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.
"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. "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." - Journal of Punjab Studies. "In this book Eleanor Nesbitt puts strong emphasis on diversity, syncretism, and the lived reality of religion. She stresses the need for these to be taken into account in RE teaching, alongside the presentation of orthodox religious ideals. It is an immensely enriching book and it is hard to think of anyone working in education who would not find reading it an enlightening and enjoyable experience." - Dr Sarah Smalley, Chair of AREIAC (Association of RE Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants). "...clearly written: challenging, yet very accessible. ...warns against those convenient, misleading generalisations we often make, as it explores the richness of religious and ethnic diversity." - Alan Brown, Church Times 11 February 2005.
Contents: Acknowledgements; A Note on Transliteration; Introduction: Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Education; Birthdays -- A Spectrum of Difference; Young Hindus and Vegetarianism; The Diversity of Experience within a Faith Tradition; Festivals -- Schools' Involvement in Tradition'; Belief and Practice -- God and Holy Water; Tradition and Choice -- What Young Hindus Believe; Caste, Hindus and Sikhs; British, Asian and Hindu -- Multiple Identities; Spirituality and Religious Experience; Ethnography as Reflective Practice; Appendix: Practical Guidelines for Teachers -- Cultural Diversity and the School; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.