Why interculturalism does not always translate into action: Insights from teachers in an Australian primary school

Article


Tualaulelei, Eseta and Halse, Christine. 2023. "Why interculturalism does not always translate into action: Insights from teachers in an Australian primary school." The Australian Educational Researcher. 50 (3), pp. 747-762. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-022-00523-6
Article Title

Why interculturalism does not always translate into action: Insights from teachers in an Australian primary school

ERA Journal ID20008
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsTualaulelei, Eseta (Author) and Halse, Christine (Author)
Journal TitleThe Australian Educational Researcher
Journal Citation50 (3), pp. 747-762
Number of Pages16
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0311-6999
2210-5328
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-022-00523-6
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13384-022-00523-6
Abstract

For intercultural education to impact learners and, in turn, wider society, teachers must turn intercultural perspectives into actions in their professional contexts. This article examines why teachers who hold positive intercultural views might not be compelled to teach to these in their classrooms. Focusing specifically on education for culturally diverse learners, this article presents a critical ethnographic study of two teachers working in a multicultural Australian primary school. It analyses the tensions that complicate teachers’ work for intercultural education, and suggests that competent, well-intentioned teachers might be discouraged from responding pedagogically to their students’ cultural or linguistic backgrounds because of perceived constraints in the contemporary neoliberal educational environment. This prompts our recommendation that future research seek ways to open up new conditions of possibility for teachers to act on their perspectives including opportunities for increased cross-cultural engagement and dialogue.

KeywordsIntercultural education; Culture; Language; Teacher agency; Neoliberalism
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390410. Multicultural education (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples)
390401. Comparative and cross-cultural education
390299. Education policy, sociology and philosophy not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
Deakin University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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