Reorienting Teacher Education to address
Sustainability & International Understanding
22-25 August 2006, Penang, Malaysia
Cultural Diversity and Intercultural
Understanding within EIU/ESD
Joy de Leo
CULTURE - UNESCO Universal Declaration on
Cultural Diversity defines Culture as:
The spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a
social group, including art, literature, identity, lifestyles, ways
of living together, value systems, beliefs, traditions & practices
Intercultural Understanding is enhanced by an appreciation of
and respect for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity and Heritage
“Respect for diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and
cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding
are the best guarantees of peace and security”
“Preserving cultural diversity as a living treasure guarantees
survival of humanity”
UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001)
UNDERSTANDING Where does it fit?
ESD – Education for Sustainable Development
3 Perspectives – Environmental, Economic, Socio-Cultural
EIU – Education for International Understanding
Dismantling the culture of war
Living with Justice and Compassion
Cultivating Inner Peace
Living in harmony with the Earth
Promoting Human Rights and Responsibilities
Building Cultural Respect, Reconciliation and Solidarity
Education for Intercultural Understanding is contained within
EIU & also within the 3 ESD perspectives but is more specific
A holistic & integrated approach to ESD/EIU requires interconnectedness
Identity, Diversity & Pluralism
Cultural Diversity & Human Rights
Cultural Diversity & Creativity
Cultural Diversity & International Solidarity
Cultural Diversity:
also fits within ESD and EIU, having environmental,
socio-cultural & economic dimensions
No Peace without Development
No Development without Peace
No Peace without Equity & Justice
Bio cultural Diversity
The links between language, culture & the environment suggest
that biological, cultural & linguistic diversity go together, as
distinct but closely related aspects of the diversity of life.
Cultural and Biological diversity face common threats due to
Loss of biodiversity are accompanied by loss of cultural and
linguistic diversity and indigenous knowledge
Links between how different cultures shape the environment
and how the environment shapes culture.
Inter relatedness within the ESD/EIU Framework
A commitment to values of peace also lead to a dedication to
equity, justice and stewardship of the environment.
Identity, Diversity and Pluralism
The common heritage of humanity
As a source of exchange, innovation & creativity, Cultural Diversity is as
necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. The common heritage of
humanity to be preserved for the benefit of current & future generations.
From cultural diversity to cultural pluralism
The inclusion & participation of all diverse citizens are guarantees of peace,
social cohesion, harmonious interaction and a dynamic civil society.
Cultural diversity as a factor in development
Cultural diversity, a tool of development for economic growth & as a means to
achieve more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral & spiritual existence.
Cultural Diversity and Human Rights
Human rights as guarantees of cultural diversity
An ethical imperative linked to respect for human dignity.
A commitment to human rights esp for ethnic minorities & indigenous peoples
Cultural rights as an enabling environment for cultural diversity
Implementation of universal cultural & linguistic rights to express, create &
disseminate in their language & to conduct their cultural practices.
Right to quality education that respects their cultural identity
Access for all to cultural diversity
Media pluralism, multilingualism & access to full & free expression &
dissemination including in digital form.
Equal access to art & scientific & technological knowledge.
Not just knowing for Peace with the mind
But understanding with the heart
Taking action for changed attitudes and behaviours
“.. to change our way of educating, communicating and living
together.. to instil this change in the minds of youth… by touching
the mind - one’s rational intelligence, as well as the heart - and
transmit the values of solidarity, peace and non-violence.”
“educate for tolerance in our schools and communities,
in our homes and workplaces, and most of all
in our hearts and minds”
Sir John Daniel, Former ADG Education UNESCO, 2002
3 Cultural Diversity and Creativity
Cultural heritage as the wellspring of creativity
Cultural & linguistic heritage in all its forms to be preserved, enhanced &
handed to future generations to foster creativity & to inspire genuine dialogue
among cultures.
Cultural goods and services: Commodities of a unique kind
Due recognition given to the rights of authors/artists of diverse creative works,
but not treated merely as consumer goods
Cultural policies as catalysts of creativity
Cultural policies create conditions conducive to production & dissemination of
diverse cultural goods through cultural industries at the local & global level.
No problem can be solved from the same
system of thinking that created it
Albert Einstein
Cultures and Civilizations have the potential to
complement each other and to work together
to solve complex problems for the benefit
and survival of all humanity
Cultural Diversity and International Solidarity
Strengthening capacities for creation & dissemination worldwide
Enable developing countries to establish viable and globally competitive
cultural industries
Partnerships for the promotion of cultural diversity
The pre eminence of public sector policy in partnership with the private
sector and civil society to be reaffirmed
The Role of UNESCO
Promote the principles, serve as a reference point, set standards,
raise awareness & capacity building to facilitate implementation.
