Exploring teachers’ perceptions and practices of intercultural education in an international school

AS Roiha*, Mélodine Sommier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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This article examines teachers’ perceptions and experiences of intercultural education. The participants (n = 11) were teachers who work in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of an International Baccalaureate (IB) school in the Netherlands. The school was chosen as the context for this study due to the emphasis on intercultural understanding in IB education. The data were collected through a closed and open-ended survey in 2019 and complemented by an ethnographical method. The results showed that the teachers mostly drew on cultural-differentialist approaches in their definition of intercultural education. They considered intercultural education to be important for the pupils’ future but felt insecure in implementing it. All teachers reported implementing intercultural education in their teaching at least to some extent, however with some limitations. The teachers focused predominantly on national cultures and traditions to address interculturality in class. Despite the overall trend, a few teachers expressed more critical views on interculturality and expanded their perceptions of it to ‘small cultures’. The findings of this study speak to the importance of paying attention to pre-service teacher training to provide teachers with tangible tools to implement a type of intercultural education that departs from solely essentialist views of culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-463
Number of pages18
JournalIntercultural Education
Issue number4
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2021

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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