It's not just black and white: an exploration of children's multicultural awareness, attitudes and influences

Elton-Chalcraft, Sally (2008) It's not just black and white: an exploration of children's multicultural awareness, attitudes and influences. Doctoral thesis, University of Derby. Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

In the research I investigated the multicultural awareness of Year 5, (9 and 10 year old) children in four English schools, two with a high proportion of minority ethnic children and two predominantly white schools. I explored the opportunities for multicultural education in both the hidden and formal currjcula for this age group. Research was also conducted in Southern Germany where I observed lessons and interviewed teachers and pupils in order to gain an insight into multicultural education in another European country. 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 aqualitative research paradigm and was influenced by feminist methodology in my investigation. I employed a 'least adult role' and worked 'with' not 'on' the children. As a consequence I presented children's voices concerning the research themes. Throughout the investigation I considered the possible links between Ignorance, racism, knowledge and anti-racism. I· explored whether children from the predominantly white schools in my study were ignorant of cultures different from their own, and conversely whether children from high proportion minority ethnic schools were more knowledgeable and thus anti-racist. I discovered, however, that many children, whatever their background, displayed anti-racist behaviour and opinions, and that attendi~g -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. I also noted that the organisation of the school curriculum, in both England and Southern Gennany, 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 fonnal and hidden curricula, in the selected schools in England and Southern Gennany. I conclude with a discussion of the influence of schooling on children's multicultural awareness and explore the implications for policy and practice.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Doctoral)
Departments: Early Years and Primary Undergraduate Partnership QG
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 10:48
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2018 13:16
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3918

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