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Common Schools, Uncommon Identities: National Unity and Cultural Difference


reviewed by Lawrence Blum — 2001

coverTitle: Common Schools, Uncommon Identities: National Unity and Cultural Difference
Author(s): Walter Feinberg
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven
ISBN: 0300074220, Pages: 272, Year: 1998
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Walter Feinberg's Common Schools, Uncommon Identities is without question the best general examination of the character and value, and the moral, political, and educational underpinnings, of multicultural education. Discussions of multicultural education—both pro and con—are typically politically driven; yet the political assumptions underlying differing positions are seldom brought to the surface, much less subjected to careful scrutiny. Feinberg, a distinguished philosopher of education, brings a magisterial standpoint to the vexing and emotionally-charged issue of multicultural education. Needless to say, he has a political viewpoint of his own. However, this viewpoint is explicitly articulated and vigorously defended. As far as I know Feinberg is unique in bringing into a fruitful and essential relationship three distinct literatures and discourses—culture, education, and liberal democracy. Excellent and influential books relate two of these three. For example, Amy Gutmann's Democratic Education and Eamonn Callan's Creating Citizens relate education and liberal democracy. Will Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship relates liberal democracy to culture. Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children and James Banks's many writings relate culture to education. Through placing... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 103 Number 1, 2001, p. 99-112
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10566, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 10:12:31 AM

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About the Author
  • Lawrence Blum
    University of Massachusetts, Boston
    E-mail Author
    LAWRENCE BLUM is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education, and Professor of Philosophy, at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of “I’m Not a Racist, But…”: The Moral Quandary of Race (Cornell, 2002) and “Racial Integration in a Multicultural Age,” in S. Macedo and Y. Tamir (eds.) Moral and Political Education: NOMOS XLIII (NYU, 2002).
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