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What Works 9: Achieving intercultural understanding in schools

Achieving intercultural understanding in schools explores how Australian schools define and incorporate intercultural understanding as part of their educational practice. It compares the definitions and practices to what the Australian Curriculum expects of schools concerning the Intercultural understanding general capability. It uses qualitative data and illustrations from Australian schools involved in the Australia–Asia BRIDGE School Partnerships Project (BRIDGE) as a case study of schools that are committed to fostering intercultural understanding.

Some common actions that can assist schools to advance their intercultural understanding and practices include the following:

  • Staff develop a thorough understanding of the Intercultural understanding general capability and its component parts within the Australian Curriculum.
  • Staff become familiar with opportunities to develop students’ intercultural understanding through the Australian Curriculum learning areas.
  • Students and staff engage in consistent and constant cross-cultural engagement at a school level, such as through international school partnerships, overseas trips and exchanges.
  • Students and staff reflect on their intercultural experiences, with a focus on transforming thinking, attitudes and behaviour towards cultural diversity.
  • Staff consolidate and develop collegial networks, locally and internationally, to share, reflect on and further develop intercultural teaching and learning practices.
  • Staff undertake professional learning relevant to intercultural understanding.

Illustrations of practice

Acknowledgements

Images: Intercultural understanding icon – AEF; Free Culture Research Conference logo V4 – openclipart

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