Cultural Diversity in Education

It is often said that schools are microcosms of their societies. Education, therefore, takes place in a social environment that is complex, dynamic and constantly changing. Australian society is increasingly diverse with a growing number of citizens born overseas. The multicultural nature of Australian society is reflected in our schools, as students’ varied cultural backgrounds and unique learning styles encourage a fresh approach to school management, curriculum design and teaching practice. That is where this project comes in. The Cultural Diversity in Education project, funded by the Australian Research Council and a consortium of philanthropic agencies, seeks to address the key educational challenges facing multicultural schools. The study takes a two-tiered approach. First, it examines the cultural, attitudinal, identity and structural factors that facilitate or hinder Arabic-background students’ access to educational success. After examining student experiences of school education (including background family attitudes), the project then endeavours to facilitate change through curricular and pedagogical transformation. Working closely with school communities – with students, parents and teachers – the project develops strategies for building community networks and pedagogical resources which go beyond the generic “multicultural” models currently available.

Click here to learn about this project's aims.