03 SES 09 A, Curriculum and Cross-cultural Efforts
Cross cultural education is regarded as increasingly important in C21st education. (Department for Education 2013). In a similar vein, digital technology competence is a required component in most national curricula and it is one of the transversal competences in the EU competence framework. To meet these curricular requirements schools and teachers need to innovate and look for meaningful contexts and resources, and ideally in the case of cross-cultural competence relationships with individuals, communities and organisations which present cultural contrast. However evidence suggests that schools in England and other countries have become more inward looking and lack ‘curriculum capacity’ (Alexander 2012) and are not taking up their curriculum freedoms. This is against a background in which innovation in schools is generally difficult despite the context of constant change
I am a doctoral student undertaking research in ‘Open Lab’ (https://openlab.ncl.ac.uk/) a large inter-disciplinary doctoral training centre focused on Digital Civics. Digital Civics is a belief that technology can bridge the gap between users and service providers, citizens and governments and individuals and communities (https://digitalcivics.io).
The research for my master’s thesis (preceding the doctoral study) involved working with migrant families with school-going children living in England. The research aim was to understand how schools could connect to cross-cultural instances taking place in homes for learning purposes within classrooms. I used a mobile video application to explore this question. The study highlighted the need for an education broker to facilitate community-classroom collaboration. Whilst technology was seen to address the resource scarcity that exists particularly within cross-cultural learning, it was the presence of the ‘knowledgeable human-agent’ that encouraged migrant communities to place their trust to try new digital applications on their personal devices and open their personal spaces such as homes for co-curricular and extra-curricular learning.
My experience has highlighted the need for a broker (Stovel & Shaw 2012; Burt 1997) at various levels for a meaningful cross-cultural learning to take place. Theoretically, brokerage is expressed as a mechanism which is seen to connect disconnected or isolated individuals or groups to foster interactions within economical, political and social realm (Stovel & Shaw 2012). However there is very little known about the role and its significance in education. The first phase of my doctoral research was exploring the role of curriculum/digital technologies to embed cross-cultural learning in a middle school in NE England. The participants comprised of a mixed ability Year 7 group (ages 11-12), their teacher, headteacher and deputy headteacher working around the topic ‘migration’. Students were required to research for stories of migration in their local community and use ‘Thinking Kit’ (https://www.thinking-kit.com) a digital content creation tool to share their research in an accessible format. As a practitioner working to embed cross-cultural learning within classrooms in England, I faced challenges whilst (i) introducing new technologies in schools, (ii) embedding open-ended learning goals in the classroom and importantly, (iii) trying to ensure continuity in the cross-cultural work that has been initiated. Whilst educators have recognized the importance of cross-cultural learning in the curriculum they have little or no guidance on how teachers can approach and engage students on the topic. Similarly, schools have also invested in digital technology without significantly changing pedagogy. I wanted to thus explore and find out what happens when you bring technology closer to cultural learning? What are the challenges that occur at the intersection of the two concepts? However, my action research questions specifically focusses on:
- What did I come to understand about the role of curriculum broker as I performed it?
- How did this affect my identity as a cross-cultural practitioner?
Akkerman, S.F. & Bakker, A., 2011. Boundary Crossing and Boundary Objects. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), pp.132–169. Alexander, R.J., 2012. Curriculum freedom, capacity and leadership in the primary school, Available at: http://www.robinalexander.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Alexander-Nat-Coll-curric-capacity.pdf. Avison, D.E. et al., 1999. Action research. Communications of the ACM, 42(1), pp.94–97. Available at: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=291469.291479 [Accessed July 17, 2016]. Bradbury, H. & Reason, P., 2003. Action Research: An Opportunity for Revitalizing Research Purpose and Practices. Qualitative Social Work, 2(2), pp.155–175. Available at: http://qsw.sagepub.com/content/2/2/155.short [Accessed October 16, 2015]. Burt, R.S., 1997. The Contingent Value of Social Capital. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(2), pp.339–365. Department for Education, 2013. Citizenship Programmes of Study: Key Stages 3 and 4: National Curriculum in England, Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239060/SECONDARY_national_curriculum_-_Citizenship.pdf. McCutcheon, G. & Jung, B., 1990. Alternative perspectives on action research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), pp.144–151. Stovel, K. & Shaw, L., 2012. Brokerage. Annual Review of Sociology, 38, pp.139–158.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
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Network 10. Teacher Education Research
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Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
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Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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