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Productive engagements with student difference: supporting equity through cultural recognition
journal contributionposted on 2012-04-01, 00:00 authored by Amanda KeddieAmanda Keddie, R Niesche
In this paper, the focus is on how a group of Australian educators support student equity through cultural recognition. Young’s theorising of justice is drawn on to illuminate the problematic impacts arising from the group’s efforts to value students’ cultural difference associated, for example, with quantifying justice along distributive lines and with essentialising student difference as negation and lack within a frame of cultural imperialism. These theoretical tools draw attention to,and support a critical examination of, the social rules and relations within the school that create barriers to equity. Towards reconciling discrepancies relating to how student difference might best be supported, the paper endorses the prevailing imperative of centring students’ perspectives and experiences. Such centring remains crucial to educators recognising the partiality and interest within their attempts to ‘help’ marginalised students and disrupting the relations of teacher privilege and authority that reinscribe domination, control and exclusion.