Investigating multiculturalism as policy and practice in the middle years of schooling
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Definitions and policy intents of multiculturalism have been contested in the public sphere at international and national levels; however the term has remained in use in Australia since the 1970s. In policy frameworks, successive Australian governments have promoted societal pluralism as a national goal over a period of 21 years. Recent federal and state policies relating to multiculturalism have featured terms such as 'social capital' and 'productive diversity', as well as 'inclusivity' and 'accountability'. At the level of middle schooling, understandings of the term and its enactment have varied. Within a wider, ongoing study, sociocultural data were collected from metropolitan schools that publicly espoused multiculturalism as foundational to their school philosophy and teaching practice. Analysis of interview data from teachers and school management explores accounts of 'good practice' in these schools. While some schools consider multiculturalism to be a domain within the curriculum, others are employing a whole-school approach. Implications are drawn for the enactment of multiculturalism in the middle years of schooling.
Communicating in a world of diversity