3. not simply passive consumers of cultural products: they appropriate and adapt them to their own urgent need for a sense of personal and group identity. In doing so, they also shape the commercial environment in which they live. Education has key roles in giving young people the opportunities and the means to reflect on the values and ideas which surround: to explore them sensitively and critically in a range of different ways. 84.
To enable young people to embrace and understand cultural If you only understand one culture it is diversity by bringing them into contact with the attitudes, like seeing with one eye only, but if you add the dimension of other values and traditions of other cultures. Cultural education is a complex field with many dimensions and difficulties. It involves teaching for a diverse society: an education that enables young people to live in a multi-ethnic and multicultural Britain. The need for multicultural education has long been recognised in schools, particularly at the level of policy. It is essential now to go beyond statements of policy to forms of practice and provision which encourage cultural understanding and promote a positive sense of cultural inclusion.
There is an important difference between multicultural and anti-racist education. The general aim of multicultural education is to promote understanding of, and respect for, other cultures by deepening young peopleĂ•s knowledge and experience of them. Anti-racist education builds on multicultural education but it includes specific strategies to challenge racist attitudes and behaviour. Both are needed in schools. Increasingly since the 1960s, multicultural education has been a high priority for schools in culturally diverse communities. For them the need to address issues of diversity was immediate and urgent. Schools in more homogeneous or even mono-ethnic areas might have felt less pressure to take up this agenda. But the need for multicultural education in such schools is just as pressing. If young people do not have direct day-to-day experience of other cultures Ă‘ of having friends from other ethnic traditions and races Ă‘ they will be less prepared than others for the culturally diverse societies they will eventually encounter.
Schools and what goes on inside them cannot guarantee respect for other cultures nor that they will definitely deliver an end to the prejudice and discrimination of racism. But they
cultures, you become binocular and things can be seen in perspective. It allows you to appreciate much more.
Dame Tamsyn Imison, Head teacher, Hampstead School.
Published on Mar 30, 2012
Published on Mar 30, 2012
All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education Report to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment the Secretary of State for...