Children and diversity, the effects of schooling, and implications for initial teacher education

Elton-Chalcraft, Sally (2009) Children and diversity, the effects of schooling, and implications for initial teacher education. In: Jackson, Alison, (ed.) Innovation and development in initial teacher education: a selection of conference papers presented at The 4th ESCalate ITE Conference, University of Cumbria - 16th May 2008. Higher Education Academy Education Subject Centre ESCalate, Bristol, UK, pp. 60-73.

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Abstract

I present the findings and implications resulting from empirical research conducted in primary schools in central England and Southern Germany where I investigated 9 and 10 year old children’s multicultural awareness. I explored the opportunities for multicultural education in both the hidden and formal curricula for this age group. The project is located in the wider debate about cultural identity, racism, ‘equality’ and multiculturalism. The research draws on literature concerning multicultural and anti-racist education. Methodologically I adopted a qualitative research paradigm and I was influenced by feminist methodology. The empirical work in England was more substantial and I employed a ‘least adult role’ and worked ‘with’ not ‘on’ the children. In Germany I worked to a more limited timeframe but nevertheless gained an insight into multicultural education in another European context. I discovered that many children, whatever their background, displayed anti-racist behaviour and opinions, and that attending a school with a high proportion of minority ethnic children did not necessarily lead to anti-racist tendencies. Moreover, there were children from schools with a high proportion of minority ethnic backgrounds who displayed overtly racist behaviours. The organisation of the school curriculum and the school ethos in both England and Southern Germany had an influence on whether anti-racism was promoted or whether racism remained unchallenged. My research offers insights into aspects of white, Western privilege in both the formal and hidden curricula in the selected schools in England and Southern Germany. The paper concludes with a discussion of the influence of schooling on children’s multicultural awareness, and explores the implications of my findings for policy and practice in Initial Teacher Education Institutions.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Higher Education Academy Education Subject Centre ESCalate
ISBN: 9781905788941
Departments: Initial Teacher Education (ITE)
Additional Information: Chapter 7 within book.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2018 11:23
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2018 21:03
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3783

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