‘But we’re not a multicultural school!’: locating intercultural relations and reimagining intercultural education as an act of ‘coming-to-terms-with our routes’

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Abstract

Learning to live in a superdiverse world might be heralded as one of the great social challenges of our time. In the last decade, intercultural education has been posed as one way to foster intercultural capabilities in young people that can contribute towards learning to live well with cultural difference. As the diaspora in Australia—and elsewhere—expands, developing intercultural understanding is seen as a priority. Despite the directives of official policy and curriculum, enacting intercultural education in meaningful ways is complex and fraught. This paper reports on an Australian ethnography at a predominantly ‘white’ school that examined the way productions of cultural difference across school spaces complicate teachers’ intercultural work. This paper considers how intercultural understanding might move beyond celebrations of multiculturalism, arguing that ‘coming-to-terms with our routes’ necessarily prefigures intercultural understanding and provides opportunity for an intercultural education beyond a celebration of multiculturalism.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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