Content – for Cultural Diversity & Intercultural Education
Understanding - Learning about one’s own & other cultures
Diversity – valuing, appreciation & respect for cultural/linguistic
diversity & acknowledging shared commonalities & universal values
Creative/Productive Diversity – diversity as a creative force & socioeconomic benefit, building cultural industries, learning from each other
Mutual Respect for Cultural identity, language, faith, heritage
Equity, equal opportunity, equal access (gender & marginalised)
Human rights – cultural & linguistic rights (indigenous & refugees)
Social and Cultural Inclusion – participation in all areas of life
Peace, inner/outer, harmony – conflict resolution, mediation
Reconciliation, process of forgiveness and healing
Indigenous issues – linguistic, cultural, spiritual, land rights, traditional
law, preserving & valuing indigenous knowledge
Countering Racism, discrimination, xenophobia
Identity and Heritage – strengthening identity, preserving heritage
Appreciation of Diversity (in all its forms)
Mutual Respect, Tolerance, Acceptance, Understanding
Human Dignity, Individual/Collective Worth
Equality, Equity, Justice, Fairness, Equanimity
Peace, Harmony, Social cohesion, Non Violence
Care & Concern for others, Compassion, Courage
Responsibility – personal, social, civic, environmental
Inclusion, Sharing, Collective well being
Truth, Reconciliation, Forgiveness, Love
Strengthening cultural identity, language and heritage
The above values relate mostly to socio-cultural dimensions
but also to economic and environmental dimensions.
Learning Environment conducive to ESD/EIU
Reflects the shared values across all aspects of the school
Student–centred - Teacher as role model, facilitator, co-learner
Observes human rights – is equitable and inclusive
Is safe, secure, supportive, respectful, valuing of diversity
Is active, participative and involves students in decision making
Encourages critical reflection, discussion, questioning
Integrates learning across curriculum – uses teachable moments
Fosters the full development and potential of the whole child
Provides a wide range of learning opportunities for diverse
learning styles & intelligences
Involves the learner’s experience, builds on their interests
Involves the whole school community – identify shared values
All benefit from appreciating/understanding cultural diversity
Develop knowledge, concepts and skills enabling learners to
participate effectively on national and international levels.
Promote, value and use the cultural/linguistic diversity
Include and value a range of knowledge, experiences and
view points of a culturally plural society
Provide students with accurate information of the history, lives
and cultures of indigenous and other peoples.
Value and include the cultural and linguistic knowledge and
skills of learners in the learning.
Promote a human rights and human relations approach for
countering racism and discrimination
Allow learners to recognise, acknowledge and engage in diverse
learning experiences.
A Culturally Inclusive Curriculum requires:
A whole-organization approach - content, curriculum, teaching
practices, learning environment, organisational processes and ethos
A learner-focussed approach valuing the cultural/linguistic
background and experience of learners.
Democratic processes in teaching/learning, & supportive teaching
and learning environment that models democracy in action.
An integrated and integrative curriculum approach
Promotion of language learning
A conflict-sensitive curriculum address socio-historical issues to
understand causes of injustice and how these may be resolved.
A supportive learning environment - affective, cognitive,
practical/functional and relevant to the learners.
Involves parents and communities, by increasing their
involvement in the children’s learning.
Educators become central figures who care, understand, guide
and motivate learners.
Culturally appropriate Indigenous Education
Teachers use relevant and effective, culturally-appropriate
methods of teaching.
Learning strategies acknowledge and accommodate different
learning styles of all learners.
Students learn directly from Indigenous people or use
resources developed by/in consultation with Indigenous people.
Learners are provided with opportunities to actively develop
understanding, skills, knowledge and empathy.
Develop skills in critical analysis to understand the structure
of power and injustice
Awareness of racism & discrimination & strategies for
countering racism
Learning involves Indigenous peoples’ stories and view points.
Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
Incorporate Indigenous Perspectives across the curriculum
Foster understanding and work together for a shared future
in which all peoples are treated with respect and dignity
Consult local elders & custodians & use approved teaching resources
Celebrate, value and learn from & about indigenous peoples, histories,
cultures, languages, achievements, issues past/present, in indigenous
places if possible & with cultural instructors
Strive for equitable access to education & learning outcomes
Use culturally appropriate strategies for indigenous learners
Value human rights, counter stereotyping and racism
Students learn about and participate actively in Reconciliation,
healing and forgiveness with indigenous peoples.
Foster positive interactions among students – teacher role modelling
Acknowledge the historical facts – Truth
Apologise – express genuine collective sorrow
and grieving
Forgiveness - of self and of others
Take Reconciliation action - act in solidarity to
right the wrongs
Implications for Teacher Training
Awareness & knowledge of key diversity & sustainability
issues particularly those relevant to the local context
Deep knowledge of one’s own culture & that of others
Systems thinking, critical & analytical thinking skills
Ability to identify, clarify, develop and live the values
Understand the process of human development,
Values formation and the process of change
Develop skills in appropriate teaching/learning processes
and methodologies to integrate relevant content and values
in school curricula, classroom practice & in whole school
Develop communication, values clarification & consensus
skills with students, parents and the school community
Awareness of available materials and resources and ability
to develop own resources relevant to diversity & ESD/EIU
Reorienting Teacher Education
to address Sustainability
22-25 August 2006, Penang, Malaysia
Cultural Diversity and Intercultural
Understanding within EIU/ESD
Joy de Leo
Dimension Of The Human Person
As Individual / As Member Of Society
The Core Values
Learning To Be Fully Human