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

 

Royal Holloway U of London Job Ad: International Business (UK)

“JobLecturer in Strategy, International Business and/or Entrepreneurship, School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. Deadline: 16 January 2019.

Search for a scholar, educated at doctoral level, with an emerging research profile. The successful candidate will also contribute to leading research in any one or more of the following research themes:

  • Centre for Critical and Historical Research on Organisation and Society (CHRONOS)
  • Centre for research digital organisation and society (DOS)
  • Centre for Research into Sustainability (CRIS)
  • Intercultural and international perspectives on management
  • Knowledge and organisational learning
  • Working life

Richmond (the American International University in London) Job Ad: First Year Studies (UK)

Assistant/Associate Professor of First Year Studies
Closing date: Sunday, 4 June 2017

Richmond, The American International University in London, is seeking to appoint an Assistant or Associate Professor of First Year Studies to teach, develop, and oversee the courses Transitions I & II As Richmond is an international university with students from over 100 countries and has a distinct intercultural mission, an international outlook and experience of both US and UK systems of higher education would be a distinct advantage. The appointment would begin in September 2017.

An MA or PhD in a related field and an active research record supported by publications or with demonstrable potential to develop such a record to complement and enhance the current research within the department, are desirable.

Appointment will be made at Assistant or Associate Professor level, depending on qualifications and with a salary commensurate with teaching and practical experience in the field. Referees will be contacted prior to shortlisted candidates being invited for interview and applicants will be notified of this in advance. Applications for more than one of these three advertised positions are welcome.

The Assistant/Associate Professor of First Year Studies will be required to work primarily at the Richmond Campus, but may be required to work at the Kensington Campus, as teaching and administrative workloads demand.

Richmond is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts and business studies University. It is accredited in the USA by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and in the UK by The Open University.

Overseas Development Institute Job Ad: Humanitarian Policy (UK)

Senior Research Fellow – Humanitarian Policy Group
Overseas Development Institute, London
Closes: 9th March 2017

ODI aims to inspire and inform policy and practice to reduce poverty by locking together high-quality applied research and practical policy advice. ODI is the UK’s leading independent think tank on international development. Our Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) is one of the world’s leading teams of independent researchers and information professionals working on humanitarian issues. It is dedicated to improving humanitarian policy and practice through a combination of high-quality analysis, dialogue and debate. We are looking for a Senior Research Fellow with world class knowledge of humanitarian policy issues to lead one or more strands of our research and policy development on conflict analysis and humanitarian responses, as set out by HPG’s upcoming Integrated Programme for 2017-2019.

You will join a dynamic team of researchers, policy experts and communications professionals, and will support the Head of HPG in helping to drive a multidisciplinary and innovative research programme through strategy development, fundraising, research, policy engagement and public affairs.

About the job:

  • Research and fundraising work: conducting high-quality, applied research, and seeking external funding for research proposals
  • Policy advice, public affairs and dissemination: represent ideas, knowledge and research findings to relevant policy makers and practitioners
  • Project management: implementation and management of research, advisory and public affairs projects, including staff and other team members

You will have:

  • Extensive experience in conflict analysis and deep knowledge of key issues and organisations in humanitarian assistance and development
  • Experience in policy-oriented research, demonstrated by an extensive track record of publications and reports;
  • Extensive developing-country experience;
  • Strong analytical skills, a capacity to write clearly, and excellent organisational and oral communication skills
  • A demonstrated capacity for policy advisory or public-affairs work, based on an analytical approach, and an innovative and creative communications ability.
  • An ability to translate research ideas into fundable projects
  • A demonstrated ability to work as part of a team

Newton International Fellowships (UK)

Newton International FellowshipsThe deadline for expressions of interest for the 2017-18 round is 22nd February 2017

All School of Advanced Study, University of London member institutes welcome proposals from suitably qualified applicants for the Newton International Fellowships scheme. These enable early-stage postdoctoral researchers from any country outside UK to work at UK research institutions with the aim of fostering long-term international collaborations.

