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Identifying and developing effective approaches to foster intercultural understanding in schools
journal contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jessica Walton, Naomi Priest, Yin ParadiesYin Paradies
This paper provides a systematic review of education literature focused on identifying school-based approaches for developing students’ intercultural understanding. Studies were assessed using selection criteria and then critically appraised for study quality. A key finding from the review is that developing students’ intercultural understanding beyond cultural awareness requires students and teachers to take a critical approach toward cultural diversity, as well as the opportunity for ongoing intercultural and intergroup contact. Studies reported that only building cultural awareness and knowledge is not enough to promote long-term changes in attitudes. There is a need for more rigorously evaluated longitudinal school-based interventions. Finally, studies consistently call for investment in teachers’ professional and personal intercultural capabilities. The paper concludes by calling for school-based interventions that are informed by best practice approaches at a whole school level in order to effectively develop students’ intercultural attitudes and skills.