Curriculum and the Social Context of Teaching

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Curriculum and the Social Context of Teaching

By | August 2008
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The NSW Cultural Diversity and Community Relations policy (NSW DET 2005: online) is a document which aims to outline the responsibilities which NSW schools have to provide teaching and learning programs which will enable students across many different cultures and communities the opportunity to be able to identify with, and as, Australians. This policy should aid schools in developing students from all cultures and communities across NSW to develop the knowledge, skills and values for participation as active and involved citizens throughout their schooling and professional lives.

However, does this policy aid the students who are directly affected by the policy, or does it remove these students even further from the schooling community making it even harder for them to be accepted or supported within a multi-cultural community?

The NSW DET has recognised the ever changing cultural and community relations which have taken place, and continues to take place within school communities across NSW. To ensure that students from culturally different backgrounds are accommodated and thought of at school, the NSW DET has developed a policy named “Cultural Diversity and Community Relations Policy: Multicultural education in schools.” (NSW DET 2005: online)

Aims and strategies of the policy
The aims and objectives of this policy appear to be rather broad and upon further study of the policy and other related documents, it appears that there is a need for the policy to be more specific in regards to exactly what changes need to be implemented within the school curriculum. For example, the policy statement 1.1 states that “community harmony is promoted through school policies and practices.” (NSW DET 2005: 1.1) School communities need to examine the level of multiculturalism within its school community and become aware of important dates, traditions and celebrations of these communities, rather than just learning about and celebrating the typical and accepted...