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63 | septembre 2013
L’école et la diversité des cultures

School and cultural diversity
La escuela y la diversidad de las culturas
Edited by Abdeljalil Akkari
Couverture RIES 63
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ISBN 978-2-85420-600-5

The issue of cultural diversity at school has attracted an increasing degree of interest within education systems over the past few decades. Nevertheless, a number of doubts and questions remain with regards to the relevance and the impact of this increased interest and the way it is acted upon in terms of everyday school life.
Firstly, there are a number of different concepts that might be used to analyse the issue of diversity, including multiculturalism, interculturalism, integration, identity and assimilation. What, then, are the favoured choices and approaches, depending on the context, and the questions surrounding them?
There are also, of course, a number of educational issues to consider. What effect, for example, does the promotion of their cultures of origin have on pupils' academic results? Which members of staff are responsible for promoting cultural diversity at school and how do they go about it?
Most importantly, what exactly are recognition policies expected to achieve: an improvement in the academic results achieved by pupils from minority backgrounds? Recognition of the individual's entitlement to one or several identities? Is this a societal objective (education in tolerance, anti-racism, etc.)? Do existing initiatives target specific audiences or are they designed to transform education and the school experience for everyone?
The texts incorporated in the no 63 of the Revue Internationale d'Education de Sèvres highlight how topical the debate on such issues actually is in several countries, including Algeria, Brazil, France, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Canada (Quebec) and Switzerland, as well as among international bodies.
Using a series of specific observation points such as the treatment of linguistic diversity in schools and the training of teachers in taking cultural diversity into account, for example, it is possible to better define the responses provided and understand to what extent the debate on culture in the school environment reflects the debates on socio-cultural diversity within each society.
An issue coordinated by Abdeljalil Akkari.

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