British Values in Intercultural Education in the UK

“Associate

What has come to be known as “British values” caught the attention of the participants in my recent summer study abroad program on Intercultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning.

First published on November 27, 2014, by the UK’s Department of Education under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government, the guidance “aims to help both independent and state-maintained schools understand their responsibilities in this area. All have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs” and to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain (GOV.UK).

British values poster
A big poster display with a highlight on British values in St. Andrew’s (Barnsbury) CofE Primary School in London. (Photo credit: Casey Lum)

Indeed, a great deal of what we witnessed during our co-curricular field study visits of four state-funded primary and secondary schools in London attested to the schools’ curricular efforts for nurturing multicultural sensibilities among their students. However, the notion and the government-mandated promotion of “British values” has not gone without attracting diverging interpretations or reactions since the guidance’s initial announcement and implementation (see for example “The problem with teaching ‘British values’ in school“).

During a semi-formal interview, a high-ranking administrator at St. Andrew’s (Barnsbury) CofE [Church of England] Primary School (himself a veteran teacher) observed that many of his contemporaries were unsure what the concept really was when it was introduced; many others continue to be weary about it today. Given the country’s colonial history, for example, questions have been raised about whether these values were nationalistic in nature or not. But over the years, our host added, many educators in the UK have come to appreciate what those values entail and can do in promoting what we would call intercultural competence among the young. In fact, Mayflower Primary School in Towers Hamlets, another of the schools we visited, maintains a dedicated web page to showcase the school’s interpretation of and approach to promoting British values.

Casey Man Kong Lum, Associate Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Social Service, Daily Routine, and Intercultural Adaptation

“Associate

In addition to state (or public) primary and secondary schools, with students in my study abroad program, which ended on July 18, 2022, I visited two NGOs during our second week of study, the London Chinese Community Centre (CCC) in London’s Chinatown and the Islington Centre for Migrants and Refugees in the Islington district just north of the City of London. Our goal was to have direct exposure to how community-based organizations help newcomers in their intercultural adaptation in the U.K., as well as some of their challenges and successes in this regard.

London’s Chinatown, a communal center for generations of immigrants of Chinese heritage in the U.K. (Photo credit: Casey Lum)

During the initial stage of adaptation, one of the most immediate needs of new migrants is the acquisition of services in helping them settle into their new daily routines. Such can prove to be a difficult task, especially for those who do not have a sufficient level of social or functional English. As such, community-based NGOs like the two we visited last week can play a vital role. For example, CCC routinely assists their immigrant members with legal aid for securing social services from the local government or otherwise offering a place for them to build a new social network with their compatriots.

On the other hand, the Islington Centre also regularly helps their clients, many of whom are refugees from conflict regions, with various kinds of legal aids referral services to help them address issues such as political asylum status application, as well as various other everyday life matters related to poverty or job seeking, health maintenance (some of their clients do not know how to fill their medical prescriptions), housing or homelessness, learning about their rights like all other citizens, learning their way around the city, and so on.

One of the challenges facing the staff at these organizations has to do with how, and the extent to which, they can maintain a balance between their professional obligation to their clients and their own personal emotional well-being. On the one hand, one needs to be compassionate about the lives of the newcomers – especially since many of the refugees come from conflict or war-torn regions or escape from political persecution – and many of these people are going through an extremely traumatic stage of their lives. One legal aid staff member of the Centre confided that their day rarely concludes at the end of the workday as their clients’ (at times desperate) needs do not end then.

But there also are moments of joy and great satisfaction. Many members at the Chinese Community Centre enjoy taking part in the various Chinese arts and culture events and workshops, as well as English-language classes. This has been a source of encouragement for the center’s staff and volunteers to continue with their work. An executive at the Islington Centre told us that at times they organize field trips for their clients, to visit museums or attend cultural events across London. During these field trip events and various other such social activities, they sense noticeable joy among their clients. As their clients see or learn something new, their cultural experiences allow them to begin to regain some sense of normalcy in their intercultural adaptation to an otherwise unfamiliar social landscape.

Casey Man Kong Lum, Associate Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Bilingual Education and Storytelling in Intercultural Education

“Associate

The important role of bilingual education and storytelling in the social development of young students have been two recurring themes running throughout the first week of my summer study abroad program on United Kingdom: Intercultural Perspectives in Teaching and Learning at NYU London (July 4-18, 2022).

NYC London students visiting classroom
Summer study abroad students from NYU observing a class in session at Mayflower Primary School in London. (Photo credit: Casey Lum)

In her guest lecture to my students on “Rethinking Teaching Languages in European Schools (with a Focus on England): A Healthy Linguistic Diet Approach,” Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith (July 5) emphasized the importance of bilingual education among the young in the United Kingdom nowadays. This topic was shared by Nicky Busch (July 6) in her special presentation on “The Intersectional Dynamics of Immigration, Intercultural Education, and Intergroup Relations in the United Kingdom,” in which she similarly acknowledged how acquiring English as a second or additional language can help immigrant students gain a voice of their own in their intercultural adaptation to life in the UK.

