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IALEI-study 2010: Reengage with multicultural education

Multiculturalism has receded to the background of societies' priorities. A group of leading international researchers now conclude that education systems around the world need to put multicultural diversity at the forefront of their concerns.

15.10.2010 | ibje

"Today's unprecedented global mobility requires of educators in the world to make multicultural diversity a priority in the education landscape" says Professor Yoon Hiwon from Seoul National University and chair of the ten country IALEI research team (2010). The results of ten national studies conclude that there is a serious risk to social cohesion if countries neglect the need for educational equality for all.

Population movements involve both privileged transnational elites and displaced refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. The effect of this is to increase the diversity of cultures and languages, race and religion in all nations. In addition to this movement of populations, a growing number of societies are recognizing the rights and strengths of indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and gender differences.

Cultural diversity accelerates
Cultural diversity is accelerated by the proliferation of information communication technologies which facilitate global interaction across cultures, languages and identities. The overall effect of these extraordinary developments is to spread multiculturalism to all parts of the world, beyond those societies which already have long experience of racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious pluralism.

The studies suggest this reality is marked by deep inequality and entrenched privilege, posing dramatic challenges to countries across the world. As a result, all children need to develop intercultural capabilities for negotiating across differences of identity, social justice, multilingual skills and anti-racist dispositions.

Embrace multicultural education
The researchers call on education systems around the world to embrace multicultural education within the specific contexts of their national setting. Teacher education, pedagogy and curriculum development, education administration and policy and research need to address the growth of multiculturalism across the globe.

The overriding goal should be to foster a pervasive commitment to equal and enriched educational opportunities for all. Without this, there is a gross waste of human capital and skill to all societies from the continuing failure to achieve equal educational outcomes for all.


Three recommendationsThe International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes (IALEI) recommends that all countries:

  1. Recognize their responsibility for developing appropriate educational responses to the ethnic and cultural complexity within their borders. The ten country reports show that response to cultural diversity in different parts of the world is uneven or non-existent.

  2. Support constructive research examining critical issues regarding diversity and equity in education. The ten country reports show that evidence-based policy and educational interventions are necessary to assist minority populations to achieve their potential.

  3. Ensure twenty-first century teacher education is reformed in light of the cultural and social heterogeneity of local, national, and global communities. The ten country reports show that teacher education is vital for preparing future global citizens.
22:News, 42:Forside, Integration, etnicitet, kultur, Internationalisering/globalisering, Internationale undersøgelser