Including Learners from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

Barden, Owen and Youl, William and Youl, Janice Including Learners from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds. In: Learning, Teaching, Coaching and Mentoring Adult Leaners. Lessons for Professionalism and Partnership. Routledge.

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Abstract

Imagine fluently speaking two languages, but not English, and having two degrees from Cairo University, and then having to retrain in a new language – English. This is the example of a teacher from Egypt, a Coptic Christian, who managed to immigrate to Australia just before the Arab Spring political uprising in January 2011. Coptic Christians faced discrimination and violent clashes. Her husband came to Australia on a skilled immigrant visa. E’s qualifications were not recognised in Australia, so she had to retrain. E’s story is but one of a number from Australian and British adult students we obtained by interview, and which we report in this chapter. In relaying these students' voices, we attempt to re-emphasise the importance of mentors, coaches and tutors understanding the principles underpinning inclusiveness. This chapter looks at cultural aspects of inclusive education. Whereas 'inclusion' is often taken only to refer to disabled students or those deemed to have 'special needs', in this chapter we use it in a broader sense, encompassing learners whose needs arise at least in part from their diverse cultural backgrounds. Teachers of adult learners increasingly find themselves working with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, some of whom will also be disabled. Psychological factors such as trauma, and socioeconomic factors such as poverty, further impact on students' education and opportunities. We present evidence of some such learners' educational experiences, and use it to argue that it is imperative that educators understand the cultural backgrounds of their students, and the wider global context, in striving to provide inclusive adult education.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: inclusion, further education, diversity, culture, teaching, learning, adult education
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Disability and Education
Depositing User: Susan Blagbrough
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 16:02
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 16:02
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/740

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