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Copyright acknowledgement

Building Bridges: Creating a Culture of Diversity
© Professor Fethi Mansouri, Dr. Louise Jenkins,
Dr Michael Leach and Dr Lucas Walsh
Melbourne University Publishing Ltd, 2009


Date: 14 April 2010

Building Bridges:
Creating a Culture of Diversity- new resources

Theme: Cultural diversity and multiculturalism - Culture, language and identity -
Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination
Learning Area: Languages other than English (LOTE) - Humanities and social sciences - The Arts
Age Group: Primary Upper (10-12) - Secondary Lower (13-14) - Secondary Middle (15-16)
Resource Type: Digital kit
Stimulus Name Building Bridges: Creating a Culture of Diversity
Outcomes

Teachers will develop a deeper understanding of the role of culture and intercultural understanding in education.


Introduction

Building Bridges: Creating a Culture of Diversity is a new resource published in book form and via the web site Diversity: An Educational Advantage online teacher support. The resources are the result of a project undertaken by Professor Fethi Mansouri, Dr. Louise Jenkins, Dr Michael Leach and Dr Lucas Walsh of the Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne who investigated the management of cultural diversity in secondary schools and the potential for school-community partnership in improving schooling outcomes and social experiences for all concerned.

Resources needed

Building Bridges: Creating a Culture of Diversity
First published 2009
Text copyright © Professor Fethi Mansouri, Dr. Louise Jenkins,Dr Michael Leach and Dr Lucas Walsh 2009
ISBN: 9780522857597
Available for download at Diversity: An Educational Advantage online teacher support

 

Suggested Activities

The resource is divided into three parts,
A Model for Best Practice, Teaching and Learning Modules
and Parent Modules.

Part 1: A Model for Best Practice

A Model for Best Practice presents a framework for effecting positive, whole-of-school change in culturally diverse schools. Topics and themes addressed include:

  • School Structures and Parent Involvement;
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy;
  • Teacher Support Materials (TSM);
  • Community Partnership and External Factors;
  • Cultural Diversity Checklists.
Part 2: Teaching and Learning Modules

To enable a practical implementation of the whole-school approach, Part 2 incorporates two Teaching and Learning Modules with eight separate units. The themes are based on the Teacher Support Materials (TSM)which form a part of the online resource, Building Bridges: Creating a culture of diversity.

Key ideas and concepts include social justice, civic knowledge, democratic principles, participation in community, belonging, identity, racial harmony, inclusion, exclusion, multiculturalism, stereotyping, community, ethnicity, global terrorism, behavioural motivations, indigenous issues, human rights, trust, social change, historical perspectives and the future.

The aims of these teaching modules are to encourage students to:

  • engage in research about cultural diversity and the advantages it offers;
  • compare and contrast facts relating to students from culturally diverse backgrounds;
  • consider the experiences of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, listen to their stories, and in doing so, learn about their lives;
  • discuss and share student responses to the learning activities;
  • recognise the similarities and differences amongst young people from diverse cultures;
  • identify and explain issues relating to students from 'Aussie' and culturally diverse backgrounds, and attempt to provide solutions to some of the problems their fellow students face.

Teaching module themes

Module 1: Finding my place
Unit 1: Identity
Unit 2: Cultural diversity and multiculturalism
Unit 3: Citizenship
Unit 4: Cultural stereotypes and the media
Module 2: Community relationships
Unit 5: Expectations of self, family and teachers
Unit 6: Developing positive relationships at school
Unit 7: Curriculum, school and culture
Unit 8: Cultural and ethnic tensions

Content
Each unit is organised in the following way:

  • Focus questions
  • Classroom activities which can be modified as appropriate for the age and background of the students
  • Assessment tasks
  • Handouts
  • Suggestions for further sources of information

Note: Class access to the internet is required to successfully complete some of the suggested activities.

 

Part 3: Parent Modules

The focus of Parent Modules is on enhancing parents' understandings about schooling in Australia, actively engaging the other two stakeholder groups, teachers and students, in the process. Although the particular setting for these modules is schools with Arabic Speaking Background students and parents, they have been deliberately written in a flexible way. Schools are encouraged to amend the modules to suit their needs and interests.

Module 1: Engaging NESB Parents and Assessing Needs
Module 2: Organising a Meeting with NESB Parents (1)
Module 3: Organising a Meeting with NESB Parents (2)
Module 4: Understanding the Australian Education System
Module 5: Facilitating Parental Involvement in Schools (1)
Module 6: Facilitating Parental Involvement in Schools (2)
Module 7: Hosting a Ramadan Dinner
Module 8: Hosting a Community Cultural Event