What is multicultural education?
Multicultural education is not a discrete learning area, or simply the provision of Languages and English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Multicultural education makes sure that all students have access to inclusive teaching and learning experiences. These experiences will allow students to successfully take part in a rapidly changing world where cross-cultural understanding and intercultural communication skills are essential.
In a school context, and with the support of school policies and programs, multicultural education helps students develop:
- proficiency in English
- competency in a language or languages other than English
- in depth knowledge and awareness of their own and other cultures
- an understanding of the multicultural nature of Australia’s past and present history
- an understanding of, and skills to interact in, intercultural settings
- an appreciation of the importance of local, national and international interdependence in social, environmental, economic and political arenas and an understanding that mutual support in these areas is vital to local and global harmony.
Schools should make sure multicultural perspectives are incorporated into all aspects of school life by:
- promoting diversity as a positive learning experience
- incorporating multicultural perspectives across all learning domains
- incorporating multicultural, anti-racism, and human rights perspectives in school policies and practices
- enhancing teachers’ and students’ intercultural understanding and cross-cultural communication skills
- making sure all school policies, including three year strategic and annual plans, codes of conduct, dress codes and discipline policies reflect the diverse nature of the school community.
Civics, citizenship and multicultural education
Unity through Diversity is the Victorian Government’s vision for civics, citizenship and multicultural education. The Victorian Government’s vision is for all Victorian learning and development settings to equip children and young people with the knowledge and skills to participate in and contribute to our diverse society as active and informed citizens - locally, nationally and internationally.
Citizenship and informed civic participation are the cornerstones of our successful, cohesive and prosperous multicultural, secular and multi-faith society. Civics, citizenship and multicultural education support children and young people to understand their roles, rights and responsibilities as citizens, and to know how to contribute actively to civic life and to interact harmoniously with the diverse cultures and faiths in their local, state, national and global communities.
Unity through Diversity is aligned with and complements the Victorian Government's Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship policy, Victoria's Advantage - Unity, Diversity, Opportunity, released on 3 March 2014.
For more information see: Victoria's Advantage - Unity, Diversity, Opportunity
Multicultural education information for principals and administrators – provides information about multicultural education and links to key legislation, advice and policy for schools in the areas of civil and human rights and understanding cultural diversity
Civics and citizenship domain – provides links to learning and teaching support materials, sample tasks, professional learning and research.
Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework – describes practice principles to guide early childhood professionals to work together, with children and with families to achieve the best outcomes for every child
Events and programs – provides links to further information about events and programs for multicultural education, and civics, citizenship and multicultural education.
Professional learning – provides links to information and support for teachers developing inclusive strategies and incorporating multicultural perspectives in their learning and teaching programs.
Learning and teaching resources – provides links to online projects and organisations available to provide information, advice and curriculum materials for multicultural and global education, human rights education, anti-racism resources and initiatives and teaching about diversity.