the Inuits have been facing so much contradiction and isolation since the beginning of time, the Western world appears as an invincible entity, something that overpowers them with fear and makes them inferior. This could be helped by a curriculum that not only presents the ideal side of civilization but also focuses on its failures and struggles, trying to somehow relate it to the Greenlandic
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