Building bridges: creating a culture of diversity

7 May 2010

This book steers schools towards a deeper understanding of the nature of their communities as a microcosm of Australian multicultural society.

It aims to develop an understanding of diversity both within the boundaries of the school, and beyond, in the broader community. This will facilitate the engagement of parents, families, and the broader community, as well as students, teachers and staff. Though developed for Victorian curriculum frameworks, many will find the approach and resources useful with their own teaching and learning environments.

Part 1, Model for Best Practice, presents a framework for effecting positive, whole-of-school change in culturally diverse schools. To enable a practical implementation of the whole-school approach, Part 2 incorporates two Teaching and Learning Modules with eight separate units. Each unit explores a different topic, ranging from identity issues to cultural media stereotypes and cultural and ethnic tensions. The modules aim to broaden student awareness of cultural diversity and develop a more informed understanding of Australia as a culturally diverse nation. The teaching modules also develop students’ skills in investigation, exploration and independent research.

Part 3, Parent Modules, provides a practical framework to engage all parents in the school, particularly those who are new to Australia and may be grappling with a wide range of complex cultural imperatives and understandings. The parent modules provide strategies to bridge some of these gaps and encourage engagement and open communication among parents, educators and school administration.

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