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  • 1. GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLSINTERCULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL Enabling students to respect and celebrate diversity, to promote equality and to challenge unfair discrimination
  • 3. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment wishes toacknowledge the work of Dr. Roland Tormey and the Centre forEducational Disadvantage Research, Mary Immaculate College,Limerick in the development of these Guidelines.The material in these guidelines may be reproduced by schoolsand other educational institutions for educational purposes.
  • 4. CONTENTSINTRODUCTION iCHAPTER 1 The Context of Intercultural Education 1CHAPTER 2 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 13CHAPTER 3 School Planning 21CHAPTER 4 Classroom Planning 35CHAPTER 5 Intercultural Education across the Curriculum 49 5.1 Integrated thematic planning 51 5.2 Intercultural education opportunities across the curriculum 62CHAPTER 6 Approaches and Methodologies 79CHAPTER 7 Assessment and Cultural Diversity 89CHAPTER 8 Language and Interculturalism 103GLOSSARY OF TERMS 113BIBLIOGRAPHY 116CLASSROOM RESOURCES 119
  • 5. SUBJECT STATEMENTSINTERCULTURAL EDUCATION AND THE POST-PRIMARY SCHOOLArt, Craft and Design 62Civic, Social in Political Education 64English 64Gaeilge 66Geography 66History 67Home Economics 68Mathematics 69Modern Languages 70Music 71Physical Education 72Religious Education 74Science 74Social, Personal and Health Education 75Technology subjects 76Additional resources, including curriculum audits for each subject identifyingopportunities for exploring intercultural themes and exemplar lessons,can be accessed on the accompanying CD-ROM and at
  • 6. INTRODUCTIONEducation is therefore an education in freedom–freedom frominherited biases and narrow feelings and sentiments,as well as freedom to explore other cultures and perspectivesand make one’s own choices in full awareness of availableand practicable alternatives.(Bhikhu Parekh, 1986)WHAT IS INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION? of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. This can be seen, for example, inAt its core, intercultural education has two the way in which bilingualism in Gaeilgefocal points: and English has played an important part in Irish life as well as in the long-standing• It is education which respects, celebrates presence of the Traveller community and of and recognises the normality of diversity minority religious groups. In recent years in all parts of human life. It sensitises this diversity has been added to through the learner to the idea that humans have immigration. Different words like naturally developed a range of different ‘multicultural’ and ‘intercultural’ have been ways of life, customs and worldviews, used in recent years to describe the changes and that this breadth of human life that have been happening in Irish society. enriches all of us. Common to them all is the idea of• It is education which promotes equality ‘culture’. Both these terms describe a and human rights, challenges unfair situation where there is more than one discrimination and promotes the values culture in a country. While the term upon which equality is built. ‘multiculturalism’ is sometimes used to describe a society in which differentIntercultural education is a synthesis of the cultures live side by side without muchlearning from multicultural education interaction, the term ‘interculturalism’approaches and anti-racist education expresses a belief that we all becomeapproaches which were commonly used personally enriched by coming in contactinternationally from the 1960s to the with and experiencing other cultures, and1990s. Ireland has long had an experienceIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School i
  • 7. that people of different cultures can and Some key features of intercultural should be able to engage with each other education are: and learn from each other. • Intercultural education is for all students Education not only reflects society but is irrespective of their ethnicity. Since all also an influence in shaping its our students live in a country and a development. As such, schools are one of world that is becoming increasingly the institutions that have a role to play in diverse, we need to prepare them for the development of an intercultural society. that world. Intercultural education is an While education cannot bear the sole important part of every student’s responsibility for challenging racism and educational experience whether he/she is promoting intercultural competence, it has in a school which is characterised by an important contribution to make in ethnic diversity, in a predominantly facilitating the development of intercultural mono-ethnic school, or whether the skills, attitudes, values and knowledge. student is from the dominant or a minority culture. An intercultural education is valuable to • Intercultural education is for all students all students in equipping them to irrespective of their age. Recognising participate in an increasingly diverse that diversity is normal in humans is Ireland, Europe and global society. Equally, something that is appropriate at all ages. an education that has a limited cultural • Dialogue and story are identified as focus will be less likely to develop these fundamental components of intercultural capacities in students. education. While it is important to give young people accurate information and In Guidelines on Traveller Education in to challenge stereotypes and Second Level Schools, (pp.20-21) the misconceptions, equipping them with Department of Education and Science intercultural capacity is more effective (2002) has defined intercultural education if it is done through open dialogue as aiming to: which allows them to express their thoughts, fears and perceptions rather • foster conditions conducive to pluralism than simply telling them the ‘right and in society wrong’ of the situation. • raise pupils’ awareness of their own • Intercultural education happens culture and to attune them to the fact naturally through the ‘hidden that there are other ways of behaving curriculum’ of the social and visual and other value systems world within which the student learns. • develop respect for lifestyles different While it is possible and necessary to from their own so that pupils can include intercultural ideas in the taught understand and appreciate each other ‘formal curriculum’, the images, • foster a commitment to equality; messages and values that are conveyed • enable pupils to make informed choices throughout the school culture are also about, and to take action on, issues of crucial. In exploring the hidden prejudice and discrimination curriculum it is important to note that • appreciate and value similarities and what is absent can be as important as differences; what is present. • enable all pupils to speak for themselves • Intercultural education is concerned with and to articulate their cultures and ethnicity and culture and not simply with histories. skin colour. Intercultural education wouldii Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 8. be equally concerned with discrimination cultural and ethnic diversity against white minority ethnic groups such • facilitate schools and teachers in creating as people from Eastern Europe or an inclusive culture and environment Travellers, or against other cultural • raise awareness within the educational minority groups such as those for whom community on issues which arise from Irish is a first language. linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity in IrelandAIMS OF THE GUIDELINES • provide an overview of assessment in an intercultural context.These guidelines identify the ways in whichintercultural education can be integrated USING THE GUIDELINESinto the curriculum in post-primaryschools. While the examples in these The audience for the guidelines includeguidelines focus mainly on Junior those with a responsibility for and interestCertificate subjects, intercultural education in post-primary education. The documentis relevant to senior cycle education too is of particular relevance to teachers,and there are ample opportunities within school managers, school support staff andsenior cycle programmes and subjects to policy makers. It is hoped that theseincorporate intercultural perspectives. guidelines will support teachers, both individually and as teams, in developing aThe aim of these guidelines is to more inclusive classroom environment.contribute to the development of Ireland They will also support whole schoolas an intercultural society through the planning and policy development withindevelopment of a shared sense that schools and so contribute to developing alanguage, culture and ethnic diversity school culture that is welcoming, respectfulis valuable. and sensitive to the needs of all students.They aim to contribute to the development The guidelines are written so that they canof a shared ability and sense of be used in a number of ways. Some peopleresponsibility to protect for each other will read the guidelines from the beginningthe right to be different and to live free and work through them to the end. Othersfrom discrimination. will find it useful to focus initially on the specific chapter that addresses a needThe specific objectives of the guidelines that is pressing for them and then expandare to: their reading to include the rest of the chapters. In order to facilitate these ways• support the aims of post-primary of using the guidelines, key ideas are curricula in the context of a growing occasionally repeated at intervals cultural and ethnic diversity in a way throughout the guidelines. which will maximise and enrich learning for all students and make the curriculum Chapter 1 provides background as accessible as possible for students information that places the rest of the from minority ethnic groups guidelines in context. It outlines the extent• address the curriculum needs of all and nature of cultural, linguistic and ethnic post-primary students, whether from a diversity in contemporary Ireland and also minority or the majority ethnic group, defines terms like ‘racism’ and which arise in the context of a growing ‘institutional racism’.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School iii
  • 9. Chapter 2 articulates the major elements of Chapter 5 explores the integration of an intercultural approach to education. intercultural themes–identity and belonging, similarity and difference, human rights and Chapter 3 highlights the ways in which responsibilities, discrimination and equality, intercultural education should be taken conflict and conflict resolution across a into account in school planning, policy range of Junior Certificate subjects. While development and in shaping the whole the examples in the guidelines relate to school environment. It identifies that all of Junior Certificate subjects, intercultural the members of the school community have education is equally important for and an important role to play in ensuring an relevant to senior cycle students. The CD- intercultural ethos within the school. ROM included with the Guidelines and the NCCA website provide Chapter 4 focuses attention on the exemplars of classwork incorporating the classroom and classroom planning. It intercultural themes. explores the ways in which the social, visual and educational environment of the Chapter 6 identifies and describes the classroom can maximise the intercultural approaches and methodologies that are experience of all students in school. It also particularly suitable for intercultural looks at choosing resources and welcoming education. It also offers practical tips on a student from another culture. dealing with controversial issues in the classroom.iv Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 10. Chapter 7 deals with assessment and While these guidelines focus on cultural diversity. It highlights the ways in discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, which different forms of assessment can many of the underlying ideas are equally become biased or unreliable in a culturally applicable to other forms of discrimination diverse context and it provides guidance on such as sexism, ageism or discrimination how teachers can broaden the range of against people with a disability. tools used for assessment. These Guidelines on Intercultural Chapter 8 explores the creation of a Education in the Post-Primary School are supportive language environment for accompanied by Guidelines on Intercultural learners of Irish and English, with Education in the Primary School. Both sets particular reference to students who are of guidelines are based on the same key learning the language of instruction as a principles and themes. Together, they second language. provide a context in which young people will continue to develop intercultural These guidelines are designed to provide competence in an integrated way as they support for all the members of the school transfer from primary to post-primary community, including teachers, school education. managers, support staff and parents. In this respect, they deal with a wide range of issues, including school planning, classroom planning, assessment and the language environment.“ Intercultural education is important for all students to help them to participate in an increasingly diverse Ireland, Europe and global society...” Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School v
  • 11. The Context of Intercultural Education
  • 12. 1 1
  • 13. THE CONTEXT OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION The more people who are on the margins the weaker is the centre… we all have a stake in building a future which respects and celebrates 1 diversity—a generous sharing Ireland that encompasses many traditions and cultures and creates space for all its people. (President Mary McAleese, 24 February 2000) The growth of immigration into Ireland ETHNIC AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN IRELAND since the mid-1990s has brought the issue The growth in ethnic and cultural diversity of ethnic and cultural diversity to the in Ireland in recent years has arisen for a forefront and has encouraged discussion number of reasons, including increased around diversity. However, it would not be movement from other EU countries (Table accurate to suggest that Ireland has only 2), as well as increases in asylum seekers recently experienced diversity. Significant (Table 4) and in those issued work permits minority ethnic, linguistic and religious (Table 3). This diversity is not, however, an groups have long been part of Irish society. entirely new phenomenon: Ireland has, in Ireland has a long history of cultural fact, a long history of cultural diversity. diversity that has contributed to making Ireland the country it is today. In a wider Table 1: Place of birth of people usually living sense, membership of a European and in Ireland in Census figures, global community has also played a 1991 and 2002 significant role in the experience of being Irish. In the context of growing diversity, Place of Birth 1991 2002 and growing awareness of diversity, issues of discrimination, particularly racial Ireland 93.9 % 89.6 % discrimination, have come into focus. Anti- Northern Ireland 1.0 % 1.3 % discrimination has been written into Irish Great Britain 3.8 % 5.1 % law and into education policy. All these Other EU 0.4 % 0.9 % factors combine to provide the background USA 0.4 % 0.6 % within which these guidelines operate. Other Countries 0.6 % 2.5 % Total 100 % 100 %2 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 14. THE CONTEXT OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION 1Table 2: Estimated immigration to Ireland of people of EU nationality 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002UK 8,300 8,200 8,300 7,900 7,100 7,000 5,100Rest of EU 5,000 5,500 5,800 6,800 7,100 5,800 6,100Note: A substantial number of those included in the above statistics are not immigrants in the strict sensebut returning Irish migrants. The figure for returning Irish migrants peaked in 1999, at 55 per cent of allmigrants. At present is it under 40 per cent.As EU citizens, Irish people enjoy the right Table 3: Employment migration to Ireland fromto move to other EU states. Other EU outside the EUcitizens, including the 10 countries thatjoined the EU in May 2004, also enjoy the 2000 18,000 work permits issuedsame right, and many have chosen to live 2001 36,000 work permits issuedand work in Ireland. From May 2004 to 2002 40,000 work permits issuedApril 2005 85,114 people from the ten 2003 47,551 work permits issuedaccession countries were allocated Personal 2004 34,067 work permits issuedPublic Service Numbers (PPS No) inIreland. We cannot be certain that all those Another group of recent immigrants topeople are now working in Ireland but it Ireland comprises those who are seekingwould be the intention of the majority of asylum. The asylum process is designed tothose applying for PPS Nos to work. This protect those who have a well-founded fearmovement of people across European of persecution in their country of origin. Inborders has contributed to a cultural order to protect such people, the right toexchange between European countries as ask for asylum was written into thewell as affording people an opportunity to Universal Declaration of Human Rights.identify the similarities that underlie our Those who are granted asylum are knownEuropean identity. as refugees. The numbers of asylum seekers and refugees internationally grew duringDuring the economic boom years of the the 1980s and early 1990s. In the UK, forlate 1990s and early 2000s, significant example, the number of asylum seekerslabour shortages developed which had a grew from 2,905 in 1984 to 22,005 innegative impact on economic growth. 1990 and 44,845 in 1991. In Ireland, atThe number of workers from EU countries the same time, the number of peoplewas not sufficient to meet the economy’s seeking asylum rarely rose above 50. Inlabour needs. As a result, work permits 1991 it stood at 31.were issued to non-EU citizens to fillspecified jobs. Apart from EU citizensliving in Ireland, significant numbers ofmigrant workers have come to Irelandfrom countries such as Russia, Romania,the Philippines, South Africa and theUkraine.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 3
  • 15. Table 4: Asylum Applications in Ireland Other countries of origin may also be quite diverse. Year Although the recent growth in immigration 1992 40 has given rise to a greater awareness of 1993 90 cultural diversity in Ireland, it could be 1994 360 argued that Ireland has long been culturally 1995 420 diverse. One of the largest minority ethnic 1996 1,180 groups in Ireland is the Irish Traveller 1997 3,880 community. There are an estimated 25,000 1998 4,630 Travellers in Ireland, a further 15,000 Irish 1999 7,720 Travellers living in the UK and 10,000 living 2000 10,938 in the USA. The Irish Government’s 1995 2001 10,325 Report of the Task Force on the Travelling 2002 11,634 Community identifies that Travellers are a 2003 7,900 distinct ethnic group in Ireland, but also 2004 4,766 identifies that this has often not been fully recognised. During the 1990s Ireland began to receive a larger share of asylum seekers (Table 4). It is clear that the Traveller community’s culture is distinct and different. ‘Settled’ These asylum seekers came from many people generally recognise the difference countries including Nigeria, Romania, but fail to understand it as cultural Republic of Moldova, Poland, Democratic difference. This is a phenomenon, Republic of Congo, the Russian characteristic of many societies, where the Federation, Algeria, and the Ukraine. In majority culture sees itself as holding a addition to those who sought asylum in universal validity or norm in relation to Ireland, the Irish government has, at values, meanings and identity. various times, welcomed groups of people who were fleeing persecution, such as Ireland has also long been a linguistically those from former Yugoslav states such as diverse society and has two official Bosnia-Herzegovina during the period of languages, Irish and English. The island of genocide in that country, or at a later date, Ireland is also the home of a number of those fleeing persecution in Kosovo. These other native languages, including Ulster were known as Programme Refugees and Scots, Irish Sign language and Gammon or did not have to go through the asylum Cant (a language historically known to and process. In recent years the number of used by Irish Travellers). Indeed, like many applications for asylum in Ireland has societies world wide, Ireland is been decreasing. characterised by some degree of bilingualism. The 1996 Census showed Simply listing the numbers of people and that, as well as being speakers of English, the countries from which they come in this 43 per cent of the Irish population were way does not fully represent the reality of speakers of Irish. In Gaeltacht areas, this cultural diversity, which these immigrants rises to 76 per cent. On a national basis, represent. A country like Nigeria, for one quarter of those who speak Irish use it example, contains three major ethnic daily. This rises to 60 per cent in Gaeltacht groups and, perhaps more than 240 areas. For some, Irish is their first language minority languages and ethnic groups. (usually with English as a second4 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 16. THE CONTEXT OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION 1language). For others, it is a second colour, are a core part of Irish life. Theylanguage, learned in addition to the each play a role in contributing to the richlanguage of their home. This highlights the mix that is Irishness.complexity and diversity of the linguisticenvironment in Ireland, and indeed in Irish In this respect, Ireland today mirrorseducation. Both Irish and English play an Ireland at various times in her past. Irelandimportant role in Irish identity and society, has been forged from diversity, fromand both languages are required subjects of successive waves of immigration includingstudy for students following the junior Celtic, Viking, Norman, English, Scots andcycle programme. Huguenot, something which can be seen in the diversity of origins of names which areReligious diversity is also a feature of Irish typical in Ireland. The Irish Nobel Prizesociety. The 2002 Census shows that over winning playwright George Bernard Shaw11% of the population belong to minority expressed this when he wrote, “I am areligious groups. Alongside the 3.4 million genuine typical Irishman of the Danish,Roman Catholics in the state, over Norman, Cromwellian and (of course)200,000 people were described as having Scotch invasions.”no religion or did not state a religion,while over 115,600 people described their RACISM IN IRELANDreligion as Church of Ireland or Protestant.Presbyterians and Muslims each account Some researchers indicate that a traditionalfor about 20,000 people while the view of Irishness–one that does notOrthodox Church accounted for over recognise the cultural and ethnic diversity,10,000 people. Other significant religious which has long existed in Ireland–hasgroups in Ireland include Jews and made many Irish people from minorityJehovah’s Witnesses. While the religious groups feel excluded. In a similar way, themake-up of Ireland has changed over the idea that ‘Irish’ means ‘settled’ has meantyears, Ireland has long had significant that there has been little accommodationreligious diversity. Indeed, in the past the for what is distinctive in Traveller cultureProtestant and Jewish populations in in Irish society. These can be understoodIreland would have been significantly as some of the manifestations of racism inlarger than in more recent times. Irish society.Even within the majority ethnic group UNESCO Declaration on Race and(although the term ‘ethnic’ is often applied Racial Prejudiceto minority groups, everyone has anethnicity) there exists significant diversity Article 2:2 – Racism includes racistin lifestyle, values and beliefs. A number of ideologies, prejudiced attitudes,studies of Irish attitudes and values show discriminatory behaviour, structuralsignificant differences between urban and arrangements and institutionalisedrural dwellers, as well as differences across practices resulting in racial inequality asage, education level and social class. This well as the fallacious notion thatsuggests that, even without looking at discriminatory relations between groupsminority ethnic groups, the generalisation are morally justifiable; it is reflected inthat is called Irish culture hides a great discriminatory provisions in legislation ordiversity of ways of life. Diversity in food, regulations and discriminatory practices asmusic, lifestyle, religious beliefs, language, well as in anti-social beliefs and acts...values, ethnicity and, increasingly, in skinIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 5
  • 17. UN International Convention on the have appeared as such to many people at a Elimination of All Forms of Racial first glance. Discrimination • An attitude or belief is racist if it implies Article 1 – "racial discrimination" shall that some groups are superior or inferior mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction to others based on their ‘race’, colour, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. descent, or national or ethnic origin which This might include the belief that certain has the purpose or effect of nullifying or groups (for example, Traveller, Asian or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or Middle Eastern cultures) are more exercise, on an equal footing, of human primitive or contain less intrinsic value rights and fundamental freedoms in the than others. political, economic, social, cultural or any • A racist practice or rule is one that other field of public life. distinguishes, excludes, restricts or gives rise to a preference based on ‘race’, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. Racist practices and rules make it The term ‘race’ appears in inverted more difficult for members of some commas each time it is used here (except in groups to attain the human rights, access quotes) because scientific research has now to opportunities and life chances to which made clear that, although the term is they are entitled. Racist practices or rules widely used to describe groups of people may be practised by individuals (for who are thought of as biologically example through name-calling, racist separate, there is, in fact, no genetic or graffiti, excluding people or using other scientific basis underlying the term. violence against them), or by institutions (for example, though the application of rules or regulations which do not make Racism is one of a number of forms of allowance for cultural difference). discrimination that exist in contemporary societies. Others include sexism, ageism and These interlocking dimensions of racism discrimination on the basis of a disability. are represented graphically in Figure 1. All involve rules, practices, attitudes and beliefs which have the effect of denying or RACIST ATTITUDES OR BELIEFS impairing someone’s access to the same basic rights and freedoms as everyone else. Studies in Ireland from the 1980s onwards Despite their similarities as forms of have consistently found a significant discrimination, racism is sometimes wrongly minority who held hostile attitudes. In his perceived as being worse than other forms study of Prejudice and Tolerance in Ireland of discrimination, perhaps because it is Micheál Mac Gréil found that in the late often associated in people’s minds with 1980s there was a significant minority of violence, genocide or ‘hate crime’. The term Irish people who expressed racist views: racism, used properly, has much wider implications than a narrow focus on ‘racial’ • 16.7% of his national sample said that hatred or violence would suggest. It black people could never become as encompasses a range of attitudes or beliefs good Irish people as others because of on one hand and practices or rules on the their basic make up. other. This means that the term ‘racism’ • 10.8 % believed that black people were actually includes some things that may not inferior to white people.6 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 18. THE CONTEXT OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION 1• Only 13.5% would welcome a Traveller • 31% support promoting equality at all into the family through marriage while levels of social life (also the lowest in the 59% would not welcome Travellers as European Union) next door neighbours. • Irish people are more prepared to• When asked if an American person welcome Muslims and people from would be welcome into the family, eastern and central Europe than are 78.6% said that they would welcome a other EU citizens, but are less white American, while only 26.2% welcoming of people fleeing human would welcome a black American. rights abuses or situations of conflict• 95.6% said they would have white • Only 32% of Irish people feel minorities Americans as a next-door neighbour, but enrich our cultural life compared to only 59% said they would similarly 50% of all EU citizens surveyed. welcome black Americans. Recent studies have found that some schoolA 2000 Eurobarometer study found that, children associate black people with imagesin Ireland of poverty, warfare and helplessness with which they have become familiar from• 13% of the national representative pictures and stories from Africa which are sample had very negative attitudes commonly used in Ireland. While such towards minorities attitudes may express themselves through• 24% support the outlawing of ideas of charity and aid, they can be discrimination against minorities (the understood as racist attitudes, if they are lowest figure in the European Union) based on a sense that African cultures are inferior to Western cultures.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 7
  • 19. FIGURE 1 What do we mean by racism? Belief that Practices including > one culture is inferior > shunning people or superior to another > one culture is RACISM > > name-calling graffiti primitive or lacks > violence. value. Racist Individual Attitudes Racist Practices Institutional Racist Practices Indirect discrimination may include > entry criteria that do not allow for > a lack of positive action to nomadic lifestyle promote equality > indiscriminate use of standardised > a lack of professional expertise or training tests on ethnic minorities that are not in dealing with diversity in the organisation normed for that ethnic group > a lack of systematic data gathering on the > development of service provision in impact of policies on minority groups a way which reflects only the majority > a lack of workable facilities for consultation communitys culture and identity and listening to minority groups. RACIST PRACTICES BY INDIVIDUALS In 1995, the Government’s Task Force on the Travelling Community noted: Evidence of racist practices by individuals can be found in studies of the experiences Discrimination at the individual level is of ethnic minorities in Ireland. In a 2001 most common when a Traveller seeks Amnesty International survey of ethnic access to any of a range of goods, services minorities in Ireland, 78 per cent of more and facilities, to which access is denied than 600 respondents from a variety of purely on the basis of their identity as ethnic minorities living all over Ireland Travellers. Examples abound of public highlighted that they had been a victim of houses refusing to serve Travellers, hotels racism, most often in public places like the refusing to book Traveller weddings, bingo street, or in shops or pubs, and over 80 per halls barring Traveller women, leisure cent of the sample tended to agree that facilities barring access to Travellers, and insurance companies refusing to provide racism is a serious problem in motor insurance cover. This experience can contemporary Ireland. also include physical and verbal attacks and intimidation. (pp 70-80).8 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 20. THE CONTEXT OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION 1RACIST PRACTICES BY INSTITUTIONS criteria in rules or regulations. For example, if the entry criteria for a society,While individual racist practices and club or school required people to beattitudes are sometimes the most obvious resident in an area, this may discriminateform of racism, they are not the only form against nomadic families. Indirect racismof racism. The term institutional racism is may also be found in the development ofused to describe racism in the form of provision which reflects only the majoritydiscriminatory provisions in legislation, culture or which assumes that everyoneregulations or other formal practices. belongs to that culture. For example, ifInstitutional racism includes: information or services are made available in a way that assumes that everyone will• indirect discriminations have a good proficiency in the language of• a lack of positive action to the majority, those who have difficulty promote equality with that language may be discriminated• a lack of professional expertise or against. If clinical testing or interviewing is training in dealing with diversity in only carried out in the language of the the organisation majority or in a way which reflects the• a lack of systematic data gathering culture of the majority, or using criteria on the impact of policies on which are derived in respect of the minority groups majority population, incorrect judgements• a lack of workable facilities for may be reached concerning members of consultation and listening to minority groups. minority groups. DISCRIMINATION AND INTERCULTURALISM INIndirect racism and other types of indirect LAW AND POLICYdiscrimination occur when practices orpolicies, which do not appear to In recent years, the Irish Government hasdiscriminate against one group more than worked to challenge racism and toanother, actually have a discriminatory promote intercultural practices in Ireland.impact. It can also happen where a To these ends, it has introduced bothrequirement, which may appear non- legislation and initiatives. These havediscriminatory, has an adverse effect on agroup or class of people. For example, a • provided a framework for people toschool that, because it is oversubscribed, challenge racism and discrimination inoffers places first to children who have a Ireland across a range of groundssibling there is likely to disadvantage • promoted equality and interculturalismnomadic families who move into and out through education and publicof a given area. While the practice did not awareness.originate from the prejudiced intention ofreducing the numbers of Traveller children, A National Action Plan Against Racismthis will be the effect. Such a practice (NPAR) has been developed by thewould also have the effect of reducing the Government. This was a key commitment,numbers of children of recent immigrants which arose from the World Conferencein the school. Practices such as these are Against Racism, which was held indefined as indirect racism. Durban, in South Africa, in 2001. This will include an education action planIndirect racism may be found in the against racism.application of culturally inappropriateIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 9
