20 SES 12, Global Competence, Multicultural Education and Teachers' Role
As reflected in recent social and political activity around the word, including Europe and Australasia, increases in the flows of people around the world, both temporary and permanent, have meant that national populations have become more culturally diverse, creating both challenges and opportunities for governments and school systems in preparing students for life in contexts of such change. Since the onset of the second decade of the 20thcentury, one of the more visible effects of this shift has been the inclusion of acknowledgment in cultural diversity in the national school curriculum frameworks of countries as clear elements in the compulsory years of schooling. Spain and Australia are two examples of countries that have responded to the educational implications of dynamic cultural shifts in such a manner, with the enactment of the most recent Spanish national curriculum (2013) and the first Australian National Curriculum in 2010.
This paper is based on two underlying conceptual frames, the first of which is the long-established principle in comparative international education that educational curricula are a reflection of the values and principles held in common by the people living within a particular society. The connection between education and culture has been a long acknowledged one, most clearly established in the early twentieth century by Michael Sadler, seen by many as the ‘parent’ of comparative education (e.g. Alexander, 2001; Apple, 2001; Crossley, 2000). Given its original focus on the study of different educational systems in various regions, it is in comparative education where the study of education can be seen to first engage with the processes of what is now known as globalisation. It was Sadler (1900/1979) who consistently reiterated that the study of education could not be divorced from the cultural sphere in which it operated. In this sense, Cowen´s contribution for “Reading the Global “(2012) is also significant in giving a more comprehensive perspective of the external factors that determine School education as an agent for socialization is significant”
The second underlying concept is the current discourse as to what is a more appropriate approachin the development of a culturally responsive pedagogy. In particular, the challenge is to find an approach that addresses social cohesion as much as the need for affirmation of cultural identity within the broad debate. One of the presenters has been one of the global leaders in proposing that current teaching approaches, which tend to be based on the notions of multiculturalism and interculturalism, as they were formulated in th north American context. This is because both approaches were conceived before the age of contemporary globalisation when patternsof global mobility were less complex and physical interactions between people of different cultures were less frequent. It is now arguable that students need a different form of cultural education, that of transculturalism, which builds on its two predecessors and sees cultural variation as a positive rather than a negative or issue to be addressed (Casinader, 2016); diversity is the norm rather than the exception (Rizvi, 2011). In contrast, the second presenter argues that, within Europe at least, interculturalism as an educational goal has developed a more comprehensive dimension that includes the essence of the transculturalist concept; it therefore remains as a viable response for national education in cultural understanding.
The methodology used for this paper is essentially one of documentary analysis and interpretation through the specific dual comparative lenses of interculturalism and transculturalism. The Australian Curriculum Is documented in a dynamic online form. In Spain, the national Curriculum can be accessed on both online and print format. Each author has published and presented extensively on the national curriculums of their respective countries, especially in the context of cultural understandings: Casinader on Australia (for example, 2015, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c) and Shuali Trachtenberg on Spain (2010, 2012, 2013 , 2018) Using this base, the two presenters developed a comparative analysis across both national frameworks on how the acknowledgment of cultural diversity and the teaching of cultural understanding is approached and undertaken based on the following features or aspects: 1. How cultural diversity and understanding is defined conceptually within each curriculum framework 2. The place of cultural understanding within the overview of each curriculum structure 3. The ways in which elements of cultural understanding are specified within the learning area(s) to be taught in the compulsory years of primary and secondary education 4. The level of emphasis and importance placed upon the achievement of goals in cultural understanding in the stated learning outcomes
The project findings identified a clear dichotomy between the ways in which cultural understanding is perceived and enacted across the Australian and Spanish national curriculum frameworks. In Australia, cultural understanding is defined as intercultural understanding and structured as a general capability that is required to be taught across all learning areas, where appropriate. The main influence is defined by the further specification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders being mandated as a cross-curriculum priority for all learning areas, which has the effect of diluting any consideration of cultural diversity beyond Australia’s Indigenous people, in a country where nearly have the population have a parent born overseas. The benefits of any transcultural elements in the Curriculum are negated by the constrained parameters of how cultural education is to be implemented. In contrast, although cultural education is not defined explicitly in the national curriculum of Spain, there is an explicit reference to the role of education in a multicultural society. The acknowledgement of Spanish cultural diversity is addressed by curricula that are focused on the multiplicity of the Spanish Regional cultures and identities. As a result, the Spanish national curriculum, which is an outcome of the National Law of Education, is less competent on cultural issues then the Regional curricula, which are mainly concerned in established a cultural hegemony of the regional cultures (as in the cases of Catalonia or Basque country). Nevertheless, responsive education in relation to cultural and religious minorities such as the Roma & Sinti or Muslim groups are largely ignored by educational curricula. At the same time, the curricula place an explicit priority in acknowledging issues of diversity as a whole. It should be underlined though, that in the Spanish system, this concept is addressed through the field of Special Education Needs and does not establish specific measures regarding cultural understanding .
1.Bekerman, Z. ( 2017) : ‘Between Religious/Ethnic Epistemologies and the Development of Civic Identities in Western Education’ in Banks, J.A. et al (eds.), Global migration, Diversity, and Civic Education- Improving Policy and Practice. New York: Teachers College Press 2.Casinader, N. (2016a). 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 3.Casinader, N. (2016b). Secondary Geography and the Australian Curriculum – directions in school implementation: a comparative study. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 25(3), 258-275 DOI:10.1080/10382046.2016.1155325 4.Casinader, N. (2016c) Transnationalism in the Australian Curriculum: new horizons or destinations of the past? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(3), 327-340, doi: 10.1080/01596306.2015.1023701 [Published Online March 25, 2015] 5.Casinader, N. & Walsh, L. (2015) Teacher Transculturalism and cultural difference: addressing Racism in Australian Schools. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, Special Edition: ANZCIES Conference Proceedings, 14(2), 51-62 6.Casinader, N. (2015) Geography and the Australian Curriculum: unfulfilled knowledges in secondary school education. Geographical Research, February 2015, 53(1), 95–105. doi: 10.1111/1745-5871.1208 7.Crossley, M. (2000). Bridging Cultures and Traditions in the Reconceptualisation of Comparative and International Education. Comparative Education, 36(3), 319-332. 8.European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (2017). Preparing Teachers for Diversity: the Role of Initial Teacher Education. European Commission: Brussels 9.Rizvi, Fazal. (2000). International Education and the Production of Global Imagination. In N. C. Burbules & C. A. Torres (Eds.), Globalization and Education: critical perspectives (pp. 205-225). London: Routledge. 10.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. 11.Shuali Trachtenberg, T. (2010). Educación, diversidad cultural y participación: una aproximación desde la filosofía de john dewey. Edetania. estudios y propuestas socioeducativas, (37), 69-82 12.Shuali Trachtenberg, T. (2012). Enhancing inclusion through intercultural pedagogy: the study of an interactive classroom experience based on intercultural learning. Paper presented at Tapalewilis para la Educación Intercultural: compartiendo experiencias, construyendo alternativas conference 13.Shuali Trachtenberg, T. (2012) ‘Pedagogia Intercultural desde la fundamentación teorica a la practica educativa’, in Die, Luis et al. , Manual de Educación intercultural Valencia Ceimigra
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