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Ncca interculturalism guide


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Ncca interculturalism guide

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 11. The Context of Intercultural Education
  12. 12. 1 1
  13. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 23. Intercultural Educationin the Post-Primary School
  24. 24. 2 13
  25. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 31. School Planning
  32. 32. 3 21
  33. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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