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Intercultural Education through School Geography in Malta

Borg Axisa, Glorianne; (2018) Intercultural Education through School Geography in Malta. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Population mobility and globalisation led to social, political and economic challenges globally, raising complex debates related to citizenship, human rights, democracy and education. Intercultural education is a response to the culturally heterogeneous societies. As understood in this study, it is a means to address the inequalities in education systems. It is a commitment to social justice by reducing achievement gaps. The challenge lies in translating this principle into practice within highly structured school systems. This research questions how school geography addresses the principles of intercultural education within the Maltese Islands. Both geography education and intercultural education are concerned to develop themes related to the changing global context. This study tracks if teachers of geography, in their role as ‘curriculum makers’, embrace the underlying principles of intercultural education and ‘powerful disciplinary knowledge’, to address social inequity. ‘Powerful knowledge’ as conceived by Michael Young considers subjects as a resource that enables teachers to take the students beyond their experience to higher forms of thought, to avoid perpetuating current inequalities. This research is a mixed methods case study. The data generation includes a questionnaire, several informal interviews and two focus group discussions with teachers of geography, a documentation review and a research journal. The scenario portrayed by the participating teachers is that of a heavy loaded exam oriented system that does not allow for flexibility, where often teachers cannot engage students with disciplinary knowledge and activities that allow them to think critically and reflect on alternatives. Most of the teachers seek to drive the students to reflect on their context and social equity, but not necessarily through disciplinary knowledge. This reflects teachers’ disposition but points out that unless they are aware of their ‘equity literacy’ and considers disciplinary knowledge as a teaching resource, they risk perpetuating education inequalities.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Intercultural Education through School Geography in Malta
Event: UCL
Language: English
Keywords: Geography Education, Intercultural Education, Powerful knowledge, Equity Literacy, Curriculum Maker
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041945
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