A paper for UNESCO-IBE COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
ADDRESSING SOCIO-CULTURAL DIVERSITY THROUGH THE CURRICULUM: A PERSPECTIVE FROM SCOTLAND
LEE ANDREW DUNN (http://www.leedunn.wordpress.com / @leeandrewdunn)
Forwarding Statement from The International Bureau of Education
A curriculum which addresses diversity meets the diverse needs of ALL learners. Socio-cultural diversity in this context includes ethnicity, race, religion, values and beliefs, nationality, cultural background, age, gender, class, physical ability, different learning conditions and styles, sexual orientation, and other dimensions that make up the identity of the individual student and impact on his / her experience.
1. What are the current issues in regards to socio-cultural diversity in the curriculum within your context?
2. How should the curriculum be implemented considering these issues? 3. How should the learning process and outcomes be assessed while taking into account diversity?
Are there any diversity issues that have been historically neglected or disregarded?
Scotland is currently implementing a new curriculum which emphasises the importance of socio-cultural diversity placing equality, inclusion and curricular access for ALL children and young people, regardless of individual identity. It aims to achieve transformational change by providing a more coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18.
Coordinated by central Government, the curriculum extends beyond school in the traditional sense and encompasses Health, Social Care and Youth Justice. Given that, as the OECD says in its report, Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland, curriculum reform has come to schools rather than simply waiting for central direction. Meeting the ambitions for such a curriculum must involve pre-school centres and schools working in partnership with colleges, universities, employers, partner agencies, youth work and the voluntary sector to provide learning and support which is based around the individual learner. Historically, some groups do not have positive outcomes upon leaving compulsory education. There is now due attention on those who are more vulnerable: Looked After Children, carers, parents, physical and mental health problems, substance misuse, behavioural issues, English as a second language, special schools, homeless, transient lifestyles or have other additional support needs. Id be interested in the regional and global outcomes for children and young people in similar groups is this unique to Scotland or is it a pattern repeated elsewhere?