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3. can and must combat ignorance in what they teach and how they teach it; and confront prejudice and discrimination in the kinds of institutions they are. All in all, for pupils to emerge from schools as racists, it must be the case that they are flying in the face of all they have been taught and have learnt there, and of their overall experience of the school as a community. 87.

To encourage an historical perspective by relating contemporary values to the processes and events that have shaped them. We noted earlier that values and patterns of behaviour are shaped by many factors and that they tend to change over time. Helping young people to understand the processes that have influenced their own and other cultures is an essential role of education. Collectively as well as individually, our sense of our own identity is bound up with memory and knowledge of the past. Discussing the importance of the humanities in education, Sir Alan Bullock emphasises the necessity of historical understanding to a sense of cultural identity. He notes that any society that turns its back on the past and falls into a Ôcultural and historical amnesiaÕ, weakens its sense of identity.


Multicultural education, as we described it earlier, has to go beyond a familiarity with how other cultures look and sound now, to a deeper understanding of how they evolved and were shaped. Many cultural attitudes and practices can seem strange, even irrational without some understanding of the contexts in which they emerged and the meanings they have acquired. An historical understanding of cultural development should also enable young people to grasp the many ways in which different cultures have long intersected and shaped each other. Young people need to recognise the distinctiveness of different cultural histories and experience and their roles in shaping global cultures.


To enable young people to understand the evolutionary nature of culture and the processes and potential for change. A knowledge of the past is essential to understanding the present. But any culture that is oriented only to the past and Ôrefuses to identify with the new elements of experience in the futureÕ will stagnate. Education also has to engage young

Cultural Education

NACCCE report


ken robinson et al 1999_all our futures  

All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education Report to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment the Secretary of State for...