How children see diversity, the effects of schooling, and implications for Initial Teacher Education

Elton-Chalcraft, Sally (2008) How children see diversity, the effects of schooling, and implications for Initial Teacher Education. In: UNSPECIFIED.

View this record at
Official URL:


I present the findings and implications resulting from empirical research conducted in primary schools in central England and Southern Germany where I investigated 9 and 10 year old children’s multicultural awareness. I explored the opportunities for multicultural education in both the hidden and formal curricula for this age group. The project is located in the wider debate about cultural identity, racism, ‘equality’ and multiculturalism. The research draws on literature concerning multicultural and anti-racist education. Methodologically, a qualitative research paradigm was adopted I was influenced by feminist methodology. The empirical work in England was more substantial and I employed a ‘least adult role’ and worked ‘with’ not ‘on’ the children. In Germany I worked to a more limited timeframe but nevertheless gained an insight into multicultural education in another European context. I discovered that many children, whatever their background, displayed anti-racist behaviour and opinions, and that attending a school with a high proportion of minority ethnic children did not necessarily lead to anti-racist tendencies. Moreover, there were children from schools with a high proportion of minority ethnic backgrounds who displayed overtly racist behaviours. The organisation of the school curriculum, and the school ethos, in both England and Southern Germany, had an influence on whether anti-racism was promoted or whether racism remained unchallenged. My research offers insights into aspects of white, Western privilege in both the formal and hidden curricula, in the selected schools in England and Southern Germany. The paper concludes with a discussion of the influence of schooling on children’s multicultural awareness, and explores the implications of my findings for policy and practice in Initial Teacher Education Institutions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords: 372 Primary education (incl. primary subject content), 305 Social groups (incl. class, race & gender), 378 Higher education, 002 The Work
Members: University of Cumbria
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2011 09:15
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 04:16

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item