Report: Intercultural Education
Binder [BIO] /Mikael Luciak
The section on intercultural education had 16 presenters and
two virtual contributors from Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic,
Turkey, the United States of America, England, and Romania. The
contributors have a background in the disciplines of education,
anthropology, political science, and philosophy and work as university
professors and lecturers, school teachers, in educational administration,
as parliamentary advisors, and in non-governmental organisations.
Most presentations were attended by 20 to 30 listeners and feedback
of the presenters and the participants shows a high satisfaction
with the process and content of the discussed topics in the section.
The aim to improve networking between researchers and practitioners
across different disciplines and work areas and across different
countries, has been accomplished.
The topics addressed in the presentations included:
- The educational situation of ethnic minorities, migrants
and returned migrants as well as of international students in
- The situation of Roma children in schools in the Czech Republic
and in Romania;
- Intercultural learning in the Austrian school context, reaching
from kindergarten to schools to adult education;
- Intercultural education in daily school practice, initiatives
by individual teachers and the need to work on oneself as a teacher;
- Lack of comparability of educational enrolment and achievement
data between the different European countries;
- The importance of ethnographic research, which can lead to
a better understanding of minority groups' educational experiences;
- The relevance of Bourdieu's theory of cultural capital for
the area of education;
- Furthermore, it was highlighted that a common political agenda
rather than cultural interests often interconnects different
- Finally, there were reflections on the concept of culture.
Main concerns and recommendations mentioned in various presentations
were the following:
- Intercultural education is a necessity and its concepts and
practical applications have to be further developed.
- We all have a partial view on the concept and applicability
of intercultural education, which can be seen as strength, rather
- To bring about positive change, a dialectical approach is
required, which asks on the one hand for "proactivity"
and initiative on the part of educators. On the other hand, structural
changes are required, because current inadequate means limit
the success of teachers and educators.
- Intercultural education initiatives, which are often blind
towards power relations, have to be aware of the dangers of "culturalisation"
- The origin of the discourse, which concentrates on issues
of cultural difference and "otherness", has to be examined
and better understood.
- In this respect we also have to become more aware of the
political dimension of intercultural education, the role of governments,
and policy making. The current policies implemented in different
countries view intercultural education quite differently and
at this point we do not yet agree within and between countries
on what intercultural education means to accomplish. While we
look at intercultural education from different angles, which
is rooted in our different experiences, we agree that we have
to go beyond the mere celebrating of multicultural folklore and
pseudo-harmonisation or just targeting inequalities as symptoms
on the surface. The causes and roots of racism, ethnic discrimination,
exclusion, and segregation have to be highlighted and combated.
Programs geared to foster diversity and equality need to be evaluated
to insure their success.
- To gain a better understanding of different ethnic groups'
educational experiences, research, and in particular qualitative
research, has to be widened with the support from national, European,
and international organizations.
- Overall, we recognize that if intercultural education is
applied appropriately, we learn more about ourselves than others.
8.1. Intercultural Education
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Inhalt | Table of Contents | Contenu 15 Nr.
R. Horn last change: 1.12.2003
For quotation purposes:
Susanne Binder/Mikael Luciak (Vienna:) Report: "Intercultural
Education". In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften.
No. 15/2003. WWW: http://www.inst.at/trans/15Nr/08_1/luciak_report15.htm