Step 7: Classroom Work
Kazdy sadzi wedlug siebie (Everyone judges according to themselves)
Step 7 Goals
- Teachers reflect on the hidden curriculum in their classrooms
- Students do lessons and projects about race, ethnicity, culture, identity, equality and discrimination
- Intercultural education is integrated into the formal curriculum
Why the hidden curriculum?
The hidden curriculum refers to a range of things – attitudes, opinions, values, ways of behaving; that students learn from the experience of being in school. The hidden curriculum or culture of the school can be more familiar to the dominant cultural group, making it easier for those groups to conform and thrive. Revealing the hidden curriculum, to ourselves and our students, can help to equalise opportunities in school and deal with cultural conflicts. Teachers can do this by …
- Examining our own hidden biases, this can help open our eyes to how we treat our students differently, according to their ethnicity, gender or class
- Recognising different cultural identities validates students. This ensures we are not treating all of our students ‘the same’, but equally.
- Involving students in adopting classroom rules and routines, helps students understand the school culture
- Reflecting the diverse cultural backgrounds of students in your classroom displays and choice of texts
- Creating a social environment in the school and classroom that affirms a positive sense of identity for all ethnic groups
- Building positive relationships with students
- Understanding how racism operates in society, so you can recognise and challenge it in school
- Getting the balance right – not expecting minority students to be a spokesperson for their cultural group or pinpointing them as different. Creating a safe environment where people are able to express their own differences, if they want to.
Doing the ‘Yellow Flag Self Awareness Training’ and making time to talk to other teachers in your school, will help you to understand these issues better.
How does my culture and background influence my work, especially with students from cultural backgrounds different to my own?
Where does intercultural education fit?
Intercultural Education is relevant to all subject areas. According to the NCCA (2006), students will develop ‘appropriate attitudes and values if intercultural content is across subject areas and within the whole life of the school’ (p.50).
What kinds of lessons should we devise?
Lessons should seek to develop skills, appreciating our own and others’ values and attitudes, and build knowledge and understanding. The Yellow Flag Programme has adopted the following NCCA intercultural themes :
- Identity and Belonging: Exploring Irish culture and the cultural diversity that is characteristic of belonging in Ireland; Developing a positive sense of self
- Similarity and Difference: Recognising the diversity of values, beliefs and ways of life in Ireland, the many layers in our identities, recognition of bias and stereotyping
- Human Rights and Responsibility: We are of one race, the human race; exploring our human rights and responsibilities; fairness and unfairness; exploring notions of cultural superiority
- Discrimination and Equality: Understanding and recognising direct and indirect discrimination; power, privilege and overcoming oppression; understanding racism; ability to challenge unfair bias, discrimination and racism
- Conflict and Conflict Resolution: Developing skills to work through intercultural conflict and arrive at resolutions.
The ‘Classroom Resources’ page on the Yellow Flag website identifies a range of useful ideas, resources, texts and lesson plans teachers can use and adapt for primary and post primary levels.
How can I build work around the 5 themes into my lessons?
How does it fit into the formal curriculum?
The Yellow Flag themes tie in neatly with the formal curriculum both at primary and post primary level. See the on-line resources to get ideas about how it can be integrated into your subject area.
What have we learned about our own and other cultures?
Find out more
Post Primary School Resources:
Primary School Resources: