Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Multicultural Education and Glee

Glee has been one of my favorite television shows since it first aired about 3 years ago. There are so many storylines that intermingle and deal with real-life issues that many teens face today. The characters in the show are growing up in a rural town in Ohio and this season had followed the students through their journey of their senior year of high school and choosing a path to take in life and where to go to college. The number of issues that arise in the television show is never ending, from LGBT issues, to teen pregnancy, to interracial dating to diabilities.
            One of the stars of Glee, Kurt, is gay. He is extremely lucky to have a father who cares so much about him and loves him exactly the way he is. Yet in school he is bullied quite a bit by one of the football players. The biggest irony of the situation is that the football player is actually gay as well, but has not come out yet and is covering up his own homosexuality by bullying Kurt. He uses both physical and verbal bullying towards Kurt, and even forces Kurt to transfer schools. Kurt portrays himself as a very put-together and confident individual at most times. He has a very unique sense of fashion and is not afraid to flaunt it. But there have also seen times that he has had complete break-downs on the show. For example, last season Kurt was voted as the Prom Queen by his entire school as a joke. But it was not really a joke and was a form of bullying. I would say that Kurt has found a group that he identifies with and feels comfortable around which is the Glee Club. When he is around his friends he acts like himself. Kurt is also fortunate enough that his teacher Mr. Shoe is so supportive of him and is always there for him.
            Another one of the major characters in the show Glee is Artie. Artie is paralyzed from the waist down and thus in a wheelchair. His greatest wish is to walk again one day, even though the probability of that ever happening is very slim. Glee is a club that choreographs different songs and dances into musical numbers. Because Artie is in a wheelchair, he is not able to dance. But this does not stop him from moving. He is always incorporated into the various musical numbers and does and amazing job moving in his wheelchair. He has one of the best voices of all of the males in the club and shines as an integral part of the team. In terms of bullying, Artie does face bullying for being in a wheelchair as well as for wearing glasses. But I really admire Artie because he does not seem to very phased by the acts of bullying by others towards the Glee club. I can only recall one instance in which Artie lost his temper, and it was not as a result of himself being bullied but rather because one of the other characters in the show Blaine was being bullied.
            Our textbook talked about James Banks and his approach to multicultural education. He believed that in order for groups of people to understand one another and have positive attitudes towards those who are different than themselves, that diverse groups need to be integrated with one another. This method of multicultural integration is very apparent in the Glee club as the club is composed on many different teens who all have their own issues. But the Glee club is like a family and I believe that the reason for this is that they all have a positive attitude towards one another. They are all there for each other in times of need and despite their differences, they can always count on another.

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