Applicants must have a PhD, or be in the final stages of their PhD, provided it will be completed by the start of the fellowship. Fellowships are tenable for up to two years. They include a subsistence award of up to £24,000 per year, up to £8,000 per year for research expenses and a one-off payment of up to £2,000 for relocation expenses. Further specifications are available on the British Academy (for humanities and social sciences) and the Royal Society (for natural sciences) websites.

Deadline: Wednesday, 22nd March 2017.

Process: Expressions of interest must be sent to the relevant institute director (CC research AT sas.ac.uk) by 22nd February 2017.

Once approved, the application process will be coordinated by the School research service.

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CIEE Job Ads: Director of Study Abroad; Student Life Director & Assistant (UK)

Director of CIEE Global Institute, London
Council on International Educational Exchange – Study Abroad
Closes: 31st January 2017
Reports To: Regional Director of Operations, Global Institutes

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international education and exchange. For 70 years CIEE has helped thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available. Serving over 300 U.S. College and University consortium members, CIEE operates sixty study centers in over forty countries that support study abroad programs for over 8,000 students annually. In addition, as the largest sponsor for U.S. Department of State J-1 Visa programs, CIEE helps nearly 25,000 international students participate in U.S. based exchange programs annually. CIEE programs and services span study abroad, teach abroad, international faculty development seminars, and inbound exchange study, work, and internship programs for today’s high school and university students, professionals, and educators.

We strive to lead a robust community of international program providers and sponsors through innovation, exemplary service and exceptional efficiency. Our success depends on having the very best professionals. CIEE is committed to recruiting and retaining the best people in the industry, particularly those who are passionate about international education, are self-starters with high levels of energy and autonomy, and are dedicated to exceed expectations in every challenge.

Responsibilities:
The Director of the CIEE Global Institute – London is responsible for the quality and success of CIEE programs offered in London, with overall responsibility for the management of all aspects of the Global Institute, ensuring the highest levels of quality and customer satisfaction. A significant feature of the work is the planning and delivery of the CIEE Open Campus program, a highly innovative study abroad concept that enables students to design a program from six to 36 weeks, in up to three different locations. This program is defined by the highest standards of educational quality, rigorous coordination between Open Campus locations, and providing access to students of diverse backgrounds. The Director works closely with a core management team who are responsible for the effective, timely, and on-budget delivery of multiple program aspects.

Skills and Experience:
Successful applicants will be seasoned professionals with at least five years’ experience in a leadership role within study abroad, international educational exchange, or a related higher education institutional setting. A Ph.D. is preferred, while a Master’s degree is required.


Student Life Director
Council on International Educational Exchange – Study Abroad
Closes: 31st January 2017
Reports To: Director, Global Institute – London

Summary of Position: The Student Life Director is responsible for design and delivery of student life programming, community and intercultural engagement activities, and establishing and enforcing procedures to maintain the health, safety, and security of the students at the Global Institute facility. The Director manages the staff of the Student Life Office (SLO) that facilitates cultural integration between students and the broader community in London and coordinates (with the Academics Department) the planning and delivery of experiential learning opportunities such as extra-curricular events, day-trips, and overnight Study Tours. The SLO staff also ensures student access to healthcare providers and establishes preventative and responsive measures and protocols to ensure residential safety and compliance with behavior requirements.

NOTE: CIEE is also advertising two related positions: Student Life Assistant and Operations Assistant, also based in London.

CFP Britain, Canada & the Arts (London)

Britain, Canada, and the Arts: Cultural Exchange as Post-war Renewal
15-17 June 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS
Papers are invited for a major international, interdisciplinary conference to be held at Senate House, London, in collaboration with ENCAP (Cardiff University) and the University of Westminster. Coinciding with and celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, this conference will focus on the strong culture of artistic exchange, influence, and dialogue between Canada and Britain, with a particular but not exclusive emphasis on the decades after World War II.

The immediate post-war decades saw both countries look to the arts and cultural institutions as a means to address and redress contemporary post-war realities. Central to the concerns of the moment was the increasing emergence of the United States as a dominant cultural as well as political power. In 1951, the Massey Commission gave formal voice in Canada to a growing instinct, amongst both artists and politicians, simultaneously to recognize a national tradition of cultural excellence and to encourage its development and perpetuation through national institutions. This moment complemented a similar post-war engagement with social and cultural renewal in Britain that was in many respects formalized through the establishment of the Arts Council of Great Britain. It was further developed in the founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Opera, Sadler’s Wells Ballet, the Design Council and later the National Theatre, and in the diversity and expansion of television and
film.

While these various initiatives were often instigated by a strong national if not nationalist instinct, they were also informed by an established dynamic of social, political, and cultural dialogue. In the years before the war, that dynamic had been marked primarily by the prominent, indisputably anglophile voices of such influential Canadians in Britain as Beverly Baxter and Lord Beaverbrook. In English-speaking Canada, an established recognition of Britain as a dominant, if not originating, influence on definitions of cultural excellence continued to predominate. In the years following the war, however, that dynamic was to change, and an increased movement of artists, intellectuals, and artistic policy-makers between the two countries saw the reciprocal development of an emphatically modern, confident, and progressive definition of contemporary cultural activity.

This conference aims to expose and explore the breadth of this exchange of social and cultural ideals, artistic talent, intellectual traditions, and aesthetic formulations. We invite papers from a variety of critical and disciplinary perspectives — and particularly encourage contributions from scholars and practitioners working in theatre, history, literature, politics, music, film and television, cultural studies, design, and visual art.

Some indicative post-war cultural figures and areas of influence:
Henry Moore and the Art Gallery of Ontario
John Grierson at the National Film Board
Leonard Brockington and the CBC
Sydney Newman, Alvin Rakoff and British and Canadian television drama
Tyrone Guthrie, Barry Morse, Tanya Moiseiwitch, Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, John Neville, Christopher Newton, Robin Phillips, Barry Morse, Brian Bedford, Christopher Plummer, Donald Sutherland, and others: developments in staging, acting, repertoire, and theatre-design at the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival, the Old Vic, the Chichester Festival Theatre, the National Theatre
Powys Thomas at the CBC, the Stratford Festival, and the National Theatre School of Canada
Celia Franca, Gweneth Lloyd, and national ballet
Robertson Davies as novelist, actor, cultural critic in Britain and Canada; at the Stratford Festival; at the University of Toronto’s Massey College
Yousuf Karsh and the iconography of the mid-twentieth century
Intellectual exchange and influence: Northrop Frye, Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, John Kenneth Galbraith
Elizabeth Smart and the London literary scene
Ronald Bryden and theatre criticism in London
Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett: Canadian tours and compositions
Glenn Gould as musical interpreter, recording artist, celebrity personality, documentarian
Mordecai Richler, the cultural scene in London, and the dramatization of Anglophone Quebec
Mazo de la Roche and Lucy Maud Montgomery: literary influence and adaptations
Ben Wicks as cartoonist, journalist, and post-war memoirist

Other areas of exploration include (but are certainly not limited to):
Quebec and ‘French Canada’ in the British artistic scene
The cultural presence and influence of the Governor General
Publishers and publishing networks
Newspapers, media magnates, and editorialists from Beaverbrook to Black
Universities and the ‘modernisation’ of higher education
Popular culture and popular music
Cultural policy-making
Traditions of humour and satire
‘Distinct cultures’ within the larger nation
Constructions of indigeneity and native culture
National culture as anti-Americanism
Definitions of diversity, audience, and national identity
Architecture and urban development
More recent and contemporary exchanges in literature, art, politics, theatre, film, design, television, and the media

Proposals (max. 250 words) for papers of 20 minutes can be sent to the organizers, Irene Morra (Cardiff University) and John Wyver (University of Westminster), at canbritconference[at]gmail.com (mailto:canbritconference[at]gmail.com) by 1 November 2016.

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