Our understanding of the above ideas – and many more others that this brief post simply cannot include – has been greatly enhanced by what my students and I witnessed “on the ground level” during our field visit at the Mayflower Primary School, a public school located in the eastern borough of Tower Hamlets in London. While the 2011 census in the UK reported that about one-third of the borough’s population came from Bangladesh, about 90% of the students at Mayflower Primary today are Bangladeshi. Many come from low-income families with a relatively low level of literacy, with parents who are not fluent in spoken English. These are some of the reasons why the school has adopted an approach that emphasizes developing their students’ competence in reading and storytelling in English. At the same time, the teachers encourage their students’ families to speak in their home language, in part to help promote bilingual fluency among the students.

From one practical (or pragmatic) perspective, the emphasis on reading is meant to help the students become savvy information seekers and users for personal and professional development purposes. On the other hand, it is believed that a high level of oracy – with a high degree of competence in taking in one’s experience of the world around them and then in being able to articulate or tell “stories” about their experience orally – can help the young build a solid foundation for acquiring writing skills.

But the above teaching and learning strategies do not and most likely will not automatically or by default lead to the development of students’ competency in intercultural communication, adaptation, or dialogue. For example, Heba Al-Jayoosi, the Assistant Head (Inclusion) at Mayflower Primary School, suggests that many of the parents have never been to London Bridge, which is not far from home. Hence, the school has embarked on a project to take the students and their families on a field trip to London Bridge. Such co-curricular activities are meant to help them gain more exposure to the larger social and cultural environment and help them better adapt. These field trips (similar to my current study abroad program in London) set the stage for follow-up discussion or storytelling among the participants afterward.

Casey Man Kong Lum, Associate Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Intercultural Teaching and Learning in the UK

“Associate

I will be directing and teaching a short-term summer study abroad program for New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development. Entitled “United Kingdom: Intercultural Perspectives in Teaching and Learning,” the program will be based at NYU London (July 4-18, 2022).

I have invited four distinguished colleagues to share their insights with students from NYU’s main campus on Washington Square in New York City. They include Nicky Busch (NYU London) on The Intersectional Dynamics of Immigration, Intercultural Education, and Intergroup Relations in the UK; Myria Georgiou (London School of Economics and Political Science) on Remote Teaching and Learning during the COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities; Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith (University College London) on Language Education in the UK; and Maria Tsouroufli (Brunel University London) on Gender Inequality in Education in the UK.

In addition, a number of co-curricular activities such as guided field visits to various schools and community-based NGOs have also been arranged. These venues include London Chinese Community Centre, Mayflower Primary School, Islington Centre for Migrants and Refugees, Parliament Hill School, St. Andrew’s (Barnsbury) CofE Primary School, William Ellis School, etc. Our activities will center around learning about how these academic and community stakeholders in London address issues related to the role of (English and foreign) language education and multicultural program offerings in their constituencies’ intercultural education.

I will report in a number of forthcoming posts some of my intercultural teaching and learning experiences on this trip.

Casey Man Kong Lum, Associate Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

 

KC49 Intersectionality Translated into Turkish

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing translations of Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting KC49: Intersectionality, which Gust Yep published in English in 2015, and which Candost Aydın has now translated into Turkish.

As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download the PDF. Lists organized chronologically by publication date and numberalphabetically by concept in English, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC49 Intersectionality_Turkish

Yep, G. (2022). Intersectionality [Turkish]. (C. Aydın, Trans.). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 49. Available from: https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/kc49-intersectionality_turkish.pdf.

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue publishes a series of short briefs describing Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue. Different people, working in different countries and disciplines, use different vocabulary to describe their interests, yet these terms overlap. Our goal is to provide some of the assumptions and history attached to each concept for those unfamiliar with it. As there are other concepts you would like to see included, send an email to the series editor, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. If there are concepts you would like to prepare, provide a brief explanation of why you think the concept is central to the study of intercultural dialogue, and why you are the obvious person to write up that concept.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Analyzing Race/ism in Interaction (A Virtual Workshop)

Events

Analyzing Race/ism in Interaction: A workshop for Emerging Scholars,
Virtual Workshop, 6-8 July 2022. Applications to participate close on 2 April 2022.

In this three-day workshop, participants will explore how racial identities are invoked and made relevant in everyday conversations, and learn how to analyze race, racism, and discrimination in social interaction. Participants will draw on their expertise on race and learn how to conduct fine-grained analysis of language and culture using ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA). The course will take place over three days and will consist of four sessions. For each session, participants will watch on their own time a one-hour pre-recorded lecture, and then participate in a two-hour facilitated workshop that reviews and works with the material introduced in the lecture. The workshop will take place online, in real-time; however, it will take place in two streams based on location and time zone.

