A curriculum for ethnic diversity : documenting the process of change in a secondary school
This is a case study of a project in curriculum development which was undertaken in a Berkshire secondary school between 1986 and 1990. The aim of the study is to describe, analyse, and interpret the processes which were involved in the project: the reasons why it was undertaken, the strategies which it employed, and its impact upon the institution. The idea of an initiative in curriculum development was the product of long term educational and political changes outside the school. The study sets the project in its educational context, by tracing the origins of a theory of multicultural/anti-racist education. It then analyses the socio-political context, to explain why there was a shift in government education policy in the early 1980s, in the direction of multiculturalism. In 1986 Parkview school was invited to participate in a DES funded course, designed to pilot approaches in implementing the new policy. The project resulted from Parkview's participation. The study explains the situation of the school at that time, and shows how it influenced the way in which the project developed. Evaluation exercises carried out towards the end of the initiative suggested that the project led to significant development in the school's formal curriculum; that it contributed towards a change in the ethos of the school; and that it had other unanticipated but beneficial effects. The reasons for the success of the project are analysed, and compared with theories of change. Since the project was undertaken there have been considerable changes in the political context of education. In particular, there has been a decisive shift towards a market-led view of education as primarily concerned with economic growth rather than social justice. The study asks how the changes which have resulted (such as the National Curriculum, and the diminished role of LEAs) have affected the cause of multicultural/anti-racist education; and concludes by considering how teachers might contribute towards curriculum development in the future.