03 SES 03 A, Curriculum Change and Culture
As has been long established in the literature, the process of globalisation has facilitated and encouraged the movement of people around the world at both an increasing rate and intensity (see, for example, Burbules and Torres 2000; Giddens 2003; Spring 2009; Suárez-Orozco and Qin-Hilliard 2004). One consequence of this diffusion of global population has been an increasingly culturally diverse population in regions previously characterised as being largely culturally homogenous. In turn, this transition has had consequences for educational provision, as systems, schools and educators have had to adapt their curriculum and pedagogical frameworks to cater for the learning needs of their students (Coulby, 2006).
However, there is need for debate as to how schools and educational systems should address these new cultural dimensions. Discussion on the relationship between culture and education in curriculum literature is not new and ongoing (Sadler 1900/1979; Musgrove,1978; Nijhuis, Pieters & Voogt, 2013). However, aside from occasional research such as Chan (2006) and Halse et al (2015), existing cultural conceptions in curriculum are rarely specifically challenged in the current debate. Within the Australian Curriculum (ACARA 2013, 2014) along with similar frameworks in Europe, North America and parts of Asia, the use of cross-curriculum themes such multicultural and/or intercultural understandings is predominant, but such concepts pre-date the period of modern globalisation that emerged in the 1990s and do not take into account the realities of modern globalised societies. Multiculturalism, which is generally viewed as being focused on developing a knowledge of individual cultures, first emerged across the Euro-American sphere in societies such as the USA, Canada and Australia during the 1970s (Portera 2008). It is essentially an ethnic pluralist approach (Leeman and Ledoux 2005), in which knowledge about different cultures is gained at the expense of generalized stereotypes, without recognition that any culture incorporates a range of manifestations. The notion of interculturalism, developed in the 1970s on the premise of communication, is dependent on the very existence and designation of the ‘Other’ that it desires to address, as the prefix of ‘inter’ suggests.
This paper is the latest progression in the presenter’s ongoing conceptual and philosophical research into the appropriate nature and style of curriculum, teaching and learning related to cultural understanding in the modern age. The key pillars of this research have been the model of Cultural Dispositions of Thinking (CDT), which was outlined initially the outcomes of a mixed methods international research project, published six years ago ( Casinader, 2014). This model, which also argued that culture needs to be more accurately described as a cognitive outlook than an ethnographic entity, posits that an acceptance of a diversity as a natural societal state (i.e. transculturalism) is required for cultural understanding to be developed as a learning outcome. It is also the basis of an ongoing mixed methodsinternational research project into the ability of teachers to teach cultural understanding, the first results of which will be published by Routledge in late 2019/early 2020 (Casinader 2019/2020, forthcoming)
This paper contends that global demographic changes resulting from enhanced migration have modified both the concept of culture and the nature of individual cultures (Vertovec 2009; Rizvi 2011b; Casinader, 2014). One of the products of this process has been the development of a globalised culture or ‘global imaginary’ (Rizvi 2011a), which incorporates the emergence of other phenomena such as transcultural ways of thinking (Casinader 2016, 2017), itself derived from the model of Cultural Dispositions of Thinking (Casinader 2014). The paper argues that curriculum development in cultural education needs to be progressed from its current focus on multiculturalism and interculturalism (Perry & Southwell, 2011; Reeves, 2012) to one based on transcultural concepts, in which cultural difference is seen as being part of the societal norm, and not as a problem phenomenon. In transcultural education, the goal is not merely the acceptance of the ‘Other’, but the removal of the ‘Other’ from the mental perspective; cultural difference is still acknowledged, but treated as a natural state, and not deemed a point of contention. Such changes are not acknowledged in frameworks such as the Australian Curriculum, which generally reflect longstanding ‘Western’ or Euro-American conceptions of culture and perceived relationships between culture and education. If curriculum is to set the foundation for students to become educated for life in the mid-20th century, then it must incorporate transcultural principles that reflect the reality of the ‘now’, and not be confined to perceptions built on pre-globalisation thinking.
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], (2013). Intercultural Understanding. Sydney: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Author Burbules, Nicholas C., and Carlos Alberto Torres (2000). "Globalization and Education: An Introduction." In Globalization and Education: critical perspectives, edited by Nicholas C. Burbules and Carlos Alberto Torres, 1-26. London: Routledge Casinader, N. (2014). Culture, Transnational Education and Thinking: Case Studies in Global Schooling. Routledge: Milton Park, Abingdon Casinader, N. (2016). A lost conduit for intercultural education: school geography and the potential for transformation in the Australian Curriculum, Intercultural Education, 27(3), 257-273 DOI: 10.1080/14675986.2016.1150650 Casinader, N. (2017). Transnationalism, Education and Empowerment: the latent legacies of empire. Routledge: Milton Park, Abingdon Casinader, N. (forthcoming, 2020). Transculturalism and Teacher Capacity: Professional Readiness in the Globalised Age. Routledge: Milton Park, Abingdon Chan, E. (2006). Teacher experiences of culture in the curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 38(2), 161-176. doi:10.1080/00220270500391605 Coulby, D. (2006). Intercultural education: theory and practice, Intercultural Education 17 (3), 245-257. doi: 10.1080/14675980600840274. Halse, C., Mansouri, F., Moss, J., Paradies, Y., O'Mara, J., Arber, R., . . . Wright, L. (2015). Doing diversity: intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools. Melbourne: Deakin University Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/interculturaldialogue/resources/161. Leeman, Y & Ledoux, G. ( 2005). Teachers on intercultural education, Teachers and Teaching 11 (6), 575-589. doi: 10.1080/13450600500293258. Musgrove, F. (1978). Curriculum, Culture and Ideology. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 10(2), 99-111. doi:10.1080/0022027780100202 Perry, LB., and Southwell, L. (2011). "Developing intercultural understanding and skills: models and approaches." Intercultural Education 22 (6), 453-466. doi: 10.1080/14675986.2011.644948. Portera, A. (2008). "Intercultural education in Europe: epistemological and semantic aspects." Intercultural Education 19 (6), 481-491. doi: 10.1080/14675980802568277. Reeves, M. (2012). Rites and Rights of Passage in a modern, multicultural society. In Building intercultural understanding: What does this mean for students? Seminar Series 221, edited by Keith Redman. Melbourne: Centre for Strategic Education. Rizvi, F. 2011a. "Beyond the Social Imaginary of ‘Clash of Civilizations’?" Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (3), 225-235. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00593.x. Rizvi, F. 2011b. "Experiences of Cultural Diversity in the Context of an Emergent Transnationalism." European Educational Research Journal 10 (2):180-188. doi: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/10.2304/eerj.2011.10.2.180. Sadler, M. S. (1900/1979). How far can we learn anything of practical value from the study of foreign systems of education?, Address, Guildford Educational Conference, October 20th, 1900. In J. Higginson (Ed.), Selections from Michael Sadler: Studies in World Citizenship (pp. 48-51). Liverpool, Merseyside: Dejail & Meyorre International Publishers. Vertovec, S. (2009). Transnationalism. Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge.
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