Mobilities, Transitions, Transformations


New Century College and George Manson University, USA

Paul C. Gorski is an associate professor in New Century College and a Research Fellow in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University. His work and passion is social justice activism. His areas of scholarly focus include anti-poverty activism and education, economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice, and animal rights. He also is interested in the ways in which mindfulness practices can strengthen the resiliency of social justice activists. Gorski is a busy consultant and speaker, working with community and educational organizations around the world—such as in Colombia, Australia, India, and Mexico—on equity and social justice concerns.

Gorski founded EdChange and is serving his second term on the board of directors of the International Association for Intercultural Education.

The Trouble with “Culture” in Intercultural Education: Why We Need Equity Literacy More than We Need Intercultural Competence

A recent analysis of scholarship about “culture” found more than 500 distinct definitions of the term. Despite the fact that nobody seems to agree on what it is, it remains the driving concept in most popular frameworks related to equity and diversity in schools. Unfortunately, the focus on culture often obscures the need for deeper commitments to educational equity. In this presentation I demonstrate the trouble with many of the ways “culture” is addressed in intercultural education scholarship and practice and argue for a shift of our central focus away from vague notions of intercultural competence and toward equity literacy.