Intercultural Education: Ethnographic and Religious Approaches

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Written for teachers, teacher trainers and their students, and others working with children and young people, this book provides a valuable resource for those engaged in religious studies and South Asian studies, comprising a rich library of data relevant to current debates in these fields. Drawing on field studies of children of South Asian and other backgrounds in Britain, Nesbitt argues the value to schools of teachers adopting an ethnographic approach in intercultural education. Examples from primary, secondary and higher education demonstrate the urgent need for teachers and others to be better informed of cultural diversity and to understand the interconnection between ethnographic studies, pastoral care, the curriculum, and international events. Intercultural Education examines a wide variety of issues, including spirituality, identity formation, the ways in which beliefs and practices are represented, stereotyping communities, being a Christian at school, and the role of caste. The book contains practical guidelines for teachers, as well as a glossary, covering pastoral care, racism, liaison with parents, and recognizing the diversity of language.

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About the Author:

Eleanor Nesbitt is Professor Emeritus in Religions and Education at the University of Warwick and a founding member of Punjab Research Group. Her many publications include Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction and Intercultural Education: Ethnographic and Religious Approaches.

Review:

“The great value of this book is its insistence that diversity, syncretism and the lived reality of religion should be taken into account in religious education teaching, and that it is important to hear the voices of children and young people alongside the discussions of orthodox religious ideals. It is an immensely enriching book, drawing as it does on Eleanor Nesbitt’s 25 years of ethnographic research on religious practice and belief. It is hard to think of anyone working in teaching or teacher training who would not find reading it an enlightening and enjoyable experience.”  —Dr Sarah Smalley, General Adviser for Religious Education and SACRE, Cambridgeshire LEA, the British Journal of Religious Education



“Eleanor Nesbitt succeeds in vividly bringing to life the traditional plurality (ethnic, cultural and linguistic, etc.) of different communities of faith, and the modern plurality related to the intellectual climate of late modernity or post modernity. She also makes absolutely explicit the gap between the rhetoric and reality of religions, and the urgent need for a religious and cultural literacy that takes us beyond, on the one hand, multiculturalism and, on the other, antiracism. She offers a set of educational ideals which are inspiring. At a time when religion is often deeply politicised and the integrity of scholars challenged as never before this book on intercultural education is timely, accessible and immensely rewarding.”  —Anna King, Journal of Punjab Studies



“This is a treasury of keenly observed signals of meanings that matter to children and young people, and which therefore need to matter and be understood by their teachers and wider community. It draws on a quarter of a century’s field work by the author, well matched with the relevant scholarship of others. Its warning against misleading generalisation is made in the best possible way: vivid illustration of deeper significance. This book is an invaluable resource for teacher education and community relations generally, as well as for those with a particular concern for RE and Citizenship.”  —Brian Gates, Professor of Religious and Moral Education, St Martin’s College, Lancaster



“Clearly written, challenging, yet very accessible. The author warns against those convenient, misleading generalisations we often make, as the book explores the richness of religious and ethnic diversity.” Church Times “A fascinating and impressive body of research, whose findings are often striking and thought-provoking, and always clearly presented...The book is written for teachers at all levels, although the case studies are drawn mainly from primary and secondary school level students in the UK ... this is a book which will resonate most for teachers in schools, teacher trainers (and textbook authors), and students, but it is certainly also of interest to a wider audience which I hope it receives.”  —British Association for the Study of Religions

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. First Paperback Edition. This book has been written for teachers, teacher trainers and their students, and others working with children and young people. It provides a valuable resource for those engaged in religious studies and South Asian studies, comprising a rich library of data relevant to current debates in these fields. Drawing on field studies of children of South Asian and other backgrounds in Britain, Nesbitt argues the value to schools of teachers adopting an ethnographic approach in intercultural education. Examples from primary, secondary and higher education demonstrate the urgent need for teachers and others to be better informed of cultural diversity and to understand the interconnections between ethnographic studies, pastoral care, the curriculum, and international events. "Intercultural Education" examines a wide variety of issues, including spirituality, identity formation, the ways in which 'beliefs' and 'practices' are represented, stereotyping communities, being a Christian at school, and the role of caste. The book contains Practical Guidelines for teachers, as well as a Glossary, covering pastoral care, racism, liaison with parents, recognising the diversity of language, etc. 204pp. Seller Inventory # 020752

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