  • 21. Legislation which provides a framework educational policy. It also notes ‘the for people to challenge discrimination democratic character of this society includes the Employment Equality Act requires education to embrace the diverse (1998) and the Equal Status Act (2000). traditions, beliefs and values of its people’. These make it illegal to discriminate against a person in employment, vocational These principles are also endorsed in training, advertising, collective agreements, school curricula. The Primary School the provision of goods and services and Curriculum recognises the diversity of other opportunities to which the public beliefs, values and aspirations of all generally have access, if the discrimination religious and cultural groupings in Irish happens on one of nine grounds. The society and acknowledges that it has a grounds are gender, marital status, family ‘responsibility in promoting tolerance and status (having children or being a carer), respect for diversity in both school and the age (between the ages of 18 and 65), community’. This is reiterated in two of disability, race, sexual orientation, the aims and principles of the Junior religious belief, membership of the Certificate education which states, Traveller community. The Junior Certificate programme aims to Much of Ireland’s policy framework for education has sought to promote equality • contribute to the moral and spiritual and interculturalism through education. development of the young person and to The 1995 White Paper on Education– develop a tolerance and respect for the Charting our Education Future highlights values and beliefs of others; that equality and pluralism are two of the key considerations, which underpin10 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 22. THE CONTEXT OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION 1• prepare the young person for the All children, irrespective of their country of responsibilities of citizenship in the origin or their reasons for being in Ireland, national context and in the context of are entitled to free primary and post- the wider European and global primary education. All children are communities. required to attend school from the age of 6 to the age of 16, or until the completion ofGuidelines on Traveller Education in three years of post-primary education,Second-Level Schools, issued by the whichever is later. The Department ofDepartment of Education and Science in Education and Science does not2002, also emphasise the importance of differentiate between ‘national’ and ‘non-interculturalism within the school. In this, national’ children.they emphasise the two elements ofintercultural education, appreciation of Intercultural education is one of the keydiversity and the challenging of inequality. responses to the changing shape of Irish society and to the existence of racism and An intercultural approach is important discriminatory attitudes in Ireland. within the curriculum in order to help As an approach, it emerges naturally from students to develop the ability to recognise existing educational policy and is in inequality, injustice, racism, prejudice and keeping with other equality legislation bias and to equip them to challenge and to and initiatives. try to change these manifestations when they encounter them. Young people should be enabled to appreciate the richness of a diversity of cultures and be supported in practical ways to recognise and to challenge prejudice and discrimination where they exist. (p. 20).Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 11
  • 23. Intercultural Educationin the Post-Primary School
  • 24. 2 13
  • 25. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL The general aim of education is to contribute towards the development of all aspects of the individual, including aesthetic, 2 creative, critical, cultural, emotional, intellectual, moral, physical, political, social and spiritual development, for personal and family life, for working life, for living in community and for leisure. (The aims of the Junior Certificate as stated by the Department of Education and Science) If the primary aim of education is the Two of the aims of the Junior Certificate preparation of young people for the programme are to: challenges of living in the world today then intercultural education is an essential • contribute to the moral and spiritual part of that process. Intercultural development of the young person and to education is not another subject to be develop a tolerance and respect for the added to the curriculum, nor does it values and beliefs of others; involve extra material to be covered in • prepare the young person for the particular subjects. It is an approach to responsibilities of citizenship in the education that can be integrated across national context and in the context of all subject areas. the wider European and global communities. Chapter 5 illustrates how such an approach might be taken in a range of This is echoed in the statement of purpose subject areas. However, it is important to and aims of senior cycle education: emphasise that there are opportunities for all teachers to promote the knowledge, The fundamental purpose of senior cycle values and skills associated with education is to enable and prepare people intercultural education through their to live lives to the fullest potential within interactions with students both within democratic society. (Developing Senior Cycle Education, NCCA, formal class time and informally. 2003, p.37)14 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 26. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL 2One of the specific aims of senior cycle • Intercultural education requires a real-education is to world focus; • Language is central to developing• educate for participative citizenship at intercultural abilities and capacities; local, national, European and global • Intercultural education takes time; levels. • The school as a model of good practice.Intercultural education is one way that a Intercultural education is for allschool can make provision for therealisation of these aims. Intercultural education is based on the general aim of enabling the student toIt can also inform and support whole develop as a social being throughschool development planning and it can respecting and co-operating with others,contribute to the development of a school thus contributing to the good of society.culture that is open, positive, inclusive and Intercultural education is beneficial to allsensitive to the needs of all students. These the students in our schools, irrespective ofguidelines for post-primary schools must their skin colour or ethnicity, since allbe seen in the context of a longer process. students need to learn how to live within and contribute to the evolution of ourGuidelines have also been produced for growing multicultural society.primary schools and it is hoped that bothsets of guidelines will support and build As the Rampton Report in the UK hasupon each other providing teachers with a stated:coherent and comprehensive menu of ideasfor incorporating an intercultural A ‘good’ education cannot be basedperspective across the student’s full on one culture only, and … wherelearning experience. ethnic minorities form a permanent and integral part of the population, we do not believe that education should seek to ironThis chapter outlines some of the out the differences between cultures,characteristics that underlie contemporary nor attempt to draw everyone into thegood practice in the area of intercultural dominant All students have a culture and ethnicity.CHARACTERISTICS OF INTERCULTURAL Learning to value their own culture andEDUCATION ethnicity is central to their self-esteem and sense of identity. Intercultural educationThe following seven characteristics of facilitates all students in coming to valueintercultural education are discussed in this their own heritage and the heritage ofchapter: others.• Intercultural education is for all Intercultural education has many benefits: children;• Intercultural education is embedded in • It encourages curiosity about cultural knowledge and understanding, skills and and social difference. capacities, and attitudes and values; • It helps to develop and support• Intercultural education is integrated with young people’s imagination by all subjects and with the general life of normalising difference. the school;Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 15
  • 27. • It helps to develop critical thinking by strong emotions. When people (students, enabling people to gain perspective on teachers, parents and others in the school and question their own cultural community) explore their own attitudes practices. and values and when they look at their • It helps to develop sensitivity in the own past reactions to certain situations student. they may get defensive, angry or upset. • It helps to prevent racism. Learning to deal with one’s own emotions and the emotions of others is an integral Intercultural education is embedded part of the intrapersonal (self- in knowledge and understanding, understanding) and interpersonal skills and capacities, and attitudes (understanding of relationships with and values others) skills essential for personal, social and educational fulfilment. This is best The general aim of education is to done within a school and classroom ethos, contribute towards the development of all which is characterised by a caring aspects of the individual, including relationship between staff and students and aesthetic, creative, critical, cultural, by providing young people with a positive, emotional, intellectual, moral, physical, inclusive and happy school experience. political, social and spiritual development. Intercultural education is built on this Intercultural education is integrated vision, and is outlined in these guidelines across all subject areas and into the life under the headings of knowledge and of the school understanding, skills and capacities, and attitudes and values. The integration of knowledge and understanding, skills and capacities, and Neither racism nor interculturalism is based attitudes and values across all subject areas on knowledge alone. Both are informed and provides the learner with a more coherent enforced by emotional responses, feelings and richer learning experience. It is also and attitudes as well as knowledge. Simply more likely that appropriate attitudes and providing people with facts and information values will be developed by young people if or focusing on cognitive development will they are integrated across subject areas and not, on their own, be sufficient to tackle within the whole life of the school, than if racism, since there may be an emotional they are dealt with in a piecemeal or ‘one- resistance to changing one’s mind in light of off’ fashion. Intercultural education new evidence, facts or ways of thinking. In therefore, should be central to all aspects particular, the development of positive of school life. It should be reflected in the emotional responses to diversity and hidden curriculum of the school, in school empathy with those discriminated against policies and practices and the teaching of plays a key role in intercultural education. the different subject areas. The school that places a high value on the personal well-being of all its students and Intercultural education requires a real- staff will foster the kind of environment world focus where positive attitudes towards diversity can thrive. It is a fundamental principle of learning that the student’s own knowledge and However, intercultural education may give experience should be the starting point for rise to some conflict and to a range of acquiring new understanding. In this16 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 28. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL 2respect, first-hand experience that connects disagreement between ethnic groups maystudents with the world in which they live well give rise to strong emotions, especiallyand with people of different perspectives if students are being asked to consider ifand experiences is the most effective basis they are part of the dominant orfor learning. discriminating group. Nonetheless, looking at such situations is central to developing inStudents’ lives will provide the teacher students the ability to apply interculturalwith many opportunities to explore ideas to their own lives.intercultural themes and to developintercultural competence. Young people Examining real-life situations can also playmay well experience examples of a role in developing a sense of empathy forunfairness, discrimination or conflict in those who are discriminated against. Manytheir own lives that will enable them to young people will identify that they haveengage in a concrete way with the concerns been treated unfairly at one time orof intercultural education. Conversely, another, whether that means having hadunless young people are encouraged and someone else getting preference over themfacilitated in critical reflection on their unfairly, or having had assumptions madeown lives, they may well identify with about them because of the way they lookintercultural ideas in abstract but not or where they live, or having someone inengage in intercultural practices. authority refuse to listen to them. Such experiences mean that students can oftenTeachers should be aware that looking at readily empathise with others who aresituations which involve conflict or victims of discrimination.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 17
  • 29. Language is central to developing Dialogue facilitates the exploration of intercultural abilities and capacities experiences, ideas, and emotions through increasingly complex language. Through Whether difference is seen as normal or dialogue students can also be brought to abnormal, whether equality is seen as a reflect on the way language is used and the good thing or a problem will depend on power of language in labelling people. The the language that students learn to apply to aim of dialogue in the context of situations. Language not only expresses intercultural education is to develop thoughts, ideas and values-it shapes them empathetic listening. Empathetic listening too. Because language is so crucial to the means listening with the intent to learning process the use of dialogue and understand. It means getting inside another discussion is a key teaching strategy in all person’s frame of reference, seeing the education. Dialogue also allows us to world the way they see the world and recognise the value of differences. Through trying to understand how they feel. dialogue it is possible to see that two Empathy is not sympathy. people can view the same thing and interpret it differently. Unless we value the The essence of empathetic listening is not differences in our ideas, beliefs and that you agree with someone; it’s that you perceptions, unless we value each other fully, deeply, understand that person, and give credence to the possibility that life emotionally as well as intellectually. is richer for all its diversity then we will (Covey, 1998, p. 240.) have difficulties meeting the challenges of an increasingly diverse and complex world.18 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 30. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL 2Both Irish and English play an important The school as a model of good practicerole in Irish identity and society, and anexperience in both languages is the right of The social context within which learningevery child. Experience of a second takes place is a key influence on the naturelanguage is thought to have a number of and effectiveness of the learning process. Inadditional benefits for pupils including teaching the knowledge, skills and attitudesenhancing cognitive development and of intercultural competence the educationincreasing the capacity for learning system can model good practice for thesubsequent languages. students. Students will learn attitudes, values andIntercultural education takes time skills through seeing them modelled byChildren will already have developed some those in the school and in the schoolideas about diversity even prior to entering community. In teaching young people toprimary school. By the time they enter think critically about the world in whichpost-primary school many of their ideas they live, it is appropriate for us model thisand prejudices are already well established. by thinking critically about our ownThese ideas and attitudes are developed actions and the institutions within whichover a period of time throughout the we work, and if necessary, to vet schoolchild’s early years experience. They can be policies in relation to the potential forreinforced or challenged as students move discrimination. Indeed, in this respect,through post-primary education. intercultural education will bring benefits to the school and the education system inFor adolescents and teenagers conforming general, alongside the benefits to individualwith the majority view and behaviour is students.very important. Kohlberg called this stageof moral development the conventional The concepts of ‘indirect racism’ andstage when young people are typically ‘institutional racism’ help us to understandconcerned with doing what will gain the how institutions such as schools may inapproval of others. Therefore developing fact be unintentionally racist in theirthe skills and capacities to reflect critically operations. When a school prioritises theand independently and act ethically within culture of one ethnic group to thethat world will not be achieved in one class detriment of others it may be guilty ofor one term. It is acknowledged that many institutional racism. Those in the schooladults never go beyond the conventional community who are responsible forstage of moral development to the post- policies, practices, and the cultivation ofconventional level where one’s actions are the school ethos should always be vigilantbased on moral principals and values and a in ensuring that the culture, beliefs andgenuine interest in the welfare of others. way of life of all the children in the schoolHence building intercultural sensitivity and are respected.challenging prejudicial beliefs, attitudesand actions is a lifelong process.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 19
  • 31. School Planning
  • 32. 3 21
  • 33. SCHOOL PLANNING Formal and informal policies and practices related to all the different components of the life of the school have a significant impact on the 3 experience of students and other members of the school community. The school community develops an experience of, and positive engagement with, cultural diversity through the policies and practices which shape and make up the student’s total experience of school life. As such, intercultural education extends records of racist incidents, most of the real beyond a narrow focus on the content of change will depend on the voluntary classroom teaching. Using an intercultural actions and goodwill of all the members of perspective when addressing the school the school community. It will be important, plan is central to the effective development therefore, that everyone involved has the of an inclusive, intercultural school. opportunity to have their views heard and feel a sense of involvement in the process THE ROLE OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE of change. People may engage with the SCHOOL COMMUNITY process with differing levels of enthusiasm and some may be somewhat resistant to It is important that all the members of the certain initiatives. It is not unusual for school community, students, parents, people to be surprised at some of their teachers, support staff and management own attitudes and beliefs as various issues are involved in the collective responsibility are discussed. Such resistance, handled of developing and maintaining an inclusive sensitively, can provide a valuable and intercultural school. One of the opportunity to raise people’s awareness underlying principles of successful school and develop their intercultural capacities development planning is good and knowledge. It may provide an impetus communication between all members of for staff to explore these issues further in the school community. While some of the training aimed at developing a sense of the actions arising from the planning processes value and normality of diversity and at will be mandatory, for example, changes in enabling them to recognise and challenge the school behaviour code or keeping unfair discrimination and racism.22 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 34. SCHOOL PLANNING 3STUDENT COUNCILS The Student Council should listen to the views of the students in the school whenAs the representative structure for all the drawing up their calendar of activities forstudents in a school, the Student Council the school. In this respect it would becan play a very important role in the important that the council would ensuredevelopment of an intercultural school that newcomer students to the school areenvironment. In fact working in represented in the collection of views.partnership with school management, staff Further information on the work of andand parents on planning for an setting up of Student Councils is availableintercultural school can provide the on www.studentcouncil.ieStudent Council with a focus that couldlead them to be involved in a number of THE INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS AND THErelated activities. For example: WIDER COMMUNITY• liaising with Principal and Board of Parental involvement is crucial to a Management on intercultural issues of student’s success in school. The concern to students involvement of parents in the formal• involvement with the school planning education of their children complements process of the school and acknowledges their central role in the• making their views known in relation to child’s development. Parents may feel policies that are being developed or reluctant about approaching their child’s modified to reflect an intercultural school. This may be particularly an issue perspective, for example the reception for parents from minority ethnic groups or and induction of new students for those whose first language is not that• making suggestions for improving the of the school. In order to improve school physical and social environment of the contact with all parents and the wider school community, schools might consider• contributing to the development of a school charter that celebrates diversity • supporting the work of the parents’ and promotes equality association and encouraging the• ensuring an intercultural balance in the association to become involved in the school newsletter/magazine development of school policies and plans• mentoring programmes for newcomer students.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 23
  • 35. • providing information to parents in a provision, design of a plan, implementation way which takes account of the existence and evaluation. These stages form a of a diversity of literacy levels as well as cyclical process, which continually cultural and linguistic diversity. For underpin the work of the school. Further example, parent-teacher meetings, school details on the review, design, handbook, inviting parents in to the implementation and evaluation process can school for special events be accessed in the support materials • providing opportunities for informal provided by the School Development meetings of staff and parents and Planning Initiative ( establishing parent—teacher contact that offers opportunities to discuss and There are many approaches to school understand each other’s points of view development planning and it is important • addressing parental fears and concerns that the school community adopts an • inviting parents to become involved in approach that suits its particular situation. extra-curricular activities or intercultural However, sometimes it can be difficult to events know where to start. The following • identifying opportunities where parents guidelines may give some ideas about how and other members of the community can a school might include an intercultural support the school, for example, language perspective in school planning. support, translation, homework clubs • developing strategies to involve the wider The planning process should assist all the community in an intercultural approach, members of the school community in for example, inviting individuals or developing an inclusive and intercultural community groups that may have a school that addresses the needs of all its particular area of expertise. students. The planning process should include the following: SCHOOL PLANNING FOR AN INTERCULTURAL SCHOOL • conducting an intercultural school review School planning for an intercultural school • including an intercultural awareness in can be incorporated into school planning the school mission, policy and action work which is being started in schools or is plan already underway. Each school community • implementing the school plan will be at a different stage in the school • monitoring and evaluating the action development planning process and will also plan. have different conceptions of the most appropriate way of developing an inclusive The school review and intercultural school. These differences will affect the way in which each school As an initial step in the planning process it community engages in the planning process. is useful to engage in a review of where the school is positioned at the moment in In the Department of Education and relation to being inclusive and Science’s School Planning: Developing a intercultural. To this end the school School Plan-Guidelines for Second Level community could engage in an Schools, it is suggested that there are four intercultural school review. The School main stages that might be considered by Review Checklist (Figure 2) could be used schools: review of current practice and as a model for planning this review.24 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 36. SCHOOL PLANNING 3FIGURE 2: SCHOOL REVIEW CHECKLISTFor each question place a tick in the appropriate box. The more positive answers the moreintercultural the school context is. Negative answers identify opportunities for furtherdevelopment. Use them to make a list of what you need to do, and try to set achievabledeadlines for addressing these issues. YES TO SOME NOT EXTENT YETSchool mission or visionIs the mission statement written in such a way thatit is easy for all in the school community to understand?Does the mission or vision include a commitment to helpeach student towards achieving his or her full potential?Does it reflect the principles of equality and diversity?Does it promote a positive self-concept for each student?Current practiceDo all aspects of the school plan have an intercultural perspective?Are school organisational and administrative proceduresfair and considerate of the needs of all students?Is the language of the school, both spoken and written,inclusive of all cultures?Is the school environment, both physical and social,inclusive of all cultures?Is the school complying with the relevant legislation in this area?Other issues to considerHow have our practices changed in light of cultural diversity in recent years?What intercultural issues are staff most concerned with at the moment?Who should be involved in drawing up a plan for an intercultural school?What aspects of school policy and practice need to be addressed?What resource documents should be referred to in the planning process?What resources, human and capital, are employed to facilitate intercultural education?Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 25
  • 37. Developing a school mission, provision for the education of all students policy and plan in an inclusive and intercultural school, considering the mission statement and Once the review has taken place decisions characteristic spirit of the school may be a can be made as to what needs to be done good place to start. next. It is important to pick the issues that are of most relevance to the school at this School organisation and management time and to include some issues that can be addressed quite quickly so that the school The school planning process facilitates the community can see something happening formulation of basic policies in relation to in the short term. This is not to undermine important routines and procedures of daily the importance of addressing the bigger school organisation and management. issues that may take longer to happen, as Consistency in the implementation of these are likely to effect the more long- agreed policies greatly assists in the term changes in school culture that will effective running of the school. The school have the greatest impact. plan incorporates a coherent set of general policies that reflect the particular situation The school mission in which the school operates. Schools may have policies on The fundamental purpose of the school development plan is to improve the quality • school enrolment and admissions of teaching and learning for all the • school code of behaviour and anti- students in the school. The mission bullying policy statement will reflect the ethos of the • programme and subject choices school community and encapsulate the • religious education aspirations, expectations and traditions of • involvement of parents in the school and the school. In formulating this mission and home-school-community liaison in reflecting on its own ethos, the school • the allocation of specialist resources community will build a shared vision of • assessment how it can help each child towards • the special responsibilities of the staff of achieving his or her full potential. A school the school philosophy that accommodates principles • school uniform of equality, diversity and the promotion of • healthy eating a positive self-concept and personal well- • tours and extra curricular activities being for each individual is likely to ensure • homework a supportive environment in which the • learning support particular educational needs of all young • home-school partnership people may be met. • induction and reception of new students. All schools have a sense of mission or All schools are required under the vision. In some schools this will have been Education Act (1998) to ensure that the considered as part of the school school plan supports principles of equality development process and will be clearly of access and participation. These articulated. Other schools may not have principles should be reflected in the reached a stage where they have formalised school’s general organisational policies and the mission statement but nonetheless may the school plan should formally set out the have a clear sense of what the school is measures the school proposes to take to about. Therefore, in reviewing the school’s achieve these objectives. One way to26 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 38. SCHOOL PLANNING 3ensure this is addressed at all stages of Please refer to Chapter 5 for furtherschool planning and policy making is to information on the planning of lessonhave an Intercultural Education heading content and to Chapter 7 for furtherfor every section of the School Plan, and details on assessment and cultural diversity.for each policy addressed therein. As partof the planning process, reference should Including intercultural education in all areasbe made to of school planning• the Education Act (1998) In addition to ensuring that an• the Education (Welfare) Act (2000) intercultural perspective is brought to• the Equal Status Act (2000) reviewing existing elements of the school• Education for Persons with Special plan, there are other areas that need to be Educational Needs Act (2004). addressed in order to ensure that the school is an inclusive school. They includeCurriculum and assessment the following:How the school manages curriculum and • incorporating an intercultural and anti-assessment is informed by its educational discrimination approach to staffaims and objectives. The school’s broad developmentcurriculum programme should be • ensuring equality of access andsufficiently comprehensive and flexible to participationensure that the needs of all students are • promoting intercultural education in thecatered for. classroom • recording and reporting racist incidentsIntercultural education promotes an • creating an inclusive physical and socialengagement with a diversity of cultures for environment in the schoolstudents of all ethnic groups and religions. • providing language supportAs such, students of ethnic groups • providing age-appropriate placement of(minorities and majority) become aware of newcomer students in class groupsand develop intercultural attitudes towards a • selecting appropriate resource materialdiversity of cultures at the same time and in for learning and teachingthe same way. It should be noted however, • celebrating special events in thethat the Education Act does not ‘require any calendars of a diversity of culturesstudent to attend instruction in any subjects • developing a communication policy:which is contrary to the conscience of the within the school, between school andparent of the student or in the case of the home, and between home and schoolstudent who has reached 18 years, the • developing a school charter thatstudent’. The place of intercultural education celebrates diversity and promotesin the school’s mission and the value to all equality.students of engagement with a diversity ofcultures should play a key role in decision- A review process that looks at the school’smaking on subject options and a school practice in response to these issues willassessment policy. Such a context is also enable the school community to establishimportant in discussing that work with clear development priorities and toparents. Collaborative planning in relation undertake specific action planningto the intercultural dimension of some activities that will enhance the educationalsubject areas will greatly enhance the provision for all students.planning process.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 27
  • 39. Action planning happen simultaneously. Areas identified as priority may be dealt with first, with the The school may choose to respond to the school culture becoming increasingly need to develop an intercultural school intercultural as work in these areas culture by beginning with an action plan progresses and other areas of intercultural model as used in the School Development work are focused on. It may happen that Planning Support materials (details in the course of the implementation new available on The action plan issues arise and require attention. is a working document that describes and Implementation must, therefore, be flexible summarises what needs to be done to to respond to changing circumstances implement and evaluate a priority. It serves while remaining true to the mission and as a guide to implementation and helps to policies that incorporate the school’s monitor progress and success. The intercultural perspective. advantages of using the action plan as a tool for a whole school approach are that Monitoring and evaluating the school representatives of the whole school action plan community may be involved in different elements of the process. The school can The plan should include a procedure for work on a number of areas at the one time monitoring, review and evaluation by a as different groups can work on a variety given date. Successful implementation of tasks, and the plan can focus on making should contribute towards some things happen quickly. Some schools may have had their own action plans in • promoting greater awareness of place already and therefore may be ready interculturalism; for a broader planning approach. • helping all students to achieve their potential; Some of the key components of the action • promoting a supportive and inclusive plan are learning environment which will foster the development of the self-esteem of all • outlining the roles and responsibilities of students; the various personnel in relation to the • breaking down of stereotypes and actions celebrating diversity. • identifying the resources needed • setting targets and success criteria As the school planning process is cyclical, • specifying a timeframe this evaluation will inform a further phase • putting in place procedures for of review, planning and implementation. monitoring and evaluation. Using a school development planning model Implementing the action plan to develop a physical and social school environment inclusive of all learners Having developed an action plan, the members of the school community will Important messages are conveyed to all engage in the process of implementation. those who enter the school, whether as The identification of roles, targets, success teacher, visitor, parent or student, by the criteria and a timeframe, through the physical and social environment of the action plan model, will facilitate the school school. This environment includes the in turning policies into practice. In the learning experience in individual implementation phase, not all actions will classrooms (see Chapter 4), the visual28 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 40. SCHOOL PLANNING 3environment, the learning resources • representing diversity as a normal partavailable in libraries, the extra-curricular of Irish life and human existenceactivities encouraged, the language • ensuring that representations of minorityenvironment, school policies and how they groups do not focus on the spectacularare implemented and how special events or colourful events, as this may lead toare celebrated. Intercultural education is stereotyping and may counteract thenot confined to a single subject within the desire to represent diversity as normalcurriculum, or indeed to the learning • ensuring that all students irrespective ofexperience within the classroom. their colour, ethnic group, religion orIt is embedded in the practices and ability can feel at home and representeddispositions that make up the classroom within the school.and school climate, and in all aspects ofschool life and the hidden curriculum. The social environmentPlanning the physical and socialenvironment of the school will be a key The student’s social environment iscomponent of school development important in making them feel welcomeplanning. In this example, the first two and comfortable within the school. For allstages of the school development planning students, arriving in a new school has themodel are described in relation to this area. potential to be both a stressful and excitingStages three and four (implementation and experience.evaluation) will evolve as the processmoves into practice. For students from some minority ethnic groups (Irish-Chinese or Travellers forPlanning an intercultural physical and example), the dissonance between thesocial environment social, linguistic and cultural environments of the home and school may be a source ofThe messages that are communicated acute tension. For students who havethrough the physical environment of the newly arrived in Ireland the unfamiliarityschool are important. Inclusive schools are and stress of the situation may becharacterised by learning environments compounded. Even in the case of olderthat reflect and show pride in the language, students, the differences between theethnic and cultural diversity that organisation of education in Ireland and incharacterises Ireland. As such, they provide their country of origin may make their firsta support for the positive self-image of all contacts with Irish education a bewilderingstudents irrespective of their ethnicity, as experience. Differences between educationwell as reinforcing the normality of systems are commonly found indiversity for all children. The examplesquoted in Chapter 4 on planning the • the age at which children start schoolphysical environment in the classroom can • the subjects and topics which arebe adapted to the planning of the school coveredenvironment also. • the age at which subjects are covered • the sequence in which they are coveredThe physical environment • the approach to homework • the amount of noise or activity which isSome of the key issues involved in planning acceptable in the classroomthe physical environment include • commonly used discipline strategies • commonly used teaching strategiesIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 29
  • 41. Reviewing the school social and physical environment from an intercultural perspective FIGURE 3: SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT REVIEW CHECKLIST For each question place a tick in the appropriate box. The more positive answers the more intercultural the school context is. Negative answers identify opportunities for further development. Use them to make a list of what you need to do, and try to set achievable deadlines for addressing these issues. YES TO SOME NOT EXTENT YET Physical environment Are the diverse cultures and ethnic groups of Ireland and of the school represented in pictures, multilingual signs, and other elements in the school’s physical environment? Social environment Are routines in place for welcoming new students, for assisting them in becoming part of the school and for ensuring that their culture is affirmed in the environment? Are there procedures in place for ensuring that the capabilities and needs of new students are recognised? Are school routines and expectations made explicit in a way that can be understood by all? Are there procedures in place for dealing with racist incidents? Is there a variety of extra-curricular activities to choose from? Are special events planned to be as inclusive as possible of all the cultures in the school? Is there recognition given to important festivals and special days of all the cultures in the school? Are members of minority ethnic groups encouraged to develop a positive sense of their identity? Has the school a proactive response to racist behaviour or incidents that seeks to reduce conflict and promote interpersonal skills? Choosing resources Is there a method for vetting the appropriateness of images and messages contained in school texts and other resources?30 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 42. SCHOOL PLANNING 3• physical layout and design of the school SCHOOL PROCEDURES FOR NEW CHILDREN buildings It is valuable to take time to explain school• the length of the school day. procedures to new students and their parents at an early stage. Try to find out asIn aiding students, whatever their ethnicity much as you can about newly arrivingor background, in becoming accustomed to students, their capacities and theira new education system and a new school particular needs. An enrolment form maythe main concerns should be be developed which requests the same information in relation to all students• to create an environment which is irrespective of their ethnicity or experienced as warm, welcoming and background. Issues which may not have a positive place on such a form (the pronunciation of• to enable the person to be seen by others names or some key words in the student’s and to see herself or himself in a positive first language, for example) may arise in way in the classroom discussion with parents or guardians• to enable the student to learn the ways concerning the education of their children. of the school and the education system as soon as is practicable.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 31
  • 43. Important information includes CHECKLIST: WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE GATHERED WHEN A NEW STUDENT COMES • the correct pronunciation of their name INTO THE SCHOOL? (being able to pronounce a student’s name as it is used by their family or How are the names of the student and guardians correctly, without shortening their parents correctly pronounced? it or using nicknames, is important in affirming to them and to other pupils What language(s) does the student have, that they belong and that their language, and what is their level of proficiency in while different, is accepted) these language(s)? How does one say some key phrases in • their language abilities and needs (in the student’s first language, such as a many countries it is normal for people greeting, ‘please/thank you’, ‘join in’, to have two or three languages) ‘stop’, ‘well done/very good’ etc? • a few key words in their first language, Are there subjects the student will not be if possible (hello, welcome, well done/ taking and what will they be doing during very good, please/ thank you, join in, those times? stop, etc.) Are there any cultural practices that might affect classroom interaction? • their religion, a basic understanding of Are there actions which are deemed how they practice it (not all members of inappropriate or rude in the student’s any given religion will practice their home culture but which may not cause religion in the same way), and whether offence to members of the dominant that has implications for classroom ethnic group, or vice versa (showing planning (for example, whether physical someone an open palm or the soles of the contact between pupils might be deemed foot may be rude in some cultures; a inappropriate in Drama or PE, whether child making eye contact with an adult producing representations of the human may be rude in some African cultures body or religious symbols may be while in Traveller culture children often inappropriate in Visual Arts, whether pop speak very directly and openly to adults, something which is sometimes seen as music might be inappropriate in Music) rude in schools; standing close to a person may be deemed rude in some • whether there are any subjects the cultures, while it may be normal in student will not be taking (the others, etc.)? Education Act does not ‘require any student to attend instruction in any How is teaching the student the culture subjects which is contrary to the of the school to be handled? conscience of the parent of the student What is the student’s religion, how is it or in the case of the student who has practised, and has this any implications reached 18 years, the student’. In for classroom planning? addition, the student may, under some circumstances, be exempt from learning Will there be specific issues for students Irish under the Department of Education concerning, food, jewellery or clothing and Science’s Circular 10/94). (for example, the range of tastes catered for by the school canteen or the symbolism of the school crest on the school uniform)?32 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 44. SCHOOL PLANNING 3PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT CHECKLIST FOR IMPROVING PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Our interpretations of parents who care may simply be parents who are like us, parents who feel comfortable in the The school is creative and flexible in teacher’s domain. finding ways to invite parents into the (Finders and Lewis, 1994) school (such as involving parents in a Festival of Cultures, sports activities orParental involvement is a key factor in a art/music activities within the school).school successfully welcoming andincluding students from diverse Written communication with parents is inbackgrounds. This too can be one of the a language they understand.biggest challenges. Low-income, immigrant Sensitivity is shown to the linguistic andand minority parents tend to participate cultural background of parents in theless than white middle-class parents of the planning of parent-teacher meetings.dominant culture in formal activitiesorganised to promote communication Parent networks are established as abetween school and home. This is not means of communication and support.because they care less about their childrenbut in the context of an increasingly Parent-teacher communication consists ofdiverse community, many parents may be a two-way flow.uneasy fitting in with current models ofparental involvement in schools. For Parents are invited to help the school inexample, parents may not feel comfortable ways that are appropriate.talking to teachers in the school if Englishis not their first language. Instead of Organised community groups play a role in the school.expecting parents to participate in theschool in ways that may place them in Parents receive advice on how to helpsituations where they may feel their children at home.uncomfortable, schools can reach out toparents in two ways. Adapted from Elizabeth Coelho, Teaching• Find appropriate ways to invite parents and Learning in Multicultural Schools, into the school building, to encourage 1998, p.120. direct contact with teachers, and to establish genuine two-way dialogue. The Parent’s Association may have a role to play here.• Support parents by sharing with them some of the strategies that can be used at home to promote school success, for example, parents showing an interest in the student’s learning, setting aside time and space for study in the home, etc.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 33
  • 45. Classroom Planning
  • 46. 4 35
  • 47. CLASSROOM PLANNING The key idea…was to take what we are already doing in the classroom and take it one step further by exploring the knowledge, skills and 4 attitudes of intercultural education through these lessons. By seeing the opportunities that exist in our lessons for intercultural perspective, we can easily make our lessons intercultural…The opportunities for an intercultural perspective are always in our lessons but can be easily missed if we don’t look for them. (The teachers involved in the Celebrating Difference: Promoting Equality Project) Intercultural education provides benefits to • reviewing the classroom environment all students, whether they are members of • building a co-operative learning the majority community or members of a environment minority ethnic group. Although particular • welcoming a new student issues may emerge in classrooms where • creating a supportive language there are students from minority ethnic environment. backgrounds, for example, specific language needs or the need to prevent REVIEWING THE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT discrimination, the development of an intercultural classroom environment will As Chapter 2 identified, intercultural be of value to all students. Irrespective of education is not confined to a single the cultural or ethnic make-up of the curriculum area, or indeed to areas within school environment it will aid their the ‘formal curriculum’. It is embedded in understanding of the normality of diversity the practices and dispositions that inform and help them to develop their both the classroom climate and the ‘hidden imagination, their critical thinking skills, curriculum’. their ability to recognise and deal with prejudice and discrimination, and their The same process which is used in planning social skills. for a school community and which was described in Chapter 3 (the review-plan- This chapter looks at the development of implement-evaluate process) can be used for an intercultural classroom. It explores the planning the physical and social environment development of an intercultural context in of the classroom as well as lessons.36 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 48. CLASSROOM PLANNING 4 Use this exercise to review current practices. CLASSROOM REVIEW CHECKLIST For each question place a tick in the appropriate box. The more positive answers the more intercultural the school context is. Negative answers identify opportunities for further development. Use them to make a list of what you need to do, and try to set achievable deadlines for addressing these issues. YES TO SOME NOT EXTENT YET YES TO SOME NOT EXTENT YETPhysical environmentDo the pictures, images, and displays in the classroom and schoolphysical environment reflect in a current and accurate way thecdiverse ultures and ethnic groups of Ireland and of the school?Social environmentAre routines in place for welcoming new students, for assistingthem in becoming part of the class, for ensuring that their cultureis affirmed in the environment and for ensuring that theircapabilities and needs are recognised?Are classroom routines made explicit to all students?Can students and teachers properly pronounce each other’s names?Do students engage in co-operative learning activities which enablethem to recognise and benefit from each others strengths?Do students share responsibility for classroom organisation and forensuring that all feel welcome and included?Are members of minority ethnic groups affirmed in a positive senseof their identity?Have strategies for dealing with discriminatory behaviour beenconsidered and put in place?Has consideration being given to ensuring appropriate language andinteractions between teachers and pupils?Is a supportive environment created for second language learners?Choosing resourcesIs there a method for vetting the appropriateness of images andmessages contained in school texts and other resources? Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 37
  • 49. PLANNING THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT OF in images of Ireland in everyday life is THE CLASSROOM balanced. Care should be taken to ensure that there are also balanced The messages that are communicated representations of different age, gender, through the physical environment of the and social class and ability groups. school and classroom are important. They • The images should be chosen to reflect are often the first messages that parents accurately people’s current daily lives in and pupils receive in a school, and they Ireland, rather than focusing solely on remain as a constant reminder of the colourful events like feasts or festivals or person’s place in the school. Intercultural over-relying on images from other classrooms are characterised by learning countries. This will help to overcome environments that reflect and show pride stereotypes. in the language, ethnic and cultural • Class displays might represent positive diversity that characterises Ireland. They role models drawn from the diverse should provide a support for the positive ethnic, cultural, gender, social class and self-image of all students, irrespective of ability groups that make up Ireland. their ethnicity, as well as reinforcing the • Artwork and cultural displays, including normality of diversity for all children. the students’ own work, should be drawn from a range of cultural Some of the key issues involved in traditions. planning the physical environment of the • Writing signs and notices in both Irish classroom are and English has long been common practice in many Irish schools. • representing diversity as a normal part Expanding this practice to recognise the of Irish life and human existence other languages of the school in this way • ensuring that representations of minority will be of value. groups do not focus on ‘spectacular’ or • Signs, notices and announcements ‘colourful’ events should reflect and affirm the language • ensuring that all students irrespective of diversity of the class and should support their colour, religion, ethnic group, or the needs of second language learners. ability can feel at home and represented As such, notices may be in a range of within the classroom. languages (Irish, English and, as appropriate, Cant/Gammon, Some areas for attention include Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian or Yoruba, for example). • classroom displays • textbooks and other resource materials Choosing textbook and other • classroom behaviour and structures. resource materials Classroom displays should represent The influence of textbooks on student diversity in Ireland in a positive way. attitudes is well documented. It has been found that the words and pictures not only • Images displayed might include express ideas-they are part of the representations of people from diverse educational experience that shapes ideas. ethnic and cultural backgrounds. For example, how members of minority Sufficient images from minority ethnic groups or women are treated in textbooks groups should be used to ensure that the influences student attitudes and values. dominance of the majority ethnic group Favourable stories engender more positive38 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 50. CLASSROOM PLANNING 4attitudes; unfavourable stories engender representation of a diversity of ethnicmore negative attitudes. Bias in textbooks groups apply as much to an Englishcan be conveyed in a number of ways. The language reader as they do to a Geographyfour most common forms of bias are textbook.inaccuracy, stereotyping, omissions anddistortions and biased language usage. The resource should make realisticDeveloping the ability to recognise bias is a assumptions about the backgroundkey skill for helping students become knowledge of the learners.critical readers for life. This skill should befostered not just in relation to reading • Does it choose examples, stories ortextbooks but also in relation to using the illustrations, which are predominantlyinternet, films, videos and other media. drawn from one culture, or does it use stories, examples and illustrations thatThere are a growing number of might be familiar to different groups ofintercultural education packs available in children from their home life?Ireland as well as resources in the related • If the material is biased, how can theareas of human rights, conflict and peace teacher mediate this to bridge the gapand development education. The between the starting point of the pupilDevelopment Education Unit of and that of the resource?Development Co-operation Ireland (Dept.of Foreign Affairs) produces an annual The resource should realistically andguide to available resources that may be of positively reflect a diversity of ethnicuse to teachers. Pavee Point also produces groups in its text, illustrations andlists of resources that promote equality and exercises.diversity in schools. (See the resource listfor an extensive list of resources.) • Are there sufficient representations of members of minority ethnic groups usedIn many cases teachers do not need to look to ensure that the dominance of thebeyond their existing texts and curriculum majority ethnic group in images ofdocuments to find the necessary resources. Ireland in everyday life is balanced?Where existing resources offer limited • Are the images chosen to reflectopportunities to explore difference, to accurately people’s current daily lives?promote equality or to develop critical • Are minority ethnic groups or peoplethinking skills, this can, in itself be turned from other countries represented ininto a resource. Through questioning what stereotypical ways (for example, areperspectives are missing and how the same Africans largely depicted as living inmaterial or event might be presented or poverty and in need of aid, are Nativeviewed differently or though comparing Americans depicted largely in terms oftexts with other possible source materials, frontier wars and struggles, are membersteachers can use limited material to develop of minority groups depicted largely inpupils’ capacity to think about the way in terms of their feasts or festivals)?which information is presented to them. • Are particular groups represented only in terms of their membership of thatThe following checklist will be of use in group (for example, are Travellerschoosing and using texts or resources for represented in ‘ordinary’ mathsuse in the class. These issues apply equally questions or stories, or do they onlyto fictional and factual resources. For appear when minority issues are underexample, questions regarding the discussion)?Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 39
  • 51. • Are pejorative or evaluative terms (like countries may or may not recognise and savage / primitive / unusual / crafty / identify that significant numbers of corrupt / docile) used to describe people Europeans are non-Christians or from other countries or members of members of ethnic minorities, while minority ethnic groups? many popular comic book stories have • Are members of different ethnic groups few, if any, members of ethnic minorities (as well as men and women) shown represented). engaged in a variety of different • Are pejorative or evaluative terms used activities (different jobs, working at as if they were unbiased descriptions home, engaged in leisure activities)? (for example, George Washington and • If the material available is biased, how Michael Collins could both be described can the teacher use such materials in as either ‘patriots’ or ‘terrorists’, order to sensitise students to bias in depending on your perspective. images and texts? Likewise, terms like ‘progress’ or ‘developed’, when applied to cultures, The bias in the resource should be depend on the perspective of the writer). identifiable and transparent. • If perspectives are not presented clearly as perspectives, how can the teacher use • Does the resource represent white or such materials in order to sensitise middle class culture or lifestyles as being students to bias in images and texts? the ‘normal’ one? (for example, a geography text dealing with European40 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 52. CLASSROOM PLANNING 4The resource should make it possible to CLASSROOM BEHAVIOUR AND STRUCTURESraise and discuss issues of equality, Many of the more interesting interculturalinequality, human rights, discrimination, moments are those that are unplanned-conflict and conflict resolution and the moments arising from incidents in thevalue of diversity. school or issues raised by children themselves. These incidentals or• Does the resource contain information unplanned moments offer a great or stories which highlight intercultural chance for dialogue and often provide issues? some of the best opportunities for• Does it contain positive role models of intercultural education. people who engaged in justice struggles, (Quote from a teacher involved in both political leaders (like Gandhi or the Celebrating Difference: Nelson Mandela or Nan Joyce) as well Promoting Equality project.) as ‘ordinary’ women, men and children? The interactions which take place withinApart from justice struggles, the resource the classroom will be framed by a set ofshould refer to and depict experts and agreed rules of classroom behaviour, whichpeople in positions of authority as drawn emphasise that classroom members treatfrom a range of ethnic groups and each other with respect. This respect willcountries of origin, where appropriate. be further emphasised through being embedded in the minute interactions of• Are the scientists, historians, politicians classroom life. or other people who are identified as having made a contribution to our Students sometimes respond to diversity (for world drawn from a variety of ethnic example, in skin colour, physical features, groups? language or names) with discomfort and• Are members of minority ethnic groups may identify diversity as abnormal. They represented only in terms of their may also respond out of prejudice. Such membership of that group (for example, responses might include laughing, name- are people from India or Afro- calling, shunning or aggression. Such Americans represented for a range of responses offer one opportunity for contributions to society or are they only engaging in intercultural work. represented when they are people who fought for Indian or Afro-American In approaching such incidents it can be rights)? useful for the teacher toThe resource should also contain sufficient • intervene immediately, rather thanbalanced representations of men and ignoring it or waiting to see if thewomen, people of different ages and behaviour will change on its own;people with a disability. • challenge the ideas-not the person; • gently make clear that certain behaviour• Are men and women depicted as or responses are inappropriate by making displaying the full range of human reference to the agreed rules of classroom emotions and behaviours? behaviour doing so in a way which does• Are members of minority ethnic groups not leave the students who have engaged or people with a disability shown in a in discrimination likely to withdraw from variety of settings? conversing with the teacher;Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 41
  • 53. • support the student who was the target of BUILDING A CO-OPERATIVE LEARNING discriminatory behaviour, and with due ENVIRONMENT regard to the sensitivities of other Traditional classroom organisation students, affirm them with specific emphasises individualistic, competitive reference to the focus of the others values. However, alternative approaches to student’s discrimination. For example, if classroom organisation, based on a other students have made fun of their cooperative model, can produce positive name, identify that their name is beautiful academic and social outcomes for nearly and that millions of people world-wide all students. would love to have that name; • enable students who engage in Co-operative learning opportunities give discriminating behaviour to relate to pupils an opportunity to work closely with how they would feel if they were people from different social, ethnic or discriminated against in a similar way; ability groups. Co-operative learning • help students identify why they were should give rise to frequent, meaningful uncomfortable with difference. For and positive contact in which the diversity example, identify if there is a of skills and capacities of different misconception or a prejudiced belief members of the group are brought to the which underlies their actions and fore and can be recognised. Such address these causes immediately, and if, interpersonal contact provides a key site of appropriate, in on-going work. learning. Relationships between students of different groups have been demonstrated to (These suggestions draw on the work of improve significantly if mixed-group co- Derman-Sparks’ (1989) The Anti-Bias operative learning strategies are used, Curriculum.) irrespective of the content that is covered. In addition, ethnic minority students have Teachers can, through their interaction shown greater academic gains in with students, provide unintentional cooperative settings than in traditional inappropriate cues to students. They may, classrooms. Through the use of mixed- for example, find it difficult to pronounce group co-operative learning strategies, unfamiliar names or identify appropriate every subject can provide an opportunity language for referring to ethnic groups for children to develop intercultural such as not knowing whether to refer to competence, irrespective of its content. someone as black, white or a Traveller. Teachers may also have unconsciously held Placing people in a position where a skill ideas about the normality of cultural could be practised will not always be artefacts (‘normal’ homes, ‘normal’ food, sufficient to ensure it is learned. For ‘normal’ hairstyles etc.). In order to example, making books available is no prevent inappropriate messages being guarantee that someone will learn to read. inadvertently transmitted to students, it is This is also true of the social skills and valuable for teachers to reflect on their attributes which give rise to intrapersonal own language and interactions in the and intercultural competence. Simply classroom as part of the process of organising students in groups is no reviewing the classroom environment. guarantee that they will learn how to engage in co-operative learning.42 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 54. CLASSROOM PLANNING 4Care should be taken to ensure that When organising groups and tasks it isstudents are given an opportunity to important to ensure that there areidentify and learn the understandings and opportunities in the assigned tasks forcapacities that will enable them to work people to positively contribute to theconstructively as part of a group. These group, and that no-one should beinclude characterised as needing to be ‘carried’ by the group. The group work process may• specific co-operative behaviours such as need to be supported by the teacher in asking questions, listening, speaking order to maximise co-operation and clearly and concisely, explaining reasons, inclusiveness. In the context of promoting etc. an inclusive classroom environment it is• the social norms for group work, such better that classroom duties and as taking turns to contribute, engaging responsibilities are shared by all rather in planning, evaluation, and working in than by a small select group of students. different roles such as chair or recorder All students can take turns in such tasks as• the understandings and skills specific to collecting homework, checking attendance, conflict resolution, such as recognising distributing materials and equipment, the value of different views, de- room set-up, welcoming visitors, etc. personalising conflicts of opinion, identifying common interests and inventing opportunities for mutual gain.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 43
  • 55. WELCOMING A NEW STUDENT • If possible, seat those who are beginning to learn English with someone who The importance of supporting students speaks their first language for the first entering a new school has been identified few weeks. If there is no-one who speaks in a range of research with ‘students from their first language in the class, it may lower income and minority ethnic groups be possible to introduce the student to found to be potentially more “at risk” in another member of the school making the transition to post-primary community (another pupil, for example) school’ (Gutman and Midgley, 2000). who speaks their first language during Recent research exploring students’ break time or at lunch time during the transition from first to second level schools school day. These arrangements should in Ireland has shown that students tend to be discontinued after a few weeks, in settle quicker and experience less order to ensure that the newly-arrived difficulties in schools where more student has an opportunity to develop developed student integration programmes relationships with his or her classmates. exist and • Establish routines in the class which are clear and explicit and which can be students from non-national or Traveller backgrounds report more transition learned and understood by students who difficulties than other students. are new to the peculiarities of the Irish (ESRI/NCCA, 2004. p.283) education system or who are learning the language of instruction as a second- There are a number of ways in which a language. This will provide some basis classroom teacher can help support the of familiarity, which will allow pupils to integration of a new student. learn the ways in which the school system works. • Introduce new students in a positive • Support all the students in developing an way, focusing on their capacities inclusive community in the classroom (“Goran speaks Croatian fluently, and (rather than one in which the teacher also speaks some English”) rather than simply polices and prevents on their needs (“Goran doesn’t speak discrimination) by identifying how English well”). students can make each other • Provide structured opportunities for new comfortable and feel that they belong. students to work with other students for This may mean that the students will the first few days. Where language agree strategies which they themselves allows, this can be done through paired utilise to ensure that no one in their work or group activities in most classes. class is excluded. Where there is not a shared spoken language, art, music or drama activities provide ideal opportunities.44 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 56. CLASSROOM PLANNING 4CHECKLIST: WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD THE CREATING A SUPPORTIVE LANGUAGESUBJECT TEACHER HAVE WHEN A NEW ENVIRONMENTSTUDENT JOINS THE CLASS? Language is a key component of a person’s How are the names of the student and identity as well as playing a central part in their parents correctly pronounced? the learning process. Ireland is, and has historically been, characterised by linguistic What language(s) does the student have, diversity, with both Irish and English and what is their level of proficiency in existing as first languages. To this must be these language(s)? added the range of languages of recent immigrants. The right to have one’s own How does one say some key phrases in the student’s first language, such as a language is important in enabling people to greeting, ‘please/thank you’, ‘join in’, develop a strong positive self-image. People ‘stop’, ‘well done/very good’, etc? also generally find it easier to develop complex thinking in their first language. Are there subjects the student will not be For both ethical and educational reasons, taking and what will they be doing during then, it is important that the student’s first those times? language is valued and affirmed within the school context. It is also important to Are there any cultural practices that create an environment that supports the might affect classroom interaction? Are learning of a second language. there actions which are deemed inappropriate or rude in the student’s Learning in a multi-lingual environment home culture but which may not cause can be a positive experience for all offence to members of the dominant ethnic group, or vice versa (showing students. It highlights concretely the someone an open palm or the soles of the diversity of languages and cultures in the foot may be rude in some cultures; a world and, as such, constitutes an young person making eye contact with an important resource for developing adult may be rude in some African intercultural capacities and abilities in all cultures while in Traveller culture young students irrespective of their ethnicity. people often speak very directly and openly to adults, something which is Recognition and affirmation of the sometimes seen as rude in schools; student’s first language can be achieved standing close to a person may be through deemed rude in some cultures, while it may be normal in others etc.)? How is teaching the student the culture of the • the teacher and students learning school to be handled? some key words or phrases (greetings, simple instructions, etc.) in the students’ What is the student’s religion, how is it first language practised, and has this any implications • communicating positive attitudes for classroom planning? towards linguistic diversity and multi-lingual student’s skills and Will the student have specific recognising the capacities of second requirements concerning food, jewellery language learners rather than identifying or clothing (for example, the range of them primarily as people with ‘language tastes catered for by the school canteen needs’ or the symbolism of the schools crest on • providing multilingual resources the school uniform)? where possible.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 45
  • 57. For learners of a second language, it is Some of the strategies for doing this are as important to provide a range of cues and follows: supports in order to enable them to understand the language that is being used. • Ensure that all students understand that Gesture, other non-verbal means of the classroom is a place in which people communication and pictures can be a learn the language of instruction at the useful support to a second language learner same time as they learn other subjects in understanding what is being said. (History, Mathematics, etc.). Explain the The class community can become a importance of a supportive environment resource for learners of a second language, where people can speak and make and can, in the process, develop important mistakes without fear of ridicule. intercultural capacities and abilities. • Suggest ways in which the students can support and help their classmates, such as repeating or rephrasing statements, or using gesture, pictures or written words. • Model and role-play strategies for asking for clarification and for confirming comprehension.46 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 58. CLASSROOM PLANNING 4“ Intercultural classrooms are learning environments that reflect and show pride in the language, ethnic and cultural diversity that characterises Ireland...”Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 47
  • 59. Intercultural EducationAcross the Curriculum
  • 60. 5 49
  • 61. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 5.1 Integrated thematic capacities, values and attitudes through classroom planning and interaction that planning of lesson content are already a part of their teaching in their subject areas. To support integration and As stated at the beginning of Chapter 2, teaching of intercultural knowledge, the content of intercultural education is understanding, skills, capacities, values and compatible with the aims and objectives of attitudes, the content of intercultural post-primary education. As such, education is presented within the context intercultural education is relevant to all of five themes. These themes are subject areas. The integration of overlapping and interlocking: they are intercultural content across a variety of not separate bodies of knowledge. subject areas provides the student with a The themes are: more coherent and richer learning experience. It is more likely that appropriate attitudes and values will be • Identity and belonging developed by students if they are integrated • Similarity and difference across subjects areas and within the whole • Human rights and responsibilities life of the school, than when dealt with in • Discrimination and equality a piecemeal or ‘one-off’ fashion. • Conflict and conflict resolution. This content is relevant for all students Although integration can be planned in a irrespective of their ethnicity or cultural number of ways, many teachers find that a background. The ways in which it is dealt thematic approach to planning is useful. with will differ from classroom to This provides them with the means of classroom in order to ensure that it is age ensuring the acquisition of appropriate and subject appropriate. knowledge, understanding, skills,50 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 62. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 • Identity and belonging • Similarity and difference • Human rights and responsibilities • Discrimination and equality • Conflict and conflict resolutionIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 51
  • 63. IDENTITY AND BELONGING The development of a positive sense of self is central to intercultural education, and Children have a right to understand and indeed to education generally. Members of participate in the diverse cultural, minority ethnic groups who are linguistic, social and artistic expressions of discriminated against, or whose culture Irishness. The recognition of the and way of life is not represented as contribution of different communities to normal or typical in their environment, the richness of diversity in contemporary may be in danger of developing a low Ireland is identified as a key learning aim sense of self-esteem or of wishing to deny of the curriculum. This recognises that their cultural or physical heritage. For diversity is a characteristic of the groups example, some Traveller children may wish who can be regarded as ‘belonging’ in not be identified as Travellers due to the Ireland. As was stated in Chapter 1, this is negative images of Travellers to which they true of both historic and contemporary have been exposed while some black Ireland. This recognition may mean, in children may develop negative attitudes to practice, the exploration of the broad their skin colour due to the preponderance spectrum of Irish culture in Irish, English, of white people in our culture’s and, increasingly in other languages also. representations of beauty. There is also a For junior-cycle students, becoming aware danger for members of the majority ethnic of the concepts on which our national group that their sense of self-esteem may political culture is based (justice, become tied to a sense of their culture’s democracy, equality, rights, etc.), will be an normality or superiority. For young important part of coming to make sense of children this sense of self-esteem will be their identity, historically and at the developed through a growing awareness of present time. their physical and cultural attributes (their home culture, their skin colour, etc.), and a Similarly, the links with European culture sense that their own attributes and those of and a balanced and informed awareness of others are equally valuable. This positive the diversity of peoples and environments sense of self as an individual, as a member in the world is also identified as a key issue of a cultural or ethnic group, and as a in post-primary education. Such awareness member of an intercultural society will be contributes to young people’s personal and further developed in all children social development as citizens of an throughout their schooling. intercultural Ireland, Europe and the global community. Recognition of the links between Irish cultures and languages and the cultures and languages of other European countries (for example, the links between Gaeilge, Welsh, Breton and Scots Gaelic) will enable the student to develop a strong positive sense of national identity without this being seen as hostile to other identities.52 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 64. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 IDENTITY AND BELONGING Skills and capacities • Ability to engage in the democratic process • Ability to critically analyse stereotypical representations of groups • Ability to compare and contrast different opinions and perspectives • Ability to listen with empathy and engage in dialogue with people from a variety of backgrounds. Values and attitudes • Respect for self: valuing one’s own group and individual identity • Appreciation of and respect for the richness of cultures and traditions • Commitment to democratic principles recognising the right of all to be heard and respected and acknowledging the responsibility to protect and promote this right • Belief in the ability of the individual to make a difference. Knowledge and understanding • Understanding of the diversity of Irish heritage and the contributions of different groups to modern Irish society • Knowledge about European and other cultures • Understanding the contributions of generations of Irish people to societies around the world • Awareness of the variety of ways in which identity is expressed • Awareness of the interplay between identity and belonging • Understanding the effects of prejudice, racism and stereotyping.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 53
  • 65. SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE A person is not simply defined by one aspect of their lives. People’s identities are All education recognises the uniqueness of complex and made up of many layers. A individuals, in terms of their own personal person can be at the same time, a mother, a history, experiences, wants and needs. Part Traveller, a childcare worker, an artist, a of our uniqueness is that we are all sister, an Irish person, a fan of ‘anyone but members of particular social groups, which Manchester United’. Usually we have means that we share some experiences, something in common with members of wants and needs with other members of other groups and should therefore be able those groups. Different cultural, language to relate to and empathise with them. Such or ethnic groups often have diverse factors need to be explored, in order to experiences and needs. A fair society is one break down the limiting and stereotyping that can cater for both people’s of people that can take place. individuality and their shared identities. As the Commission on the Future of For young children, an awareness that Multi-Ethnic Britain (The Parekh Report) humanity contains great diversity and that has noted: there is no one way of life that is ‘normal’ will be developed through their exploration Since citizens have different needs, equal of the world around them, and through treatment requires full account to be taken of their differences. When equality ignores their being exposed to a rich and diverse relevant differences and insists on mix of images and cultural artefacts. As uniformity of treatment, it leads to children progress through school they will injustice and inequality; when differences become increasingly aware of the various ignore the demands of equality, that cultures that have contributed to Irishness results in discrimination. Equality must be through their influence on our arts in both defined in a culturally sensitive way and Irish and English (and the interface applied in a discriminating but not between the two), our values, our discriminatory manner. mathematics, our technology and on the ways in which we benefit from the inter- Culture does not define us or determine us. penetration of cultures. Within the white Irish settled population there is a great deal of diversity of values, It the early stages of primary school beliefs and ways of life. Other ethnic and children can come to realise the ways in national groups also display a great deal of which images and accounts are framed. diversity. Recognising this is important in During their progress through post- overcoming stereotyping. primary school this awareness can be developed by enabling them to develop a critical capacity, to recognise bias and stereotyping in text and images and grow to understand its effects in shaping attitudes and behaviour.54 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 66. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE Skills and capacities • Ability to compare and contrast different opinions and perspectives • Ability to engage in dialogue and search for mutual understanding • Ability to be open to change based on dialogue, reflection and analysis • Ability to listen with empathy and engage in dialogue with people from a variety of backgrounds. • Ability to critically analyse stereotypical representations of groups • Ability to negotiate differences peacefully with others. Values and attitudes • Respect for self and respect for others • Respect for diversity-affirming the value that can be derived from having different viewpoints and cultural expressions. • Openness to dialogue and the search for mutual understanding • Appreciation of the interdependence of all people • Belief in the capacity of the individual to make a difference. Knowledge and understanding • Understanding the challenges and opportunities of democratic decision-making in diverse societies • Understanding that culture does not determine us • Understanding racism and how it functions at both an individual and institutional level • Understanding how all people are interdependent.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 55
  • 67. HUMAN RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES superiority of the dominant culture over the culture of other groups. There is, for We are all members of the human group. As example, some evidence that images of a consequence of our membership of that Africa used to raise funds in Ireland for aid group we all share certain rights as well as work may have played a role in developing the responsibility to protect those rights for a sense of superiority towards Africans each other. It is important, when looking at among Irish children. The concept of rights the things that we share with other people, seeks to prevent the development of this to work for a better understanding of sense of superiority, focusing as it does on human rights, what they are, and how we the rights and responsibilities of each of us. can make them work in practice. In this respect, rights are not simply an issue for the needy or those discriminated against: While the Universal Declaration of Human we each have rights and by virtue of having Rights is the most broad-based description those rights we have a responsibility to of people’s rights, the Convention on the protect them for each other. Rights of the Child (1989) is also a key statement of rights relevant to pupils. The recognition that responsibilities come with rights is essential. If any group, the The responsibility for enforcing these rights majority or an ethnic minority, is to lies with each of us, individually. The demand of other people that their rights Preamble of the Universal Declaration of are respected, members of that group have, Human Rights states: in turn, a responsibility to protect and to promote the rights of other groups. … every individual … keeping this Sometimes conflict can arise due to an Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive apparent clash of rights. The ability to use by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and such conflict constructively to produce by progressive measures, national and solutions is related closely to the ability to international, to secure their universal and apply the concept of rights and effective recognition and observance. responsibilities equally to everyone. • Rights are universal. They apply in every Those who framed the Universal country. Something that is a human Declaration recognised that not all right cannot be denied to a person countries would protect these rights. Since simply because they are in one place or they recognised that the responsibility to another. protect rights did not have borders, they • Rights are indivisible. All rights are to identified that everyone would have the be recognised equally. This means that right to seek asylum should their own universal social and economic rights like home country refuse to protect their rights. the right to medical care, choice of a job, leisure time and necessary social Human rights are one of the things that services, are not more or less important bind us all together. As such they provide a that universal political rights, like the basis for developing empathy between right to a fair trial. people. They also form a context within • Rights are inalienable. They cannot be which immigration and various forms of denied or taken away from people. discrimination can be understood without promoting ideas of cultural superiority. There is a well-founded fear that developing an awareness of the needs of members some Younger children will begin to develop an groups in society may lead to a sense of the understanding of fairness and unfairness56 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 68. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5and will apply these ideas to a range of development of the concept of rights andpractical situations (having a say, taking the application of a rights framework topart in decisions, getting a fair share, etc.). everyday situations. These understandingsThey will also develop an understanding of will be further built upon in post-primarythe application of rules and the way in education when students will learn aboutwhich adherence to rules makes life more the role of international institutions,palatable for everyone. These legislation for protecting human rights,understandings can be developed issues of human rights and how they canthroughout their time in primary school so be addressed, the role and responsibility ofthat when they leave primary school they individuals and groups in promoting andwill have gained an understanding of the protecting human rights, etc. HUMAN RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES Skills and capacities • Ability to apply human rights concepts and standards to local and global situations • Ability to integrate the key principles of Human Rights into everyday situations • Ability to participate meaningfully in the promotion and protection of human rights. Values and attitudes • Sense of empathy with those whose rights are denied • Commitment to the application of human rights principles • Commitment to promote equality and justice • Belief in the ability of individuals to make a difference. Knowledge and understanding • Knowledge about the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights (1948) and other key instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and other international human rights instruments • Knowledge of national legislation and institutions aimed at protecting human rights • Knowledge of historical and contemporary human rights struggles. • Understanding the indivisibility of human rights • Understanding racism as a violation of human rights.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 57
  • 69. DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY Indirect discrimination means that applying the same policies or opportunities In a literal sense, to discriminate simply to different people may appear fair, but means to recognise a difference or to make may not be fair if they give rise to different a judgement. People discriminate all the outcomes. For example, if the same subject time in deciding what food to eat, or who is taught to both boys and girls, but all of to employ in a job. Where discrimination the examples are chosen to interest the becomes a problem is when the choice or boys only, this may discriminate indirectly distinction is made unfairly. against the girl. If entry to a school is decided in part on whether or not a child In Ireland, it is against the law to has siblings there, this may inadvertently discriminate against a person in some areas discriminate against nomadic people. on the basis of Likewise, if accommodation provision does not cater for people who move from place • gender to place, then this may discriminate • marital status indirectly against Travellers. Treating • family status (having children or being a people the same is not the same as treating carer) them equally. • age (between the ages of 18 and 65) • disability As with the concept of rights, young • race people will begin to develop an • sexual orientation understanding of fairness and unfairness • religious belief and will apply these ideas to a range of • membership of the Traveller practical situations (having a say, taking Community. part in decisions, getting a fair share, etc.). As they progress through post-primary (Equal Status Act, 2000) school they will develop a deeper understanding of discrimination as they Two different types of discrimination are learn to recognise discrimination in recognised: direct discrimination and everyday situations and as they gain an indirect discrimination. Both need to be understanding of inequalities in their understood if they are to be addressed. community and in the wider world. Direct discrimination is the most obvious Students can also be encouraged to take and easiest to see. If someone is treated action in defence of those who suffer differently because they are a Traveller or inequality and discrimination as they gain because they are black (refused access to a deeper knowledge and understanding of pub, called names, treated with suspicion the issues. etc.) then they have been directly discriminated against. In a 2001 survey of ethnic minority attitudes in Ireland, 78 per cent of more than 600 respondents from a variety of ethnic minorities living all over Ireland highlighted that they had been a victim of such racism, most often in public places like the street or in shops or pubs.58 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 70. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY Skills and capacities • Ability to recognise stereotyping and bias in print, in images, in interpersonal discussion and in themselves • Ability to question sources of information and their agenda • Ability to make informed and balanced judgements • Ability to challenge discrimination. Values and attitudes • Empathy with those discriminated against • Commitment to promote equality • Healthy scepticism towards bias and stereotyping • A belief in the capacity of the individual to make a difference. Knowledge and understanding • Understanding concepts such as ‘discrimination’, ‘equality’, ‘oppression’, ‘exclusion’, ‘power’, etc. • Knowing about and understanding direct and indirect discrimination • Understanding racism as a form of discrimination • Understanding bias and stereotyping as a form of discrimination • Understanding the role of anti-discrimination legislation in Ireland, the EU and internationally.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 59
  • 71. CONFLICT AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION • Focus on interests, not positions. Rather than focus on what people are looking Sometimes the differences between people for, explore why they want it. Behind become a source of conflict. Different opposing positions may lie a range of cultural traditions, for example, may bring shared and compatible interests on people into conflict with each other. People which a reso may come into conflict with each other because of a perceived clash of rights and • Invent options for mutual gain. Look at responsibilities. Intercultural education can a range of possible solutions, without equip people with the skills to work the pressure of having to decide what is through such conflicts and arrive at a practical or doable. Look for a variety resolution. These skills will be useful and of possibilities rather than a single necessary to all students even if they do answer, and do not rush to judgement. not regularly come into contact with members of different ethnic groups. There are many models of conflict Conflict should be seen as natural and resolution based on these principles. normal and can be viewed as an Clearly, such approaches to negotiating opportunity to arrive at solutions and resolutions to conflict will only work if bring about positive change. Certain both partners are willing and able to principles should underlie approaches to engage in the process. When people are not conflict, whether the conflict is skilled in the process of conflict interpersonal, inter-community or political. negotiation they may need a facilitator to aid the process of resolution. However the These include the following: focus should be on developing skills so that people can manage their own conflicts. • Conflict should not be avoided. Since For children in the early years of primary, conflict is normal it provides an peace skills are built through the opportunity to build something positive. development of a capacity for co- We should focus on equipping people operation, for sharing, for identifying with the ability to negotiate through potential consequences of their actions and conflicts rather than avoiding them. through developing a language with which • Separate people from the problem. In a to name and express their feelings. conflict situation there can be strong Building on this, middle and upper primary emotions, communication breakdown classes will develop a deeper capacity to and differing perceptions of the facts or cope with their feelings, as well as a the importance of facts. These issues capacity to compromise and accept group need to be dealt with in themselves, and decisions. should not be by-passed through one side or both gaining concessions. One At post-primary level, students should now does not need to like someone to come be able to discuss and express emotions in to agreement with them, but one does a non-threatening way, listen actively to need to be able to talk to and listen to both concepts and emotions, negotiate them, and to be able to see things from with each other and begin the process of their point of view. practicing peaceful resolution of conflicts.60 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 72. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 CONFLICT AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION Skills and capacities • Ability to draw on a range of source materials before making judgements • Ability to see the causes and consequences of conflict • Ability to practice conflict resolution skills • Ability to listen with empathy and engage with people from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Values and attitudes • Commitment to peaceful processes as a means of resolving disputes • Open-mindedness to the positions of others • Commitment to learning from the positions of others • Belief in the ability of the individual to make a difference. Knowledge and understanding • Understanding that conflict is a normal part of human life • Understanding the factors that contribute to the development of conflict at an interpersonal, local and international level • Understanding the principles and skills of conflict resolution • Understanding the challenge of democratic decision-making in diverse societies • Understanding the effects of conflict at an interpersonal, local and international level.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 61
  • 73. 5.2 Intercultural education to communicating the rich diversity of a global culture and to expressing common opportunities across the universal human themes. It can help curriculum students to develop positive attitudes to the As an aid to classroom planning, this diverse nature of cultures, peoples, section outlines some of the opportunities traditions and lifestyles. This is consistent for intercultural education work as they with the aims of Art, Craft and Design arise across subject areas. It identifies, for a syllabus that includes the aim ‘to develop range of subjects, opportunities for dealing in the students an understanding of art, with identity and belonging, similarity and craft and design in a variety of contexts – difference, human rights and historical, cultural, economic, social and responsibilities, discrimination and equality personal’ (Junior Certificate Syllabus, page and conflict and peace. All subject areas 2). Art, Craft and Design also aims to contain opportunities for engaging in develop a sense of personal identity and intercultural education. This is not an self-esteem in the student, both of which exhaustive list of such opportunities. are vitally important in embracing an Teachers will, in their planning, identify intercultural world. It also plays a key role many more such opportunities. It is in the development of the young person’s intended to be a starting point for such imaginative capacity which is central to planning. their capacity to find alternative ways of imagining the world. Many of the objectives of the Junior Certificate Art Art, Craft and Design Craft Design syllabus support the Intercultural education seeks to encourage principles of intercultural education. an appreciation of the value of diversity. The study of art is particularly well suited This course develops the student’s ability to:62 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 74. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 51. Give a personal response to an idea, • Need for sensitivity and awareness in experience or other stimulus. the choice of some materials e.g. leather or parchment and vegetarians. • These may cover a broad range of intercultural ideas and stimuli. 6. Develop an awareness of the historical, • The teacher can help create visual social and economic role and value of literacy and understanding of art as art, craft and design and aspects of crossing cultural areas. contemporary culture and mass media.2. Work from imagination, memory and • Students can learn to make informed direct observation. judgments about a range of visual stimuli. • These may cover a broad range of • Students can develop awareness and intercultural ideas and stimuli. understanding of the diverse nature of • Students can learn to make worldwide cultures, peoples, informed judgments about a range traditions and lifestyles. of visual stimuli. • Students can explore and understand • Students can develop awareness and the original meaning and function of understanding of the diverse nature of the artefact. worldwide cultures, peoples, • Students can look at people’s way of traditions and lifestyles. life in the context of the artefact. • Students can develop an3. Use drawing for observation, recording understanding of the necessity for and analysis as a means of thinking and each culture to maintain its own for communication and expression. identity, while building on the strengths of all humanity. • Students can explore and understand the original meaning and function of In an inclusive Arts programme the artefact. • Look at people’s way of life in the • students learn to appreciate the artistic context of the artefact. forms and traditions of many cultures, as well as their own4. Use the three-dimensional processes of • the role of cultural interchange in the additive, subtractive and constructional development and life of the arts is form-making in expressive and explored functional mode. • students are encouraged to discover and talk about variety in visual expression • Different cultures exhibit different from different times and cultures and its preferences for forms, colours and role in those cultures materials in their artefacts. • students are encouraged to explore and practice styles of work that reflects5. Use and understand the art and design cultural and ethnic diversity elements. • they see and are encouraged to produce • Colour and pattern have different work that reflects cultural and racial associations in varying cultural diversity traditions. • students learn to appreciate the artistic forms and traditions associated with the diversity of cultures in IrelandIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 63
  • 75. • visual arts are used as a stimulus for A detailed audit of the opportunities for exploring stereotyping and ‘first including intercultural themes in CSPE as impressions’ well as sample lessons can be found on the • arts are used as a basis for exploring CD-ROM and at representations of conflict and peace, human rights and discrimination English • a wide variety of students’ own work is displayed around the school. The essential aim of teaching English in post-primary junior cycle is to reinforce Sample lessons for Art can be found on the and continue the work of the primary CD-ROM and at school in nurturing the intellectual, imaginative and emotional growth of each student by developing his or her personal Civic Social and Political Education proficiency in the arts and skills of Amongst the aims of CSPE is ‘to encourage language. This involves the enhancement of pupils to apply positive attitudes, skills in three dynamically interrelated imagination and empathy in learning elements: personal literacy, social literacy about, and encountering, other people and and cultural literacy. In the living context cultures.’ Young people’s understanding of English teaching these three elements and appreciation of their identity as local, form an organic wholeness of experience. national and global citizens is at the heart The Junior Certificate English syllabus sees of CSPE. All the core concepts which language development as an integral underpin CSPE are compatible with and element of personal growth though supportive of intercultural education: English, thereby recognising the centrality stewardship, democracy, the law, human of language development in the learning rights, human dignity, development and and thinking processes. Growth in interdependence. Similarly, the four units language proficiency does not occur in a which constitute the content of the course neutral or value-free context, so the are hugely relevant to intercultural following aims are included in the syllabus: education: The Individual and Citizenship, the Community, The State-Ireland, and the • to achieve diversification and enrichment Wider World. Action Projects (which of each student’s personal, social and represents 60 per cent of the total cultural linguistic base examination mark) provide students with • to enable, through language development, an opportunity to take action on an issue full and effective participation in society of personal interest or concern. This might in a variety of roles involve exploring an issue of • to develop students’ critical consciousness discrimination and then taking action in respect of all language use. locally or globally to address the problem or it could involve organising a special Diversity of language experience is crucial event or awareness day to celebrate to the realisation of these aims and, as the diversity in the school. The Action Projects syllabus promotes a holistic approach to also offer great opportunities for the course design and classroom methodology, development of skills such as teamwork, students should engage with texts in a critical thinking, analysis of different variety of ways and from a variety of opinions and perspectives and participation perspectives. Teachers are free to choose in active citizenship. the material they consider most suitable for64 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 76. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5their students’ programme. In choosing In an inclusive English programme:materials for study the teacher’s choice willbe guided by his/her knowledge of the • students are provided with opportunitiesstudents’ general stage of development, to express and respond to differinglinguistic abilities and cultural (inter- opinions, interpretations and ideas,cultural) environment. thereby broadening their social and cultural experiences while developing Teachers should aim to achieve a wide skills in listening, speaking, reading and and varied language programme with writing; students are helped to recognise their students. Diversity of texts, materials prejudice, bias and stereotyping in print and approaches is a necessary condition and images, and thereby develop a for achieving the desired variety of critical consciousness with respect to all linguistic experience. language use (Junior Certificate English Syllabus p.5) • students are enabled to empathise with the experience and point of view ofIn this sense, then, English can encourage others by being encouraged to interpretthe development of attitudes that support texts orally and attempt performancesintercultural education, e.g. an and productionsappreciation of the value of difference, • students are exposed to literature fromempathy for the experience and diverse cultures through coursesperspectives of other people including designed achieve a wide and variedthose who live with the effects of language programmediscrimination or inequality. The • syllabus units are planned aroundintercultural dimension of the English themes that are of interest to youngclassroom occurs as an integral part of people e.g. growing up, justice andeach student’s language development in the equality, human rights, and so onpersonal, social and cultural domains and • the diversity of patterns of speech inshould not be viewed as added-on or English are recognised and validated,compartmentalised learning. showing respect for each student’s linguistic competence and theThe design of a programme in English in community characteristics of his/herjunior cycle may be viewed from a number language useof interrelated angles: • in looking at the meaning or usage of words or phrases, teachers and students• as the development of a range of skills might usefully reflect on their origins in in listening, speaking, reading and languages such as Latin, French, Irish, writing in the personal, social and Anglo-Saxon, Greek, and so on. This cultural domains; will help to give students a sense of the• as a series of encounters with a diverse cultural diversity in any one language range of texts giving rise to personal and and the interrelated nature of different shared understandings and language languages. experiences;• as a series of syllabus units (selections of English has historically been a second interrelated literary texts, cultural language in Gaeltacht communities in materials and linguistic assignments) Ireland. It is also now being taught as a which provide the substance, purpose second language to an increasing number and direction to work in the English of students in Irish post-primary schools programme. and in this context cognisance should beIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 65
  • 77. taken of the need for appropriate teaching conceptual systems where culture is strategies for second-language learners. embodied in the language (some examples where appropriate from A detailed audit of the opportunities for different languages), for example including intercultural themes in English as Dia duit - as-saláamu (Arabic) well as sample lessons can be found on the le cúnamh Dé - in shaa’ Al-aah CD-ROM and at (Arabic) etc. Gaeilge In an inclusive Irish programme Irish can provide a useful vehicle for • students are led to insight and increased intercultural education. Since certain core understanding not only of their own elements of traditional and contemporary society and culture but also of the Irish culture are mediated through the society and culture of other languages language (e.g. identity and belonging, • language learning leads to affective difference and similarity), students through change, i.e. the development of positive learning Irish can derive a deep and appreciative attitudes towards understanding and appreciation of culture. speakers of other languages Irish culture represents an important • by gaining a perspective on their own threshold in understanding other cultures. culture, students are allowed to develop Many of the themes which dominate Irish a reassessment of what has hitherto been literature have a resonance today and can all too familiar and to make a be used to develop empathy and comparison between the Irish understanding among students. Themes of experience, as mediated in its language emigration, identity, conflict, loss, and literature, and the present oppression and freedom in particular can experiences of other societies be explored with a view to making • students through cognitive and affective contemporary links. Cross-cultural and engagement with similarities in Irish and intercultural awareness can be promoted others societies’ experiences are helped and developed in a holistic approach to the to arrive at an active understanding of context and nature of interactional our common humanity. language (Feidhmeanna Teanga, pp 17-29 of syllabus) and through the exploitation A detailed audit of the opportunities for of the potential of texts (reading and including intercultural themes in Gaeilge as literary texts). well as sample lessons can be found on the CD-ROM and at • Aesthetic: Texts associated with foreign music, film, or linked with customs of a Geography different culture or different cultures found in Ireland including Shelta The concepts of diversity, interdependence culture. and human development are central to the • Sociological: Texts linked to customs study of Geography. By studying people and institutions e.g. in the section on An and their environment locally and globally, Teach (page 39) Bia agus Deoch (p.39) students can come to value the richness of Caitheamh Aimsire (p.39) Éadaí agus people from a diversity of cultural, ethnic, Faisean (p.40). social and religious backgrounds. The • Semantic and Pragmatic: Different Geography course at both junior and66 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 78. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5senior cycle is built around a number of Certificate history syllabus notes, ‘itkey concepts-the human habitat, (history) helps young people to develop apopulation, settlement patterns and tolerance and respect for the values, beliefsurbanisation, and patterns of economic and traditions of others, and to prepareactivity. All these concepts are relevant to themselves for the responsibilities ofintercultural education and provide ample citizenship in a national, European andopportunities for exploring issues of equity, global context.’ In Junior Certificatejustice and interdependence. Amongst the history, students engage with humanaims of Geography at junior cycle are to experience in all its multiplicity and diversity. The syllabus ‘provides young• encourage in students a sensitive people with a wide tapestry of past events, awareness of peoples, places and issues, people and ways of life…’ and, landscapes, both in their own country in the study of this ‘wide tapestry’ and elsewhere encourages ‘An acceptance that people• contribute to students’ understanding of and events must be studied in the context important issues and problems in of their time’. The awareness of diversity contemporary society (Syllabus, p.4). and context are also central to intercultural education.The development of empathy with peoplefrom diverse environments and the The underlying values and approach ofdevelopment of an understanding and Junior Certificate history are alsoappreciation of the variety of human complementary. Students are encouraged toconditions on the earth are key outcomes strive for objectivity and fair-mindednessof the geography curriculum. In this regard and to develop an ability to detect bias andteachers have an important role to play in identify propaganda. The recognition thatensuring that ‘third world’ countries are history is always mediated through humannot depicted as simply a basket of perspective and hence we can have manyproblems. A balanced perspective is vital in accounts of the same events providesovercoming negative stereotypes of the students with a critical capacity to exploredeveloping world and its people. the role of the historian in ‘creating’Geography also affords the opportunity for history. Students too can be helped to seestudents to explore the normality of the relationship between history anddiversity throughout the world - that many identity and the role of history in providingcountries are multilingual and people with a shared story and collectivemulticultural. memory of the past. Such an understanding is critical in fostering anA detailed audit of the opportunities for appreciation and understanding ofincluding intercultural themes in diversity. The working atmosphere of theGeography as well as sample lessons can history classroom, therefore, is one inbe found on the CD-ROM and at which the values of intercultural should be readily assimilated.History In an inclusive History programmeThere is substantial correspondence • students encounter diverse aspects ofbetween the aims and objectives of the human experience in a variety ofhistory course and those of intercultural cultural contextseducation. The introduction to the JuniorIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 67
  • 79. • students learn that their own historical home economics that promote the themes inheritance has many strands and facets of intercultural education and contribute to • students learn that human society is the students’ value of diversity. Students never static but constantly undergoing select and plan dishes and meals to change and that change is, therefore, a prepare, cook and serve using a design constant dynamic in the on-going process model. Teachers can expose development of human history students to a wide range of diverse foods • students learn how human history is and meals from other cultures, impressing created by the interaction of different on students how the diversity of these individuals, groups and institutions in a foods add to the richness of meal choices variety of contexts we have access to. As much of this • students are provided with opportunities planning and practical work is done for reflective and critical work on collectively, students learn how to co- historical evidence and biases and operate with others and have respect for stereotypes are challenged the needs of others. • students learn that our understanding of history is always enhanced by our In the Textile Studies section of the core ability to empathise with the perspective and in the Textile Skills elective, the of ‘the other’. fashion and design components lend themselves to an exploration of the A detailed audit of the opportunities for diversity of fashion and design that is including intercultural themes in History as available to us when we look to all the well as sample lessons can be found on the cultures of the world. Equally the richness CD-ROM and at of opportunity in the Design and Craftwork elective can be expanded by Home Economics exposing students to the opportunities afforded them by exploring the crafts of The Junior Certificate home economics many cultures. In this way students can be syllabus provides students with the encouraged to appreciate and respect the opportunity to attain the knowledge, richness of cultures and traditions that they understanding and skills necessary to live have in their own communities and as individuals and as members of the available to them globally. family and community. Emphasis throughout the course is on management, In the Social and Health Studies section creativity and living skills; to ensure that students learn about their own the student is prepared for personal development as individuals and the independence and with the ability to development of their roles within families. partake in shared responsibility in the Students can be encouraged to value household and community in which he or themselves and their place within their she lives. The home economics syllabus family and community and also to respect promotes many skills and values – the place of others within their social problem-solving, decision-making and groups, their school class, their clubs, their design skills, personal responsibility, group community and their country. Issues of work and co-operation – that are central to discrimination can be discussed in terms of the themes of intercultural education. students’ real-life experiences. Many students will experience discrimination due There are many opportunities for the to their gender or age, for example, and teacher to select activities and lessons in can relate this to other forms of68 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 80. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5discrimination, such as racism. This can Economics as well as sample lessons can becreate an empathy for others who are found on the CD-ROM and at discrimination. MathematicsIn Consumer Studies students learn tobecome aware of their rights and Students should be aware of the history ofresponsibilities. In fact consumer mathematics and hence of its past, present and future role as part of culture.competence is a key concept of the course. (Syllabus, p. 4)Students can be encouraged to believe thatthey can make a difference by knowing Curriculum bias may not seem relevant totheir rights and responsibilities, to weigh the mathematics teacher, who may oftenup the advantages and disadvantages of a feel their subject is neutral and value free.course of action and how to act on their However, no education is neutral. Thedecisions and have their voices heard. An Maths teacher is also presented withintercultural perspective can be introduced choices and opportunities for promoting anby encouraging students to consider their intercultural perspective. Students spend aresponsibilities as well as their rights and lot of time solving problems in Maths. Byto recognise the right of all to be heard and choosing problems which present a real liferespected. issue (e.g. percentage of the world’s resources consumed by different parts ofIn an inclusive Home Economics the world) teachers can play am importantprogramme role in developing students’ innate sense of justice and equality. Mathematics can also• students learn to appreciate the value of be an important tool in intercultural foods, clothing, crafts and homes from education because of the skills it develops- many cultures, as well as their own problem-solving skills, skills in reasoning• students of all cultures are encouraged and logic and the ability to analyse data to contribute their experience of food, and draw reasoned conclusions. clothing and crafts from their own culture In an inclusive Mathematics programme• students learn the value of diversity in shaping the foods, clothing and crafts • students are presented with that we have available to us opportunities to examine information on• various cultural practices, rules and local and global issues (e.g. population taboos about food are explored and flows, consumption patterns, military choices are sufficiently flexible to allow spending versus health spending as % of students to include their own cultural GNP, etc.) choices, where appropriate • students are given opportunities to• students are encouraged to work in the engage in group activities and traditions of their own cultures as well as investigative learning to explore and produce work that reflects • students compare calendars, number cultural diversity and learn how one systems and mathematical contributions cultural tradition borrows from others, from around the world for example in the diet or in fashion. • students use data from the social sciences, (e.g. surveys, census reports) toA detailed audit of the opportunities for study trends, projections, charts andincluding intercultural themes in Home graphsIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 69
  • 81. • students can explore the contribution of similarities and differences. diverse cultures to our mathematical culture There is scope for taking the intercultural • students can learn to value ‘the hidden basis which already exists a step further: to mathematics embedded in cultural- consider more consciously and deliberately economic activity’. For example, the the diverse cultures and ways of life in the maths practiced by identifiable cultural country (or countries) of the target groups, by tribal societies, by those language; to consider the diverse cultures without formal education, and so on. in Ireland; to consider specifically issues of human rights and responsibilities and A detailed audit of the opportunities for conflict and conflict resolution. including intercultural themes in Mathematics as well as sample lessons can When students are discussing intercultural be found on the CD-ROM and at issues in the target language, they may have difficulty in expressing complicated ideas or responses. However, the very Modern Languages struggle to express themselves will sensitise students to the difficulties which may be The Junior Certificate modern languages experienced by non-native speakers of syllabus makes several specific references English now living in Ireland. If there are to the importance of culture under its non-native speakers of English in the class, general educational aims, including ‘to give a language class can also provide the pupils an awareness of another culture and proverbial level playing field, where thus a more objective perspective on English-speaking students are not aspects of their own culture’. Similarly, at automatically at an advantage as they may senior cycle, the general aims of the be in, say, a history or geography class. syllabus include ‘to equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, In an inclusive modern language social and political complexities of the programme countries in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and • students are sensitised to cultural thus to help raise their awareness of differences with the country or countries cultural, social and political diversity of the target language and elsewhere generally.’ • students are exposed to a range of materials, including literature, which Culture infuses every area of language presents a variety of perspectives and teaching: for example, learning any verb in allows them to explore values and French involves learning the familiar tu attitudes form and the polite (or plural) vous form, • materials touching on issues of human with implications of register and rights and responsibilities, appropriateness. Learning about how discrimination and equality, and conflict Christmas is celebrated in Spain will and conflict resolution are used as involve learning about los Reyes Magos source material for practising both and turrón. It is second nature to language receptive and productive use of the teachers to then make comparisons with target language the students’ own language and culture, • language is not approached simply as thereby inevitably raising their awareness the study of language as a tool of of other cultures and sensitising them to communication or even as the study of a70 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 82. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5 body of literature: rather, it is seen as an Students’ sense of identity and belonging exploration of a whole world. can be enhanced through creative involvement in music making activitiesA detailed audit of the opportunities for (Aims 1).including intercultural themes in ModernLanguages as well as sample lessons can be The objectives of the Music syllabusfound on the CD-ROM and at include the 1. To facilitate the development ofMusic performing skills at an appropriate level by providing opportunity for theMusic is pan-cultural by nature. The three regular practice of vocal and/orstands of music study, (performing, instrumental music.composing, listening), offer richopportunities to highlight intercultural An inclusive Music programme willthemes and to celebrate diversity. Students’appreciation of other cultures and • include performance items from othertraditions can be developed with guided culturesteaching and directed learning • incorporate a background study of theseopportunities (Aims 3). Students’ culturessensitivity to their own performance and • organise a concert programme on athat of others can deepen and expand with cultural theme, or musical journeyinstruction and guidance (Aims 2). through a number of culturesIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 71
  • 83. • incorporate performance contexts which • observe the different roles music can include costume, movement, scenery, etc. take in ceremony and social function, • invite local musicians from other within Ireland and beyond traditions and cultures to perform to the • identify and investigate characteristics of students music associated with particular • utilise talents within the school contexts, purposes and styles in past and community of staff, students and parents present cultures to present items from other cultures • explore music as an expression of • identify and compare different types of struggle and hope, dealing with themes response to music performance of conflict and peace, of liberation and • develop a sense of integrity and respect discrimination. for group decisions concerning music style and performance 3. To provide sufficient musical experience • encourage participative roles in group and factual information to enable the activities which demonstrate initiative students to develop and practise for the good of the whole ensemble. listening and composing skills with greater understanding and interest, and 2. To develop aural perception in its to support performing skills with a broadest sense and to foster an more informed awareness of the related awareness and an appreciation of the and necessary underlying facts. music of the past and of the present, and of its role in our own as well as An inclusive Music programme will other environments. • expose students to a variety of notation An inclusive music programme will systems (tonic solfa, numbering, non- western, tablature, graphic, etc.) • refer to background cultures in the study • investigate the dominance of the western of songs and works from other cultures major/minor tonality (Set Songs and Set Works) • explore the growth of popular music, • select pieces (Choice Songs and Choice the effect of technology of music styles, Works) which offer opportunities to the influence of the guitar with its encounter unfamiliar cultures and tonic/dominant tuning traditions • involve students in collaborative • discuss the significance of the role of compositional activities that demand music in these cultures respect for the contributions of others. • consider genres and styles which highlight diversity and difference when A detailed audit of the opportunities for selecting topics for the general study including intercultural themes in Music as • use video and live performance of well as sample lessons can be found on the traditional Irish music to strengthen the CD-ROM and at understanding of the relationship between music and culture Physical Education • explore differences and similarities between examples of music from Amongst the aims of the Junior Certificate different parts of Ireland and different Physical Education syllabus is ‘to promote parts of Europe and the world positive attitudes towards participation in physical activity and towards co-operation72 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 84. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5with others in that participation’. This and Within an inclusive Physical Educationmany of the other aims of the physical programme:education programme are compatible withand supportive of intercultural education • Students receive many opportunities toe.g. ‘develop in students an ability to make develop self-esteem and confidence, as ainformed judgements…’; ‘to enable result of their experience within a broadstudents to take responsibility for the well-balanced programme, which catersorganisation and development of their for the needs of all students.learning…’. The P.E. curriculum embodies • Students develop the ability to identifymany values and skills central to and challenge unfairness within physicalintercultural education, e.g. awareness of activities and learn to respect thethe impact of many cultures on sport/dance players, officials and rules associatedand the similarities and diversity which with each activity.exists; the importance of fair play; the • Students should experience a balance ofability to communicate and work in groups competitive and non-competitive(co-operating, resolving disagreement activities thus fostering a lifelong interestpeacefully and demonstrating respect for in sports/leisure.the opinions of others, etc). The underlying • Students develop an awareness of theprinciples and approaches to physical origins and history of many games andeducation foster an acceptance of success the modification of games over theand failure and provide challenges and years. Students may also be exposed to aachievement for all students through range of different dance formspersonal goal setting, co-operative games representing and celebrating a diversityand group work. of cultures/traditions (folk dance, line dance, salsa dance etc.).Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 73
  • 85. • Students explore social issues through students to recognize different responses to movement, where students respond to that search in different cultures and themes/stimuli thus expressing contexts. It also explores how religious emotions/feelings. traditions have contributed to the culture • Students develop an awareness of safe we live in and continue to have an impact practice within all activities and adopt on human behaviour and lifestyle. It seeks behaviours, which ensure mutual respect to develop in students the skills to engage for the safety of peers and self. in meaningful dialogue with those of other, • Students should demonstrate respect for or of no, religious traditions. As such, it others’ viewpoint, listen to each other can play an important role in the and taking turns. In this environment curriculum in the promotion of respect and students feel confident to give their mutual understanding. opinion within group/whole class activities. A detailed audit of the opportunities for including intercultural themes in R.E. as A detailed audit of the opportunities for well as sample lessons can be found on the including intercultural themes in P.E. as CD-ROM and at well as sample lessons can be found on the CD-ROM and at Science Junior Certificate Science provides students Religious Education with a means of understanding the natural Religious education should ensure that and physical world and the relevance and students are exposed to a broad range of application of science to their personal and religious traditions and to the non-religious social lives. It provides knowledge about interpretation of life. It has a particular the world and opportunities for scientific part to play in the curriculum in the investigation. The learning experiences promotion of tolerance and mutual enable students to develop positive understanding. It seeks to develop in attitudes towards themselves, others, the students the skills to engage in meaningful environment and science and technology. dialogue with those of other, or of no, An intercultural perspective enables religious traditions. (Syllabus, p 4) appreciation of individual and cultural differences. It considers multiple voices and The syllabus for Religious Education, at multiple perspectives ranging from the both junior and senior cycle, places great voice of each student in the classroom to emphasis on the value of religious diversity the contributions from the many cultures and on mutual respect for people of all of the world to different aspects of science. beliefs. One of the primary aims of Religious Education is ‘to provide students Science education, like intercultural with a framework for encountering and education, is concerned with fostering engaging with a variety of religious skills of independent enquiry and creative traditions in Ireland and elsewhere’. action. The analytical thinking skills, which are learned through scientific Both its content and its aims are inquiry, are transferable to the analysis of compatible with the content and values of the social world, and contribute directly to intercultural education. Religious intercultural competence. So too ‘an ability Education aims to foster an awareness of to form opinions and judgements based on the human search for meaning that is evidence and experiment’ (aim listed in common to all peoples and encourages J.C. Science Syllabus, p.3) is vital in74 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 86. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5overcoming prejudice and stereotyping. A detailed audit of the opportunities forMany of the themes covered in Science, including intercultural themes in Science assuch as water, energy and ecology offer well as sample lessons can be found on thegreat opportunity for cross-cultural CD-ROM and at and learning. Social, Personal and HealthThe Junior Certificate Science Syllabus Educationadvises that the historical impact of scienceand society should influence the teaching The understanding, knowledge, attitudes,of the course. An appreciation of how values, skills and capacities of interculturalscience has evolved is vital lest students are education are integrated across a range ofleft with an image of the scientist as a modules with the SPHE programme.white western male working in a high tech These includelab. This image fails to recognise thecontribution of many people over the Belonging and integratingcenturies and in the developing world to Through investigating this theme studentsscientific discoveries. The development of can move towards a deeper appreciation ofscientific knowledge and the processes of how belonging and integrating can meanscientific exploration represent the different things to different students andcumulative work of many cultures and yet there are also many similarities. It isethnic groups over time, and it is on-going important to be aware that students mayin all parts of the world. Therefore it is come to these learning experiences withimportant that care is taken in choosing different cultural perspectives which mayscientific examples, to ensure that the effect how they participate, e.g. childrencontributions of diverse peoples to from a Traveller background may have acontemporary scientific practices and different experience of ‘family’ than theknowledge are reflected. The Science settled community. Travellers for the mostteacher can also show how low tech and part, live in close relationship with theirenvironmentally friendly solutions are extended family. This would not be true ofappropriate and cost effective in addressing many students in the settled community.modern problems. The influences on both sets of students will be different. Children from a MuslimBecause Science is a process of background may have a different outlookinvestigation as well as a body of on alcohol to children brought up in aknowledge the syllabus encourages the Christian tradition.teacher to provide the student withopportunities to conduct investigative and Differences and similaritiesexperimental work. Incorporating an This module invites the students to exploreintercultural perspective involves focusing how we are different and how are weon the methodologies as well as the similar? How might this awareness effecttheoretical content of the class-work. In how we behave towards one another?investigative work, where possible, group How can we be respectful in ourwork should be encouraged and changing interactions with one another?of the group members over time canencourage collaboration by students of Physical healthdiverse abilities, ages, ethnic backgrounds There are a number of culturally sensitiveand gender. areas that may arise in this module, forIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 75
  • 87. example, different perceptions of modesty learning methodologies can maximize the and different practices at puberty. It would potential for these skills to be developed be important for teachers to be aware of amongst the students. When students share and sensitive to how these differences appropriate personal information, discuss might impact on the content and their values, attitudes, thoughts and fears methodologies chosen. The focus of these with one another, they can become aware lessons would be to facilitate a positive that all people are different and yet share experience for each student. similarities. They can come to appreciate that every classroom includes a variety of Emotional health cultures, even if all present were born and Once again, different cultures adopt reared in Ireland. different approaches to emotional development. Appropriate expressions of A detailed audit of the opportunities for anger, affection or grief, for example, can including intercultural themes in SPHE as be particular to a culture. Gaining an well as sample lessons can be found on the appreciation and understanding of CD-ROM and at different ways of dealing with emotions can enable students to realize that there are Technology subjects different ways of dealing with similar emotions. The important consideration is Three of the technology subjects at Junior the extent to which these expressions are Cycle, Materials Technology (wood), respectful of the person themselves and Metalwork and Technology, have a similar others. focus, not withstanding some differences of emphasis, on the utilisation of a range of Friendships materials and components in design and Each class group will represent a wide manufacture. Common opportunities for range of values, attitudes and beliefs about intercultural education exist in each of the what friendship means and what is subjects in this group. The fourth subject, appropriate in friendships between same Technical Graphics, focuses on the sex and opposite sex. Learning in this area application of two and three-dimensional will not only inform students about the reasoning to the solution of graphical and similarities and differences but can also spatial problems of an abstract and help them to understand and respect practical nature. Technical Graphics difference. provides affords opportunities for a different range of intercultural experiences Relationships and sexuality education than the other group of subjects. The recommended lessons for this module can be adapted to bring out the 1. Design and manufacturing based intercultural aspects. As with other technology subjects modules, the teacher can show sensitivity to the different expectations and values found amongst different cultures in the These subjects seek to foster skills area of relationships and sexuality. associated with creative activity where Methodologies used in SPHE can greatly students interact with their environment, facilitate students in learning about using appropriate materials and processes themselves and others. Empathetic listening in response to needs, wants and skills and skills of conflict resolution are opportunities. The fundamental problems particularly important in SPHE. Active that such a ‘design and make’76 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 88. INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM 5technological experience presents to • students will appreciate the contributionstudents are similar in any cultural context of other cultures to the advancement ofbut its resolution will be dependent on the technologyresources available in that community. • students will have an appreciation ofExploring ‘design and make’ situations alternative manufacturing techniqueswhere the availability of materials and and craft traditions from other parts ofprocesses is restricted to reflect a different the world.set of cultural circumstance is an approachthat has been used in these subjects and 2. Technical Graphicshas considerably more potential.These subjects seek to ‘contribute to the Technical Graphics develops the skills ofstudents appreciation of ecological and students in representing the physicalenvironmental factors and the use of world in a graphical format. Thisnatural resources’ (Materials Technology representation conforms to internationally(wood) Syllabus, p.4) and ‘to develop the agreed norms which are in use worldwidestudent’s knowledge and understanding of resulting in a common graphical ‘language’how technology impacts on society and an being used in most cultural contexts.understanding of how it might be used to This provides a unique opportunity forthe benefit or detriment of the social and teachers to focus on the similarity thatphysical environment’ (Technology exists in communication across variousSyllabus, p.2). The engagement required by cultures and to utilise graphic images thatthese aims leads to an appreciation of the originate in other cultures as a basis foroften conflicting needs of a variety of classroom activity.cultures. In an inclusive Technical GraphicsIt is evident that these subjects can provide programmefor the encouragement of curiosity aboutcultural differences. They can contribute to • students will be presented withthe acquisition of perspectives by students opportunities to draw logograms andon their own practices and their impact on other objects that originate in otherother societies which are all benefits of an cultures;intercultural education. • students will read product assembly instructions presented to them in anIn an inclusive technology education unfamiliar language with associatedexperience graphical illustration; • students will be presented with a• students appreciate the origins of the situation that requires them to generate main materials they work with in the graphical images that can form the basis classroom and the impact the of communication with people in other production of that material has on the parts of the world. community they originated from• students explore the solution they would A detailed audit of the opportunities for propose to a design and manufacture including intercultural themes in problem, given a different set of Technology subjects as well as sample economic and cultural constraints to lessons can be found on the CD-ROM and those they are familiar with at Education in the Post-Primary School 77
  • 89. Approaches and Methodologies
  • 90. 6 79
  • 91. APPROACHES AND METHODOLOGIES Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and 6 fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace… (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26.) As the characteristics of intercultural in which students actively participate in education outlined in chapter two make their learning in a variety of ways. This clear, the approaches and methodologies increases the possibility that students will that are particularly suitable for an internalise what they have learned and be intercultural approach are those that use able to apply it to their day-to-day lives active learning strategies, in particular the and to everyday situations. This makes use of discussion. This chapter, and the active learning crucial to the development subsequent exemplars, identify how active of responsible global citizenship. learning methodologies can be applied across a range of subject areas in the post- Active learning primary classroom. • engages students physically, cognitively ACTIVE LEARNING and emotionally • places students at the centre of the The real voyage in discovery consists learning process through ensuring that not in seeking new landscapes but in the content is relevant to their own lives having new eyes. and is engaging for them (Marcel Proust) • promotes responsibility, confidence and self-esteem as students become Today, active learning approaches are responsible for their own learning firmly rooted in post-primary teaching and • acknowledges that students learn from are central to the successful delivery of a each other and teachers learn from most subjects. Active learning is a process students, as well as vice versa80 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 92. APPROACHES AND METHODOLOGIES 6• allows for flexibility of teaching their mind. While students should be methodologies and so accommodates confronted about inaccurate, hurtful or different kinds of intelligence and hostile statements, this should be done in different learning styles such a way that they are affirmed as a• builds skills of problem-solving, critical person, while their view is challenged. thinking and co-operation• requires an atmosphere of trust and It is not a good idea to throw open a support in order to ensure that students discussion without first providing some do engage and feel secure in expressing guidance and ground rules for discussion. their own views or in trying out new It is also the teacher’s role to provide a skills suitable stimulus for generating discussion,• promotes action, as students learn to such as a poem, newspaper article, piece of recognise their own capacity and self- music, visual stimulus or physical activity. efficacy. A sample set of ground rules might includeIn approaching concepts like the value ofdiversity or rights and responsibilities, or • everyone is shown respectin learning skills such as negotiated • everyone is given a chance to speak insolutions to conflict it is often useful to the grouputilise real-life situations within the • everyone is listened to – no interruptionslearning process. The active learning • no put-downsmethodologies outlined in the exemplars • everyone’s right to their opinion iswhich support these guidelines (available respectedon the CD-ROM and at • everyone is expected to back up theiroffer a range of ideas for doing this. opinionClearly, there are times when fraught • everyone has the freedom to changeemotions make this difficult. The section their opinion based on reflectiveon dealing with controversial issues at the discussionend of this chapter might be useful in such • no generalisations e.g. ‘all refugees are...situations. all Muslims are...’. Adapted from Changing Perspectives:Active learning methods Cultural Diversity and Equality in IrelandStructured discussion and the Wider World (A resource for CSPE) 2002, CDVEC CurriculumDiscussion has a key role in intercultural Development It provides a chance forstudents to talk about their ideas and Simulation games and role-playfeelings and can open up opportunities fordeveloping or changing their ideas or Simulation games and role-play are widelyfeelings where appropriate. It can develop used to provide students with a chance toa range of skills such as asking questions, ‘live out’ a real life situation in a safeactive and positive listening, taking turns, environment. For effective role-playingsummarising views, etc. there is need for careful preparation, including preparation of role-cards,Crucial to engaging in open discussion is reflection questions and any relevantan atmosphere of trust and support. background information. It is important toStudents need to feel that they can speak choose a theme that is clearly focused andIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 81
  • 93. is likely to generate worthwhile reflection, Issue tracking analysis and debate. Allowing sufficient time to bring students out of role and to Issue tracking is a method by which discuss their experience of role-play is students can follow and explore an issue or vital. Finally, teachers should respect topic that is currently in the news. In the student’s choice not to participate in a role- context of intercultural education it might play. In such cases they can play an be interesting to track the depiction of important role in actively listening and refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland or reporting on what they observed. the issue of religious practice and religious diversity in Ireland. Issue tracking develops group work and cooperation skills as Debate students must work in groups and decide A debate works best is students are given a on the best way to collect information. The chance to debate a topic that is of genuine teacher can stimulate the search by interest to them and if they are given time bringing newspapers to class on the first and support to prepare for the debate day or by showing a news report on the (background information, chosen issue. Students can compile a scrap newspaper/magazine articles, useful book, or wall chart or use the internet and websites, etc.) One of the pitfalls of computer to compile an electronic scrap- classroom debates is the tendency amongst book. This methodology allows for students to rigidly take up a position and discussion on the difference between fact not see the value of the alternative view. and opinion and the role of perspective One approach which may help in this and bias in the media. situation is to invite students to research and present a point of view on an issue, Photos, artwork and images then switch sides and argue for the opposite point of view. Finally, the group An image or photo can be a useful way of tries to come to a consensus on the issues stimulating interest in a topic, especially if and writes a group report describing the the image is slightly puzzling or issue and their combined thinking about it. challenging. Students can be invited to The process requires students to make use question the photo. Who took it? Where of collaborative skills, and perspective was it taken? What was happening at the taking and consensus are built into the time the photo was taken? What happened procedure. next? etc. It is important to avoid using images that may reinforce students’ A walking debate is another good way of prejudices or stereotypes. allowing students to debate an issue. According to this method, a statement is Students can also be invited to depict their read out to the class and they are asked to own understanding of an issue through position themselves at one end of the class artwork, cartoons, collage or sculpture. It room if they agree and at the other end if is important to reassure students that they disagree. Those who are uncertain can everyone’s efforts are of value including stand in the middle. According as the issue those who are not ‘good at art’. is debated students can move their position. The movement encourages The use of freeze-frame can be another opinions to change and also allows for effective way of using images to explore uncertainty and an acceptance that all different experiences, perspectives and issues are not black and white. feelings. To do this the teacher might read82 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 94. APPROACHES AND METHODOLOGIES 6a poem or a story and then ask the An important outcome in teaching aboutstudents in small groups to pick one line such controversial material would be tofrom the story and create a still image achieve a classroom atmosphere in whichshowing what is happening at that students engage in interesting and informedmoment. When the teacher places his/her dialogues, free to express their opinionshand on a student’s shoulder they are and relate their experiences, yet remainingencouraged to verbalise their thoughts in respectful of both other students and othercharacter. The range of attitudes and opinions.thoughts that emerge can be the subject forrich discussion. Achieving a balance of ‘freedom within structure’ is not easy, and discomfort canSurvey/questionnaire result if the balance between the two is lost. This can arise from a too-tightly-A survey or questionnaire can develop controlled classroom in which students areskills of communication, gathering and afraid to speak or a too-loosely-controlledinterpreting information and cooperation. classroom in which unchecked orIt enables action beyond the classroom and uninformed personal opinion monopolisecan often involve the school or wider class time. This section offers somecommunity. guidelines for facilitating discussion to achieve this balance.DEALING WITH CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES Some tips for teaching controversial issuesAll educators can find themselves dealingwith controversial issues in the classroom. The following tips are aimed at helpingIssues of justice and morality, of human teachers keep control of the situation whilerights and responsibility, of belief and maintaining open enquiry and dialogue.practice, of life and its meaning, are at theheart of all education. Therefore, Make your classroom a safe place in whichcontroversial issues are encountered almost to ask questions and discuss ideasdaily in the classroom. These issues are Before students can ask questions orcontroversial because there is no one fixed discuss controversial issues, they need toor universally held point of view. A feel that the classroom is a safe place incontroversial issue is defined as an area of which to ask questions or disagree withinquiry about which people can hold classmates without being put down for it.sincere conflicting points of view. There are Ground rules for discussion should beoften diverse religious as well as secular established early in the year and reinforcedperspectives on such issues. regularly - not just for discussions about controversial issues, but for all discussions.Because issues are controversial they arelikely to challenge students values, beliefs, Appeal to students’ better natureand world views. This can be very In introducing an issue that has thethreatening and may even cause distress to potential to become controversial, teacherssome students. Therefore when can remind students of the importance ofcontroversial issues are addressed in the respect and tolerance. They might alsoclassroom teachers need special skills to make a humanitarian appeal to students toensure a positive outcome. remember that prejudiced remarks made in class may offend or embarrass their classmates.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 83
  • 95. Most students do not want intentionally to How can I dialogue if I always project hurt others, and, with this reminder, they ignorance onto others and never perceive may strive to couch their comments in less my own? How can I dialogue if I am closed inflammatory language. to, and even offended by, the contribution of others? (Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.) Find out what students know and think about an issue before beginning an inquiry An excellent way to promote listening is Find out what they know about an issue, by asking students to re-state the what they think they know but arent sure perspective of others. Have them about, where their information comes paraphrase what they hear another from, and what questions they have. Their student saying to gain this skill. responses can come from direct questioning, brainstorming, group Use active learning methodologies discussions, and journal-writing. Students learn best when actively engaged in the learning. In teaching controversial Expose students to multiple perspectives issues it is important to provide Avoid classroom discussions on issues until opportunities for various kinds of group students have had an opportunity to discussions: pairs, conversation circles, research and explore the issue from a panels, fishbowls. In addition active variety of perspectives. But remember, learning methodologies can be useful in exposure to different points of view on a building empathy (e.g. role-play) and in controversial issue is necessary but challenging strongly held prejudices (e.g. a insufficient. Students may listen, view, or simulation game). read only to support what they already think or to find flaws, omissions, Promote critical thinking misinformation. Promote skills of critical evaluation and encourage students to interrogate A key habit of mind the teacher seeks to information, its origins and possible biases. develop through these processes is ‘critical Ask critical question to help students to openness’–both a disposition to be open- understand the origins of their ideas and minded to others views and the ability to attitudes. subject them to critical study, both the willingness to suspend judgment and the ability ultimately to reach reasoned Some examples of critical questioning conclusions that are open to change. • What is your current understanding of (state issue)? Promote dialogue and active listening • Why do you think/feel that way? Students usually need help in • Where have your perceptions and understanding the differences between understanding come from? dialogue and debate. Dialogue aims for • How reliable is this information? understanding, enlargement of view, • Where have your images come from? complicating ones thinking, an openness • What might be the role of the media in to change. Dialogue requires real listening. influencing how you see this situation? It also requires humility. • What about other influences – friends, family, religion? • Can you imagine an alternative way of seeing this issue? What might it be like?84 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 96. APPROACHES AND METHODOLOGIES 6 When dealing with controversial issues, values are likely to be revealed, for teachers should adopt strategies that teach examining a controversial issue is not a students how to recognise bias, how to bloodless exercise. Just as the teachers evaluate evidence put before them and role is not to tell students what to think how to look for alternative interpretations, but to help them learn how to think, so viewpoints and sources of evidence, above that role is not to tell students what all to give good reasons for everything they feelings and values to have but to say and do, and to expect good reasons to promote an atmosphere in which they be given by others. (Bailey, 1998) can express them without fear, make them explicit to themselves, and consider their validity.The teacher’s role in dealing withcontroversial issues 3. Model respect and fairness1. Examine yourself Show respect for all students and their What do you, the teacher, think and feel right to express their views. Show about an issue? Why? Would you tell balance in representing opposing students at the outset what your views positions accurately and fairly. are so that they can allow for possible biases? Or should you not tell them, but The teacher cannot pretend to be guard against any inclinations to neutral and has a right to express an manipulate and propagandise? opinion too. But it is important to state one’s own opinion in a way that2. Be responsive to students feelings respects others and does not serve to and values close down the discussion. Through such techniques as those outlined above, students feelings andIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 85
  • 97. 4. Correct misinformation CHECK LIST TO SEE IF I AM A GOOD LISTENING ROLE MODEL One important role for the teacher during a discussion on a controversial Do I really care about each student issue is to gently correct in my class? misinformation. Keep this information simple and to the point. Avoid entering Can I find something good to say into confrontation or adopting an about each student? argumentative stance with a student or group of students. Do I speak respectfully to each individual? 5. Emphasise that conflicts are opportunities Do I let students finish what they are trying to say, and if they hesitate, do I encourage them to go on? Most controversial issues can generate conflict, and a discussion about Do I withhold judgement until the controversial issues is a good time to person has finished speaking? remind children that conflicts are opportunities for learning and growth. Am I able to avoid confrontation? 6. Show your humanity Do I express understanding and empathy, as appropriate? Admit doubts, difficulties, and weaknesses in your own position. Do I regularly give positive feedback to Allow the students to question your each pupil? position too. Do I assume certain pupils are guilty before listening to the facts? 7. Establish a means of closure Am I able to apologise when I treat a Ensure that the discussion is brought to student unfairly? closure with due sensitivity to the feelings that may have been aroused. Is my body language consistent with my words? EMPATHETIC LISTENING For example, do I ask them how they are Listening lies at the heart of education getting on and look poised to rush off? for respect and mutual understanding. Without listening it is not possible to enter another person’s world and hear their Adapted from Quality Circle Time in story. Empathetic listening means listening the Secondary School – A Handbook of with the intent to understand. This is a Good Practice by Jenny Mosley and skill that can be fostered amongst students Marilyn Tew, David Fulton Publishers, (see exemplars on the web at London, 1999. and also one that can be modelled by the teacher.86 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 98. APPROACHES AND METHODOLOGIES 6CLASSROOM EXERCISE: LISTENING FOR 3. B gives feedback to A on the factsFACTS, LISTENING FOR FEELINGS. heard: C gives feedback on the feelings heard. A responds saying whether orThe aim of this exercise is to give practice not the feedback is the art of listening and create awarenessthat listening is not only about listening to 4. The exercise is then repeated with eachfacts but also to the feelings of a person. person in thegroup assuming a different role.Steps 5. When each person has had a turn being1. Divide into groups of 3. Each group A, B, and C then the whole group letters themselves A, B, C. comes together to share their thoughts on the exercise. The teacher might ask2. A is asked to speak for 2-3 minutes on - Which did you find easier to listen to, a topic that they have strong feelings facts or feelings? What did you notice about, e.g. something they feel angry about the body language of each about or excited about. While A is speaker? Did it match the feelings speaking, B listens to the facts of what being expressed? Are there times when A is saying and C listens to the feelings we speak and try to conceal our true A is expressing. feelings? Why is it important to listen to both the facts being spoken and the feelings behind them? Adapted from Partners Companion to Training for Transformation, compiled and written by Maureen Sheehy, Published by Partners, Training for Transformation, Dublin, 2000.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 87
  • 99. Assessment and Cultural Diversity
  • 100. 7 89
  • 101. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY Assessment is an essential element of the teaching and learning process. Its purposes include fostering learning, improving teaching 7 and providing information about what has been done or achieved. PURPOSES OF ASSESSMENT understanding of the purposes and methods of assessment necessary to ensure Assessment takes different forms and can that accurate and useful conclusions can be be used in a variety of ways, such as to drawn to assist in future learning. provide feedback to students on their progress, to test and certify achievement Post-primary teachers are presented with (e.g. Junior and Leaving Certificate), to the additional challenge of preparing determine the appropriate route for students for formal state examinations. students to take through a differentiated Students for whom the language of curriculum or to identify specific areas of instruction and assessment is not their first difficulty (or strength) for a given student. language require considerable support from their subject teachers and from the As with other elements of the teaching and language support teacher in familiarisng learning process, assessment also plays a them with the various assessment methods key role in the building of a relationship that they will encounter and the between teacher and student. If the examination vocabulary commonly used. assessment process is positive then students While students may now use dictionaries in develop a sense that the teacher is the Junior and Leaving Certificate interested in them and they will be Examinations (S23/05, Use of Bilingual affirmed and motivated through the Dictionaries in the Certificate process. Dealing with assessment requires Examinations), it is important that they are both the ability to build relationships that familiar with the use of dictionaries in their makes the assessment experience positive classwork and school assessments. and formative for students, and an90 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 102. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7In the past, the main purpose of assessment language of instruction, congruencethroughout post-primary schooling was to between the cultural values andmeasure and rank what students had experiences of the home and thoselearned, and indeed this model is still promoted in the school, educated parents, and higher socioeconomic status.widely used, particularly in formal state (Teaching and Learning in Multiculturalexaminations. This model relies mainly on Schools - An Integrated Approach, 1998)summative assessement which givesstudents marks or grades based on how While schools and teachers are now moremuch they have learned or the knowledge aware of the need to help all studentsand skills they can demonstrate in an attain high standards of academicexamination at specific points during their achievement and they recognise thatschooling. The emphasis is on products students’ understanding, skills and(the presentation of the ideas, facts, etc.) achievements cannot be easily categorisedrather than on the process (how the into one box or summed up in a singlestudents set about collecting, organising grade, the predominance of writtenand interpretating the information). examinations that are heavily weightedElizabeth Coelho, points to the limitations towards knowledge recall make it difficultof such a narrow approach: to measure students’ performance over a period of time. The measurement and ranking model is based on an implicit belief that not all students have ‘what it takes’ to be There is a growing awareness of the special successful, and the job of the school is to difficulties associated with assessing find those who do, and to nurture them. students from minority and immigrant Closer examination often shows that ‘what populations. it takes’ consists of proficiency in theIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 91
  • 103. The validity of relying solely on traditional All this points to the need for teachers and testing methods has been questioned as the formal examination system to be research shows that students from sensitive to the rich cultural, linguistic and culturally diverse backgrounds typically academic diversity that is the fabric of Irish score lower than students from the student life while at the same time dominant culture on traditional broadening their assessment tools to standardized measures and are accommodate this diversity. disproportionately identified as handicapped or in need of special services. (Lidz, C. Handbook for Multicultural Assessment p. 533.) Assessment can have a number of different for a student and to use this information roles in the post-primary school. in planning for the student’s learning. • Used in an evaluative role, assessment • Used in a formative role, assessment provides teachers with an opportunity to involves appraising or evaluating the identify how effectively the teaching work or performance of the students and strategies and curriculum content being using this to shape and improve their used are working with the students their learning. The Assessment for Learning class and provides information on which model identifies that making available to a modification of approach can be based. students the criteria of judgement, the • Used in a summative role, assessment judgements which are made and positive allows the teacher to identify outcomes directions in how to take learning of learning following the completion of a forward, provides opportunities to unit of work or when reporting to positively reinforce and support students teachers, parents and others as in future learning. appropriate. Formal examinations such • Used in a diagnostic role, assessment as end of year school examinations or enables the teacher and the school to state examinations are also summative. identify specific areas of learning difficulty92 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 104. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7A number of assessment tools are used in Many argue that the present statepost-primary education, including: examinations assessment system reinforces and accentuates the strong academic bias• teacher observation in second level schooling (CORI, 1998).• teacher-designed tasks and tests Others point out that not only are the• work samples, portfolios and projects modes of assessment strongly academic,• curriculum profiles they are also heavily orientated to• externally prepared tasks and linguistic and to logico-mathematical skills. examinations Thus many human intelligences are not• diagnostic tests given recognition or respect, most notably• standardised tests. personal intelligences (Lynch, 1999).The qualitative and quantitative During recent decades new developmentsinformation provided by these tools is in education-such as the introduction ofalways subject to certain assumptions and Transition Year, the Leaving Certificatequalifications. Any assessment tool does no Applied, the Leaving Certificate Vocationalmore than provide information, which then Programme, and new courses such as CSPEmust be interpreted by the teacher. and SPHE, have provided opportunities for developing different abilities and forAs all assessment tools contain a potential pioneering different models of assessment.for bias, an awareness of the variety of Even within the established Leavingassessment methods available and their Certificate we see a growing move towardsstrengths and weaknesses, is crucial to more than one point of assessment. Thereenabling teachers to arrive at balanced and are 31 Leaving Certificate subjects atinformed judgements. present, of which fifteen involve one written terminal examination paper, elevenPOTENTIAL BIAS IN ASSESSMENT involve both a written exam and a project/practical, and five involve a writtenThere is a longstanding debate regarding and oral exam. The recent review of seniorthe appropriate strategies for use with cycle education in Ireland resulted inminority populations and students with proposals for two assessment componentsspecial needs. In Ireland, there is ample for all Leaving Certificate subjects, with anevidence to show that the system of emphasis on broadening the range of skillsassessment and certification in post- assessed (Proposals for the Futureprimary schools benefits certain groups Development of Senior Cycle Education inmore than others (Breen 1986, Hannan et Ireland NCCA 2005).al, 1996). In many studies, significantsocial-class differences have been found Identifying potential for bias in assessmentshowing that those from poorerbackgrounds do significantly less well than There are a number of ways that teachersthose from middle-class backgrounds at can be vigilant to the potential for bias inLeaving Certificate. The reasons for this assessment. The following section outlinesare complex and while the system of some of the ways that assessments can giveassessment and certification plays a rise to erroneous judgements aboutcontributory role it is not the only reason students, their learning or progress. Thisfor inequalities in the performance of can happen when assessment tools arestudents in state exams. themselves biased, or when judgements areIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 93
  • 105. based on data without sufficient What the teacher/examiner should look consideration being given to the potential out for for bias. There are two types of error that can arise in this context with any There are three major ways in which assessment tool. These are (a) a ‘false cultural or language factors may give rise positive’ result–falsely seeing something to these sorts of errors in assessment. that is not there and (b) a ‘false negative’ result–failing to see something that is there. (i) The content or construction of the assessment may be biased, giving unfair (a) A ‘false positive’ result occurs when the advantage to one group over another. assessment identifies a phenomenon For example, that is not in fact present. For example: • an assessment of English oral language • Standardised tests in English which which regards particular pronunciations are normed on a majority English- as correct is likely to be biased against speaking population may lead to a many fluent English speakers who student being characterised as speak in, for example, one of the having language difficulties if the African English dialects test is used on a student from an • a standardised word recognition test ethnic group which uses a different which has been normed on one English dialect. population group may well be biased against members of minority ethnic (b) A ‘false negative’ result occurs when an groups assessment fails to identify a student’s • an assessment of a student’s social characteristics, competencies, or engagement in class may conclude that problems because the criteria used are a student who does not make eye not sufficiently sensitive. For example: contact with a teacher is shy or un- engaged, whereas in some cultures it is • Written assessments which are inappropriate for young people to make designed to identify the extent of a eye contact with adults student’s learning or skills in a • there is evidence that the success rate of particular curriculum area may fail different ethnic groups in answering to identify these in a student for mathematical problems is dependent in whom the language of assessment is part on how the problem is phrased. a second language. Such students may experience greater difficulties in (ii) The formatting, mode of test formal communication of complex administration or the examiner ideas than those for whom the personality may favour one group of language of assessment is their first examinees over another. For example, language, even when the student appears fluent in the language of • tests that have to be completed within a assessment in everyday life. limited time may well penalise test takers who are not proficient in English but who are proficient in the material being tested • students who are familiar with negatively marked objective tests may well have learned answering strategies94 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 106. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7 that maximise test scores, which will available to gather information about place students who are unfamiliar with students learning. Asking questions, such tests at a disadvantage. setting and correcting homework assignments, giving tests at the end of units(iii) Assessment results may be used to base of study, are all forms of assessment with decisions on inappropriate criteria. For which teachers are familiar. example, Teachers use the results of this assessment• a student may be allocated to an ability- to inform students on their progress, to based group based on social or other report to parents and to plan future non-ability related criteria. For classroom activities. Difficulties arise when example, research in the US has shown assessment methods are used that are the overrepresentation of Mexican clearly inappropriate for the situation. American children in special education Teachers as assessors need an expanding classes. (Handbook of Multicultural repertory of assessment tools to ensure that Assessment, p.18). assessment procedures are fair and responsive to the needs of all students,TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO including students who are disadvantaged,ASSESSMENT coming to the system from another culture or those for whom the language ofTeachers are becoming more familiar with instruction and assessment is not their firstthe variety of assessment tools that are language. There are many alternatives toIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 95
  • 107. formal tests that can be employed in Assessment for learning and assessment of classroom-based assessment, such as one- learning are not opposing or contradictory to-one interviews, student journals, practices. While the assessment of learning students making a presentation/ will always have a place in education and demonstration, or observation of students in classroom and school practice, the completing tasks and showing certain development of assessment for learning skills. For example, in one-to-one offers new opportunities for teachers. interviews a teacher can ask a student to show comprehension or knowledge using This approach has been particularly concrete or visual stimuli, e.g. point to…., successful in improving the motivation and show me…. etc. Assessment through performance of students, including observation can be a useful way of seeing a examination performance (William and variety of skills or aptitudes in action, e.g. Black), who were not achieving to their interpersonal skills, team-work and potential. It is an approach that may also cooperation skills, listening skills, problem- benefit students coming from diverse solving skills, technical skills etc. However, cultural and linguistic backgrounds care should be taken not to misunderstand because of its emphasis on the cultural traits. For example, if a student is teacher/student reviewing learning together, not actively involved in group-work this the belief that every pupil can improve, the might simply be due to the fact that active building of self-esteem, and the provision learning is not a familiar method of of ongoing feedback and encouragement. learning in the student’s country of origin. Furthermore, assessment for learning enables teachers to assess and recognise a Assessment for learning diverse range of achievements so that all learners can have efforts recognised. Recent advances in our knowledge of how learning takes place and how learners This approach is also useful in assessing make their way through classroom the prior skills and learning of newcomers activities have led to new understandings to a class. It enables teachers to establish of the importance of assessment in the prior learning in a way that is positive and promotion of learning. Some of this non-judgmental and the focus is on moving research is of particular interest for the new student forward to develop new intercultural education as the focus in skills and learning. assessment activity begins to move from an emphasis on the assessment of learning to For more on assessment for learning see include assessment for learning; providing cycle review. feedback to learners on how to improve their learning and familiarising them with The main features of assessment of a range of assessment methods and learning and assessment for learning are set assessment vocabulary in a positive way. out opposite.96 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 108. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7Assessment of learning Assessment for learning• happens after the learning takes place • is an integral part of the learning process• information is gathered by the teacher • information is shared with the learner• information is usually transformed • information is available on the quality into marks or grades of learning• compares performance with the • compares performance with aims and performance of others objectives is important• looks back on past learning • looks forward to the next stage of learning• focuses on the individual • focuses on the individual and on groups• often plays a significant role on • outcomes are focused on selection. progressing learning.Performance-based assessment Self-assessmentThe use of performance-based assessment One of the most important components ofinvolves the following: assessment for learning is the use of student self-assessment. Self-assessment,• Showing the learners a variety of with clearly defined aims and criteria can examples of good performance - sample enable students to identify their own work reports, student journals, projects, strengths and weaknesses as learners, to essays, practical work, videotapes of evaluate progress they have made, and to oral presentations, etc. suggest steps for improvement. Most• Encouraging students to discuss why students enjoy well-planned and carefully these samples show good performance structured self-assessment activities. They and so agree the criteria for good can be a motivation for students and can performance. encourage self-directed learning.• Providing opportunities for students to Suggestions for improvement are integral model good performance themselves to the self-assessment process, but it is with teacher guidance and support. important that students make their own• Providing positive feedback on the suggestions as to how they might improve. process of learning as well as the This involvement of the student in the product. assessment strategy will by its nature be a• Allowing students to assess their own learning process for teachers and students work and submit the best examples as alike. It will involve a new way of looking part of summative assessment. at assessment to facilitate learning and to engage parents/guardians and the student in achieving their own goals and targets.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 97
  • 109. Portfolio assessment different learning styles and key learning experiences, for example, key experiments, Many writers on the education of worksheets, essay answers, research linguistically and culturally diverse projects, video recordings or audio students recommend portfolio assessment presentations /interviews, reflective writing/ as a more equitable way of gathering journal work, etc. It should also include information about students’ learning. the use of a learning log, recording the (Trumbull and Farr, 1996; Genesee and student’s own observations and those of Hamayan, 1994: Freeman and Freeman, the teacher. Student’s choice in the selection 1991). of work is also important. The management of the portfolio can be What is a portfolio? supported by the language support teacher, A portfolio is a collection of work that where appropriate. shows an individual’s efforts, progress or achievements over an extended period of The teacher’s role is to time. The development of a portfolio involves documentation of achievements, • explain the purpose of the portfolio self-evaluations and reflections on learning • focus the student’s learning on the collected over a period of time. The use of process of making the portfolio rather portfolios is an effective method of than on the mechanics assessment that can provide newcomer • agree the criteria for the selection and students with a positive record of collection of materials achievement and progress made. • advise students regarding self-evaluation and reflective statement The portfolio is not simply a collection of • agree expectations and criteria to be samples of work; it is a record of progress used in the assessment of the portfolios and achievement. It is important that the • keep the portfolios simple to begin with portfolio includes more than one indicator and allow them to become more of achievement and can enable a wide sophisticated range of knowledge, skills and attitudes to • help develop a management system. be recorded. Several entries should reflect98 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 110. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7Guidelines for setting homework and • As part of its overall school plan,assessment questions schools can set out clearly its policy and provision for redressing problems of• Keep questions as short and simple as disadvantage and inequality through possible. school-based assessment. This might• Avoid the unnecessary use of metaphors include provision of dictionaries for or colloquialisms. school examination purposes, allowing• Where possible provide visual clues to extra time for students for whom show students what to do. English is not their first language.• Provide support to students whose first • Secondly, they can broaden the range of language is not English. For example, assessment tools to facilitate different teachers can set questions and then can cultures, backgrounds and intelligences provide a set of words and phrases to and to assist students to demonstrate a choose from. Multiple choice questions diversity of skills, aptitudes and can also be useful in this regard, although achievements. care should be taken as students from • Thirdly, they can have a clear policy for another education system may not be the regular assessment of pupils with a familiar with this method of assessment. view to identifying at the earliest• Familiarise students with the structure possible point, those pupils in need of and vocabulary of the tests and extra help. examinations. Explain commonly used • Finally, they can work closely with words such as ‘identify’, ‘describe’, ‘list’, parents to develop a real partnership ‘discuss’. and so enhance each student’s potential• Teach the students how to take the test by for success. providing practice questions that are not scored. Give feedback on the practice ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS UPON ENTRY questions. TO SCHOOL• Do not ask the students to attempt the whole test paper at once. Break it up into In order to gain sufficient information to manageable bites. It is less intimidating if support the student’s learning, it may be students are faced with one section at a appropriate to assess some students upon time. entry into the school. For example,• Avoid references to culturally specific and students who have recently arrived from contextual knowledge that some students another country, or students for whom may not share. English is not a first language, may benefit• Encourage second-language learners to from the tailoring of education experiences use dictionaries. that might stem from such assessment. In• Allow sufficient time for students to deciding which students to assess on entry complete the examination. to school, it is important that teacher judgement be used in consultation with the parents, and having regard to:THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS IN PROMOTINGPOSITIVE ASSESSMENT METHODS • the inappropriateness and potential labelling of students that might resultSchools have a role to play in reducing from assessing all children frominequality and bias in assessment and minority ethnic groups who attend thepromoting the use of more inclusive school;models of assessment.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 99
  • 111. • the manageability of assessing numbers • Positive profiles are holistic, exploring of students upon entry. the full range of the student’s capacities and behaviours. Positive profiles may The purpose of such an assessment is often include, among other things, a persons to develop a positive profile of the student, academic attainments, their learning that is, a profile that outlines the range of styles, their communication skills, their the student’s capabilities. Given its holistic interests and talents, their perceptual nature, the process of building a positive and motor skills, their social skills and profile may be more intrusive than more their inter-personal and intra-personal limited styles of initial assessment. It is awareness. essential that the relationship between the • Positive profiles are built up through assessment and the student’s education is a range of different forms of data- made clear to both the student and their gathering including observation, parents or guardians. At the same time, standardised and teacher-designed such an assessment has the potential to testing, and consultation with other build a positive relationship between the people who know the student such as student and the school, and can build the parents or guardians. student’s self-esteem and enhance their capacity to engage in a constructive way Such profiles have a positive focus insofar with the life of the school. as they record only what a student can do. This enables the development of a learning Positive profiles are distinguished from programme, which identifies what can be other forms of assessment by three taught next. The student’s knowledge, features. strengths and interests can be drawn upon in the development of such a programme.100 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 112. ASSESSMENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7STANDARDISED TESTS It is important that teachers and school management consider the student’s culturalThese tests may be used in post-primary and linguistic background whenschools to either give an idea of the interpreting the results of such tests.student’s performance when compared to a Student’s for whom the language ofbroader population (norm-referenced assessment is not their first language aretests), or to provide data on a student’s likely to be disadvantaged by such tests.mastery of a body of material (criterion- It is advisable to consider the results ofreferenced tests). Such tests have usually standardised tests for culturally orbeen developed by assessment specialists linguistically diverse students inor by subject-area specialists and have conjunction with other assessment methodsoften been developed through large-scale that help to build up a positive profile ofstudies of populations. Tests may assume a the student.level of culturally specific knowledge orcapacity, and may therefore give a basis forfalse judgements for those whose culturediffers from the population used indesigning the test.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 101
  • 113. Language and Interculturalism
  • 114. 8 103
  • 115. LANGUAGE AND INTERCULTURALISM Language is the principal means of human communication. It is the vehicle through which information, ideas, aspirations, attitudes and 8 emotions are articulated and imaginative possibilities are predicted. Ireland has long been a linguistically diverse society. Ireland has two official languages, Irish acquire both as first language. Language and English, and is also the home of a learning that takes place after a first number of other native languages, language has been acquired tends to be a including Ulster Scots, Irish Sign language conscious and intentional process; that is, and Gammon or Cant (a language learners are aware of their learning and historically known to and used by Irish have (or are given) specific learning goals. Travellers). Both English and Irish play an This is the normal condition of learning important role in Irish identity and society. languages other than the mother tongue at It is a particular feature of the Irish school, though for very young children in education system that children and immersion situations learning a second teachers have an experience of learning language is likely to be more intuitive and and teaching in two languages, from the unconscious than analytical and conscious. beginning of school. One of the main challenges facing teachers and schools supporting learners from a Most children acquire a first language as wide range of diverse backgrounds is how part of their natural development. In to support those learners whose first homes where two language are used in language is not the language of instruction daily communication children usually (Irish or English).104 Intercultural Education in the Post Primary School
  • 116. LANGUAGE AND INTERCULTURALISM 8LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE subsequent languages (Baker, C. and Prys Jones, S. 1998).Most children learn to speak their firstlanguage, the language of their In post-primary schools in Ireland, Irish isenvironment, as part of a natural process taught both as a first and as a secondthat combines their language learning with language. There are many similaritiestheir general cognitive development and between the teaching of English and Irishtheir gradual socialisation. Depending on as second languages. The key featuresthe environment in which they live, outlined for the teaching of Irish as achildren will differ from one another in second language can also be applied to thetheir early experiences and this will affect teaching of English as a second language.their language acquisition, for example in These includerelation to the words they know, how theyform sentences and how they use grammar. • ensuring that learners are sufficientlySecond language acquisition on the other competent to participate in the bilingualhand, is quite different. society • developing self-confidence through a• Unless it begins in early childhood, guided understanding of Irish culture second language acquisition is not part and heritage and developing cultural of the learner’s primary cognitive awareness to inspire creativity, enterprise development. and innovation• In most cases learners have much less • enhancing cognitive development with time for second language acquisition growing bilingual competence than they had for first language • developing understanding of the nature acquisition. of language and language learning• The later second language acquisition • furthering learners’ personal and social begins the more it is necessarily a development; conscious and intentional process. • imbuing learners with an understanding• The later second language acquisition of the nature of communication begins the more it is influenced by • developing learners’ abilities of conscious motivational factors. imagination and creativity through• All learners of second languages responding to a variety of literary and subconsciously transfer grammatical cultural texts, materials and activities (lexical, syntactical, phonological) • developing learners’ understanding of properties of their first language to their culture and native songs. second language. (Translated from Junior Certificate Gaeilge• Compared with native speakers, second syllabus 66-67.) language learners’ internalised grammatical knowledge is incomplete, Gaeilge particularly at the early stages of language learning. (Adapted from Through the interaction of language and Integrate Ireland Language and Training, experience students learn how to name Language Training Manual.) events and ideas, and in doing so, learn how to make sense of the world aroundExperience of a second language is thought them. The recognition of the normality andto have a number of benefits for pupils, value of diversity will be dependent on theincluding enhancing cognitive development language the student learns to apply toand increasing the capacity for learningIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 105
  • 117. situations through his/her learning of Irish. rewarding experience for all students in This becomes particularly important in the Irish schools. Developing a positive sense context of Gaelcholáistí or Gaeltacht of his or her own cultural identity is an schools. Students in such schools will integral part of the process of coming to develop intercultural perspectives and respect and engage positively with other capacities through their learning of cultures and, as such, has a central role in language and other aspects of the intercultural education. This, in turn, is a curriculum. In this context, care can be key component in enabling the student to taken in the selection of poems, stories, engage positively and in an intercultural literature, case studies, role-plays and way with other cultures. conversation topics in order to reflect the themes and concerns of intercultural Learning Irish also provides an opportunity education. for the student to recognise the value of, gain an understanding of, and engage in In schools where English is the medium of the practice of multilingualism, a practice instruction, students learn Irish as a second that is common in many countries and language. A knowledge and experience in cultures throughout the world. As students Irish as well as a positive attitude to the work to develop their language capacity in Irish language are important in enabling Irish, they are also given an opportunity to the student to define and express her or his understand and empathise with the cultural identity. It is crucial, therefore, difficulties and challenge faced by those that the learning of Irish be a positive and who find themselves working through a106 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 118. LANGUAGE AND INTERCULTURALISM 8language that is not their first language. vary considerably, depending on theAs such, students experience of learning context. Care must be taken to gaugeIrish provides a basis for developing accurately the student’s capacity in Englishempathy with and an appreciation for, as a second language, recognising thatthose students who are required to learn although a student may appear reasonablythrough a language that is not their first fluent in a second language in everydaylanguage. Learning another language can interaction this does not necessarily meanalso contribute to the recognition and that they will have the capacity to workvalue of diversity. fluently through that language in technical contexts, (for example in subjects such asSome students may be exempt from Science or in the technology subjects,) or inlearning Irish in accordance with the attempting complex tasks, unlessDepartment of Education and Science’s appropriately supported.circular 10/94. At the same time, it is theright of every student within the Irish When students enter post-primary schooleducation system to learn Irish. As the Irish with little or no proficiency in the Englishlanguage is a key feature of Irish identity language, they are at a disadvantage for aand culture, it can provide an enriching number of reasons. Newly arrived studentsinsight into and experience of Irish identity. are faced with a very new situation whereCombined with this the student may be not only the language is a challenge, butrequired in later life to have a qualification the school’s structures, policies andor attain a particular standard in Irish. As practices may be very different to whata result the student’s parents or guardians they have been used to. As well as theshould be supported in undertaking a full language obstacles with which they areand careful consideration of all of the faced there are also many cultural nuancesissues involved before a decision on that provide new challenges. The challengewhether or not to apply for such an of learning a new language in anexemption is availed of. environment where everything is different may lead to difficulties with motivation.English as a second language The most critical stage of languageStudents from a range of different learning for these students coincides withbackgrounds are learning English as a their arrival in school. They need supportsecond language in Irish schools, including in developing confidence in the school environment and the language support they• students for whom Irish is a first are given must allow them opportunities to language and who have grown up in a evaluate their own progress and develop a Gaeltacht area sense of achievement in their learning.• students whose family’s first language is not English but who have grown up in While newly arrived students may have an area in which English is the first very little English, and even though their language education may have been interrupted due• students who have recently arrived from to the circumstances surrounding their a non-English speaking country. immigration, it is important that they are placed with students of their own ageThe student’s level of proficiency in English when they arrive in school. In general,upon entering post-primary school may students are more motivated to learn theIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 107
  • 119. new language when they want and need to Students themselves may come up with communicate, when they are learning with some great ideas as to how they can their peers, when they are engaged in age- support their language-learning classmates, appropriate activities and when learning particularly if it is put in the context of new information and new skills stimulates what would help them if they had to take them. In some instances placing a new part in a geography class or maths class student with his/her peers may not suit through a second language (for example, the student’s needs at this time, for either English or Irish, as appropriate). example when his/her peers are in an examination class. The classroom as a language classroom SUPPORTING SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN Teachers are not only teachers of THE MAINSTREAM CLASSROOM geography or maths, but they are also language teachers and their classrooms are Introducing the newcomer student on entry language classrooms. into the class The most important thing the classroom It is important when the student enters the teacher can do for the learner of a second class for the first time that reference is language is to demonstrate a positive made to her or his language ability in a attitude towards language and linguistic positive way. For example, he/she might be diversity and communicate this to the introduced as Thierry who speaks French other students in their class. Teachers who fluently, has a little English and is learning find themselves in this situation for the Irish, rather than saying this that is Thierry first time, may find it very daunting and a and he doesn’t speak English or Irish. little overwhelming, but there are some Many students who don’t speak the simple steps that the classroom teacher can language of instruction (i.e. Irish or take to create a classroom environment English) may speak a number of languages that is supportive of the second language fluently, and it is important that the fact learner. that they do not speak the language of instruction is not seen as having language Planned programme of support difficulties. Empathy for the student’s situation can be developed through making Students learning through a second reference to the fact that most students are language need a planned programme of learning either Irish or English as a second support on entry into the post-primary language and that it is not always easy to school. This will involve co-operative participate in a class that is not conducted planning between subject teachers, the through our first language. Other students language support teacher and the parents. should be encouraged to be supportive of The effectiveness of this language support language learners and to allow them time can be maximised by giving priority to to develop their second language skills, language that will allow learners to access without making fun of them when they the curriculum. It is also important to note make mistakes. that newly-arrived students for whom the language of instruction is not their first Students can also be encouraged to actively language may go through a silent period support language learners, by being made while they are adjusting to the new aware that they can help language learners environment. understand the language of the classroom.108 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 120. LANGUAGE AND INTERCULTURALISM 8Opportunities for greater engagement with This can be done in a number of ways:the curriculum • Parents should be encouraged toAs language support teachers have limited continue conversing with their childrentime with their pupils, students need to be in their first language at home.engaged with the spontaneous use of their Sometimes parents may try to negate thetarget language in realistic situations. native language in their anxiety to immerse their children in the languageLearners of a second language may be able of function very well in some areas of the • Every effort should be made to includecurriculum if teachers are aware of their the languages of the school communityneeds and provide an appropriate learning in signs and notices around the school.environment in which they can learn new For example, a welcome sign and signscontent and skills while developing their for the school office/reception could beknowledge of the language of instruction displayed in all the languages of theat the same time. Consequently, it is school community. Special effort couldimportant that teachers would present be made at major events like parent/material that is not only cognitively teacher meetings, open evenings,demanding but also context embedded. prizegivings, etc.This includes ensuring that lessons and • The school should involve students,instructions are accompanied by actions parents and other community membersand visual aids that provide a context for in helping with translations, whereunderstanding what is taught. appropriate. • In cultural events such as schoolRecognition of the importance of the concerts, graduations, etc. the use of allstudents’ first languages languages should be encouraged. • Students should be encouraged to takeStudents’ first languages continue to be pride in using words from their ownimportant in their linguistic, social and language, for example, asking a studentcognitive development. Therefore it is to share with the class how a particularimportant that the school would use every phrase might be expressed in theopportunity to respect the students’ native student’s own language. (Note: Somelanguages and encourage continued students may not be comfortable to dodevelopment of these languages, where this. The teacher will be able topossible. ascertain if and when the student is happy to become involved in this way.)Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 109
  • 121. Some simple guidelines for establishing a multilingual climate in the classroom • It is important that the teacher is very aware of his or her own use of language: - Use fewer words than you might normally use. - Repeat and rephrase. - Use hand and face expressions. - Emphasise key words. - Model or demonstrate. • Make sure instructions are clear and logical. • Use pictorial or multilingual signs (as opposed to those written in one language) in the classroom. • Communicate positive attitudes towards second language learning. • Encourage students to share some words and phrases from their native language, and if possible learn and use some simple expressions in that language. • Liaise with the language support teacher to collaborate on activities that the second language learner may engage in to access the curriculum. It is also useful to discuss what is due to come up in your class with the language support teacher, so that the student can be prepared for the new areas. • Make a point of making regular direct contact with the student. • Be flexible in your grouping arrangements. Sometimes it may be useful to group students to work in mixed groups in order to reflect the diversity of the classroom, while at other times it may be more useful to group students peers who speak the same language. • Make sure the student is always actively engaged. While this may be difficult in the early stages, it is very important for the new student to feel she or he is participating in the class. • Provide multilingual reading materials. • Involve all students in actively supporting second language learning. • Encourage students in the use of internet sites which will support second language learning.110 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 122. LANGUAGE AND INTERCULTURALISM 8Supports available • In-service seminars for language supportThe Department of Community, Rural and teachers - primary and post-primaryGaeltacht Affairs provides language • Teacher support materials (mediatedsupport for students in Gaeltacht schools, through the in-service programme),whose first language is not Irish, through including:Scéim na gCúntóiri Teanga. TheDepartment of Education and Science - English language teaching materialsoperates a system of language support in which can be photocopiedprimary and post-primary schools for non- - subject-based materialsEnglish speaking students. Training is - information sheets on a variety ofprovided to English language support topics related to teaching English as ateachers through Integrate Ireland second language in Irish schoolsLanguage and Training (IILT). - special guides, for example on using mainstream school texts for EnglishThe supports available from IILT are language support in primary andaimed at Principals and Language Support post-primary schoolsTeachers and include - assessment and record-keeping tools.• English Language Proficiency Benchmarks - primary and post-primary• European Language Portfolio – primary and post-primaryIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 111
  • 123. Glossary and Resources
  • 124. 113
  • 125. GLOSSARY Anti-racist education Immigration Education that questions and opposes any The migration of people into a country. opinions and/or actions that serve to disadvantage groups on the grounds of perceived difference, within which there is Integrated thematic planning an assumption of inferiority. Integrating various themes, intercultural themes in the context of this document, Asylum seekers into all of the subject areas being taught in school. A person awaiting the processing of their application to seek asylum, having fled a situation of persecution and/or war. Intercultural competence The ability to put the values of Culture intercultural education into practice in our daily lives. The beliefs, behaviour, language, and entire way of life of a particular group of people at a particular time. Intercultural education Education that respects, celebrates, and Diagnostic tests recognises the normality of diversity in all aspects of human life, promotes equality Tests that enable the teacher and the school and human rights, challenges unfair to identify specific areas of learning discrimination, and provides the values difficulty for a child and to use this upon which equality is built. information in planning for the child’s learning. Migrant workers Discrimination People who travel to other countries with the intention of taking up employment. Exercising judgement or choice. Multicultural education Unfair discrimination In the context of this document, education Treating an individual or group that acknowledges and celebrates the unfavourably. cultural diversity of contemporary society, based on an assumption that, by exposing all children to the social and cultural Ethnic minority/ethnicity customs of ethnic minority communities, A system of defining people who consider they will have a greater understanding and themselves or are considered by others as tolerance of people from different sharing a set of common characteristics backgrounds. that are different from other people living in a society. Newcomer students Students who arrive into a classroom from Hidden curriculum a country or background that is different As opposed to formal curriculum. from that of the majority of children in the classroom.114 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 126. GLOSSARYPositive profiling Institutional racismA form of assessment that The application of general rules and/or• explores the full range of the child’s practices that do not make allowances for cultural differences, including indirect capacities and behaviours discrimination, a lack of proactive• includes a range of different forms of measures to prevent discrimination, a lack data gathering of professional expertise or training in• records what a child can do. dealing with diversity, and a lack of workable facilities for consulting and listening to minority groups.PluralismThe celebration of difference in society, Indirect racismallowing all ethnic and other minoritygroups to proclaim their identities without Practices and/or policies that do not on thecoming into conflict with the majority surface appear to disadvantage any grouppopulation. more than another but actually have a discriminatory impact.Prejudice Individual racismUnsubstantiated, unfavourable treatmentof an individual or group, which is Treating another less favourably on thedesigned to marginalize or disadvantage grounds of their cultural origin.that individual or group (often based ontheir membership of another social or Refugeeethnic group but also often on sex, sexualorientation, religion, socio-economic A person who has fled from his/herstatus, age, and disability). country of origin often as a result of natural disasters, war, military occupation, or fear of religious, racial, or politicalRace persecution.A word widely used to describe groups ofpeople who are thought of as biologically Standardised testsseparate, without any genetic or biologicalbasis. Tests (predominantly in the areas of English and mathematics) that are normed across a particular population and are usedRacism/Racial discrimination most regularly to determine children’sAny distinction, exclusion, restriction, or attainment in the context of the attainmentpreference based on race, colour, descent, levels of the wider population.or national or ethnic origin, which has thepurpose or effect of nullifying or impairing Stereotypingthe recognition, enjoyment, or exercise, onan equal footing, of human rights and Presenting an image of a person, a group,fundamental freedoms in the political, or a culture based on an assumed range ofeconomic, social, cultural, or other activities, characteristics, or behaviours.dimension of public life.Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 115
  • 127. BIBLIOGRAPHY American Educational Research Association CORI Standards for educational and Inequality in Education - The Role of psychological testing Assessment and Certification American Educational Research Dublin, CORI, 1998 Association, 1999 Covey, S Bailey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Teaching Values and Citizenship across the London, Simon and Schusler, 1998 Curriculum Dept. of Education and Employment, UK Crosscare 1998 Celebrating Difference: An Intercultural Resource for Senior Primary Classes Baker, C. and Prys Jones, S. Blackrock Teachers’ Centre and Crosscare, Encyclopaedia of bilingualism and 1996 bilingual education Clevedon, Multilingual Matters, 1998 Deman-Sparks, L. and the A.B.C. Task Force Anti-Bias Curriculum Tools for Central Statistics Office Empowering Young Children Census 2002, Washington D.C., NAEYC, 1989 Principal Demographic Results Dublin, The Stationery Office, 2003 ESRI/NCCA Moving Up – The experience of first year Coelho, E. students in post-primary education. Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Dublin, Liffey Press, 2004 Schools – An Integrated Approach Philadelphia, Multicultural Matters Ltd., Finders, M. and Lewis, C. 1998 ‘Why Some Parents Don’t Come to School’, Educational Leadership, 51 Cohen, E.G. Designing Group work – Strategies for the Integrate Ireland Language and Training Heterogeneous Classroom (Second Edition) New York, Teacher College Press, 1994. Language Training Manual Dublin, IILT Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain Ireland, Department of Education and Science The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain Charting Our Education Future – (The Parekh Report) The White Paper on Education London, Profile Books, 2000 Dublin, The Stationery Office, 1995 Ireland, Department of Education and Science Committee of Inquiry into the Education of School Planning: Developing a School Plan Children from Ethnic Minority Groups - Guidelines for Post Primary Schools West Indian children in our schools: Bookfield Printing Company, 1999 interim report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Education of Children from Ireland, Department of Education and Science Ethnic Minority Groups: The Rampton Report Guidelines on Traveller Education in London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Second Level Schools 1981 Dublin, The Stationery Office, 2002116 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 128. BIBLIOGRAPHYIreland, Department of Education and Science O’Connor, N.Information Booklet for Schools on Bringing it all Back Home, The InfluenceAsylum Seekers of Irish Music (2nd Edition).Department of Education and Science Dublin, Merlin Publishing, 2001Ireland, Department of Enterprise and Office of the High Commissioner forEmployment Human RightsEmployment and migration figures Convention on the Rights of the b/k2crc.htm Office of the High Commissioner forJohnson, D. and Johnson, R. Human RightsTeaching Children to Be Peacemakers Declaration on Race and Racial PrejudiceMinnesota, Interaction Book Company, b/d_prejud.htmThe Joint Committee on Standards for Office of the High Commissioner for HumanEducational Evaluation RightsThe Student Evaluation Standards – International Convention on theHow to Improve Evaluations of Students Elimination of All Forms of RacialLondon, Corwin Press, Sage Publications, Discrimination2003 b/d_icerd.htmLidz, C.S.Handbook for Multicultural Assessment Parekh, B. ‘The Concept of Multicultural Education’Loyal, S. and Mulcahy, A. in Mogdil, S. et al. (eds.) MulticulturalRacism in Ireland: The Views of Black and Education, the Interminable DebateEthnic Minorities Lewes and Philadelphia, Falmer Press,Dublin, Amnesty International Irish 1986Section, 2001 Regan, C. and Tormey, R.Lynch, Kathleen Equality in Education ‘Migration and Development: No Papers,Dublin, Gill and Macmillan, 1999 No Voice, No Rights’ in Regan, C. (ed.) 80:20 Development in an Unequal World Bray, 80:20 Educating and Acting for aMac Gréil, M. Better World, 2002Prejudice in Ireland RevisitedMaynooth: Survey and Research Unit. Sheehy, MaureenSt. Patrick’s College, 1996 Partners Companion to Training for TransformationMacLachlan, M. and Dublin, Partners, Training forCultivating Pluralism Transformation, 2001Dublin, Oak Tree Press, 2000 Sizuki, L. et al. (eds.)Liz Morris and Susanna Coghlan (Editors) Handbook of Multicultural Assessment,Cross-Currents A guide to multicultural Second Edition. Clinical, Psychological andbooks for young people Educational ApplicationsDublin, IBBY Ireland, 2005 San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 2001Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 117
  • 129. BIBLIOGRAPHY Task Force on the Travelling Community Tormey, R (ed.) Report of the Task Force on the Travelling Teaching Social Justice Community Centre for Educational Disadvantage Dublin, The Stationery Office, 1995 Research/Ireland Aid, 2003 Thalhammer, E. et al. United Nations Attitudes towards Minority Groups in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights European Union Vienna. SORA Zaslavsky, C. archives/eb/ebs_138_analysis.pdf The Multicultural Math Classroom – Bringing in the World Tomalin, B and Stempleski, S New Hampshire, Hinemann, 1996 Cultural Awareness Oxford University Press, 1993118 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 130. CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR INTERCULTURAL EDUCATIONCSPE What? Me a Racist (1998) European Commission.CSPE on the web A humorous cartoon book for youngA special site for teachers and students of people to help explore issues of racism andCSPE prejudiceEducation materials from the Council of Available from the European CommissionEurope office in Dublin ( materials linking local andglobal issues A Journey Through Europe – A Citizenship Education PackCounted Out - Poverty Awareness Resource for (2005) European Studies and CSPECivic, Social and Political Education Support Service.(2001) CDVEC CDU/ The pack invites students to exploreCombat Poverty Agency questions such as what does it mean to beThis pack includes useful classroom Irish and what does it mean to beactivities on stereotyping and bias, human European?rights and issues of poverty today. Available from CSPE support service.Available from the CurriculumDevelopment Unit, Sundrive Rd. Crumlin, GEOGRAPHYD 12. Email: 80:20 Development in an Unequal WorldChanging Perspectives – (2002)Cultural Values, Diversity and Equality in A useful resource full of facts andIreland and the Wider World information on the world we live in.(2002) CDVEC CDU Available from 80:20 Email: info@8020.ieThrough a range of activities studentsexamine their images and vision of Irish Exploring our World - An active learningidentity, society, stereotypes, and geography resourceworldviews. (2001) One World Centre, NorthernAvailable from the Curriculum Ireland.Development Unit, Sundrive Rd. An activity based resource exploring topicsCrumlin, D 12. Email: of inequality, interdependence, trade, aid, women, refuges and asylum seekers.The Pavee Pack – Available from One World Centre, Belfast.Ireland, Cultural Diversity and Travellers Email: Pavee PublicationsA useful resource for exploring issues of The World Guide 2005/2006.identity, labelling, stereotyping and human New Internationalistrights with particular reference to the This annual guide provides up-to-datesituation of Travellers in Ireland today. information on 217 countries withAvailable from Trócaire Resource Centres supporting charts, maps and statistics.or email: Available from Oxfam. Email: NCDE/Ireland Aid Geography: The Global Dimension (2004)A key focus of the pack is the links Development Education Associationbetween Ireland and the developing world. (DEA), London. Can be downloaded fromThe themes of interdependence and human are explored through avariety of activities and studentworksheets.Available from 80:20 Email: info@8020.ieIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 119
  • 131. CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION LEAVING CERTIFICATE APPLIED AND In Words and Pictures TRANSITION YEAR Religious and Moral Education Press, UK A colourful introduction to major world Compass – A manual on human rights faiths written in simple language education with young people (2002) Available from Religious and Moral Council of Europe Publishing. Education Press. Email: orders@scm- This comprehensive resource contains activities for young people on a broad range of themes including, gender equality, Painting Life, Painting Hope the media, health and sport. A teachers booklet and set of beautiful Available from Amnesty International, Irish posters designed by young people in Section. Email: Nicaragua on the themes of disability, human rights, a better world, The Rights Stuff – an educational resource on interdependence and the environment. the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Available from Trócaire Resource Centres (1998) DEFY/Trócaire/Amnesty or email: International An active learning resource, which explores SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS the rights of children in different parts of the world. Global Perspectives in Science (1999) Available from Trócaire Resource Centres Oxfam UK or email: The activities in this pack are designed to show how science and technology has Rising to the Challenge – A resource file for developed from a variety of sources teaching contemporary issues around the world e.g Chinese biogas (2002) CDVEC/LCA Support Service technology, the value of the Need and This file contains a wealth of materials to Beech trees, etc. help teachers bring LCA students to a Available from Oxfam via email - deeper understanding of human rights and responsibilities and how they can act on issues of social justice. Maths and Human Rights Resource Book Available from the Curriculum (1999) Amnesty International, UK Development Unit, Sundrive Rd. Crumlin, The activities in this book encourage D 12. Email: students to explore human rights issues whilst at the same time developing Peace by Piece problem-solving and investigative skills in (2003) National Youth Council of Ireland mathematics. This pack uses games, role-play and stories Available from Oxfam via email - to explore issues of conflict, conflict resolution and peace building at local and global level. Summing up the World – Mathematics Available from NYCI. Email: activities with a global perspective (1994) Dorset DEC RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Contains a wide range of classroom activities which show how mathematics Faith and Commitment Series can be used to explore issues such as the Religious and Moral Education Press, UK environment, economic development, Each book offers facts and information on cultural diversity and equality. different world religions through the lived Available from Oxfam via email - experience of different individuals. Available from Religious and Moral Education Press. Science: The Global Dimension (2003) Email: Development Education Association (DEA), London Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 132. CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR INTERCULTURAL EDUCATIONSPHE Life Stories – Exploring Identity with Young People.All different – all equal – National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI)An anti-racism and equality education pack. Contains stories of young people fromNational Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) around the world and activities to help young people explore issues of identity,Contains worksheets and activities to help difference and belonging.young people explore issues of belongingand difference, racism and prejudice, and Available from NYCI, 3 Montague St,how to young people can bring about Dublin 2, 01-4784122, www.youth.iegreater acceptance of difference in Ireland.Available from NYCI, 3 Montague St,Dublin 2, 01-4784122, www.youth.ieIntercultural Education in the Post-Primary School 121
  • 133. The Steering Committee for Interculturalism Joint Managerial Body and the Curriculum National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism The NCCA wishes to acknowledge the work and guidance of the Steering National Parents Council-Primary Committee for Interculturalism and the Curriculum in the preparation of these National Parents Council-Post-Primary guidelines for schools. Pavee Point The following bodies are represented on the Steering Committee: Reception and Integration Agency, Department of Justice and Law Reform African Women’s Network State Examinations Commission Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools Teachers’ Union of Ireland Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland Consultation As well as undertaking this work in close Catholic Primary School partnership with the stakeholders in Managers’ Association education, the NCCA consulted with many relevant organisations and individuals in Church of Ireland Board of Education the preparation of these guidelines. Department of Education and Science Photographs Development Education Unit of The NCCA would like to thank the Development Co-operation Ireland schools, teachers and students who kindly consented to having their photographs Integrate Ireland Language and Training taken and used in this document. Irish Congress of Trade Unions The NCCA was granted parental/guardian Irish Federation of University Teachers permission for the participation of their children in this process. Irish National Teachers’ Organisation Photography by Paul Kelly. Irish Vocational Education Association122 Intercultural Education in the Post-Primary School
  • 134. NCCANational Council for Curriculum and Assessment24 Merrion Square, Dublin 2T + 353 1 661 7177F + 353 1 661 7180info@ncca.iewww.ncca.ieNCCA 2006