Lecture Session topics include: Theories of race and interaction; Professional data practices  Transcription; Analyzing race in interaction. Lecturers include: Francesca Williamson, Kevin Whitehead, Alexa Hepburn, Joseph Garafanga, Leah Wingard,  Natasha Shrikant, and Tim Berard.

Any questions should be directed to the organizing committee at analysingrace AT conversationanalysis.org 

Study Abroad NYU London: Intercultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning (UK)

Study Abroad

Summer 2022 Study Abroad: Intercultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning, New York University in London, UK, July 4 – 18, 2022. Deadline: March 23, 2022 (or until all places filled).

Examine intercultural perspectives on teaching and learning across national borders. Explore the role that class, race, gender, economics, politics, religion, and cultural heritage play in the evolving dynamics in language policy, bilingual and world language education, and international education.

Participants in the Summer 2022 program in London will critically reflect upon the challenges and opportunities facing educators, school administrators, policy-makers, community organizers, students, etc., in language education, intercultural relations, and international education in the United Kingdom. Our studies will consider the impact of large-scale events across the UK and around the world, such as the anti-globalization forces behind Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic on education and intergroup relations, the evolving Sino-British relationship over the political transformation in Hong Kong, cross-border infusion and adaptation of immigrants or refugees.

Through seminars and guided site visits, we will share insights with scholars, teachers, policy-makers, writers, administrators, and immigrant community organizers in language, as well as international and intercultural education. Museum visits, theatrical performances, and day trips to important cultural sites are being planned to enrich our experience in intercultural learning positions.

NOTE: This course will be taught by Professor Casey Lum, Associate Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue.

New York U: Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (USA)

“JobVice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Belonging, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, NY, USA. Deadline: 1 February 2022.

The Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (Associate/Full Professor, tenure or non-tenure track) will provide institutional leadership for and oversight of strategic initiatives to support and grow a culture committed to promoting equity, community partnerships, and a social justice agenda throughout NYU Steinhardt and beyond it. This position will serve as the primary point of contact on issues of equity and belonging within the School, working with appropriate stakeholders from students, faculty, administrators, and staff.  The ideal candidate will have a strong history of academic leadership and scholarly productivity in research or creative work related to equity, belonging, and social justice, with a demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively with a variety of constituent groups, both inside and outside the University. This is a half-time administrative appointment for a Steinhardt faculty member who will conduct research, teach, and advise students in their home department. Application review will begin right away. For best consideration, please submit by February 1, 2022. Desired start date is September 1, 2022 or as soon thereafter as possible.  Additional information about the position may be obtained from Search Committee Chair, Dr. Shondel Nero at shondel.nero@nyu.edu.

U Manchester: Intercultural Communication (UK)

“JobLecturer in Intercultural Communication , The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. Deadline: 24 January 2022.

 

Applications are invited for the teaching and research post of Lecturer in Intercultural Communication, which is tenable from 1 September 2022 and offered on an open-ended basis. The appointed person will teach on the MA program in Intercultural Communication. The candidate must have a PhD (awarded) in a relevant field and demonstrable teaching experience in Intercultural Communication at university level as well as in curriculum and program development. Your research may focus on any aspect of Intercultural Communication. Only applicants with high quality publications will be considered. A successful record of grant capture and of PhD supervision would be highly advantageous. Experience with virtual learning environments and in developing online teaching materials is essential. Expertise in translation studies and/or foreign language proficiency would be beneficial. You must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to empathize with students.

U libre de Bruxelles: Postdoc in Intercultural Encounters (Belgium)

PostdocsPostdoctoral Researcher on the project REsilience and SOlidarity in intercultural encounters between displaced migrants and host society members: An ego-centered NETwork approach”, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. Deadline: 9 January 2022.

The Center for Social and Cultural Psychology of ULB is seeking to hire a 2-year Post-Doctoral Research Associate to conduct research within the RESONET project, starting on March 1st, 2022. The RESONET project is a collaborative research project funded by the European network WEAVE « Research Funding Without Borders » (FNS, FNRS, FWO). It is led by: Prof. Karen Phalet (KU Leuven) and Dr. Emanunele Politi (KU Leuven), Prof. Eva G.T. Green (Université de Lausanne), as well as Prof. Laurent Licata and Prof. Antoine Roblain (Université Libre de Bruxelles). The postdoc researcher is expected to contribute to the RESONET Project under the supervision of Laurent Licata and Antoine Roblain. She/he will have no teaching obligations. He/she will be expected to contribute to collective work on the project, and to present and publish individual or collective research outputs.

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