The Contribution of Multicultural and International Education to the Creation of Sustainable Learning Environments Which Support the South African Struggle


This paper conceptualises how an expanded notion of multicultural education could support the achievement of a socially just, diverse and cohesive South African society. Rising ethnic tensions and renewed manifestations of xenophobia are a constant reminder that South Africa has to intensify its efforts to achieve a society which is united in its diversity. In the context of basic education, laudable efforts have been made to overcome challenges posed by cultural diversity in the classroom through multicultural education. In higher education, both in South Africa and globally, the notion of internationalisation of higher education has recognised the contribution of cultural and national diversity to the achievement of educational and specifically, intercultural outcomes. This paper demonstrates that elements of internationalisation may be infused in basic education to achieve multicultural and intercultural learning outcomes in the classroom. It, first, unpacks the principles of social justice, multicultural education and internationalisation. Thereafter, it develops a theoretical framework which allows for an expansion of the notion of multicultural education, which will be reconceptualised to encompass the deliberate creation of diversity in the classroom. Suitable teaching interventions which capitalise on diversity to create sustainable learning environments will be proposed, and opportunities for further research will be demonstrated.

Author Information
C Hagenmeier, University of Venda, South Africa
TS Mashau, University of Venda, South Africa

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2016
Stream: Education: social justice and social change

This paper is part of the ECE2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon