ABSTRACT

Given our stance that education must be transformative and critical, placing equity, social justice, and social change at its center and introducing students to critical frameworks of democratic citizenship, we find it important to discuss intercultural education in the European context within this critical framework. In a seminal essay on decolonizing intercultural education, Paul Gorski (2008), social justice scholar and educator, past member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Intercultural Education, and Founder and Director of the Equity Literacy Institute notes that “despite unquestionably good intentions on the part of most people who call themselves intercultural educators, most intercultural education practice supports, rather than challenges, dominant hegemony, prevailing social hierarchies, and inequitable distributions of power and privilege” (p. 515). We would add that, with the exception of critical multiculturalism or multicultural social justice education, this is also the case in most practiced forms of multicultural education, which in some of its most banal implementation, is nothing more than a celebration of food, fun, and fashion, or as English multiculturalists have observed a celebration of “samosas, saris, and steel drums” which has done little to decolonize or disrupt the imbalances of power and access nor dismantle institutionalized racism and xenophobia that impact, as just one example, English people of South Asian and Caribbean descent.