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Writing Postcolonial Histories of Intercultural Education

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Heike Niedrig and Christian Ydesen

Bringing together a group of international researchers from two educational sub-disciplines – «History of Education» and «Intercultural Education» – the contributions to this volume provide insights into the (pre-)history of intercultural issues in education across a vast range of historical, national-geographical and political contexts. The anthology takes its readers on a fascinating journey around the globe, presenting case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The coherence of the journey is found in recurring themes and questions, such as: How does the discourse on «multiculturalism» or «intercultural learning» construct the norm and the Others in these educational settings? Who has the power of definition? And what are the functions and effects of these processes of Othering?

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Preface and Acknowledgements

Extract

The idea for this book has its roots in a symposium titled “Writing Histories of Intercultural Education”, held at the European Conference on Educational Re- search (ECER) in Vienna in September 2009. Susanne Spieker and Christian Ydesen, both members of the European Educational Research Association’s (EERA) Network 17, “Histories of Education”, had invited members of the EERA Network 7, “Intercultural Education and Social Justice”, to convene a joint symposium in an effort to explore the historical dimensions of current con- cepts, theories and practices of Intercultural Education. The experimental attempt to intermarry these two educational sub- disciplines – the ‘historians’ and the ‘interculturalists’ – proved to be more of a challenge than anticipated. The reactions to the eight contributions by members of the two different EERA networks ranged from interested openness and mild bemusement to the sceptical question of whether what these ‘others’ were doing really qualified as science. One may conclude that the historically developed and ingrained differences between ‘scientific cultures’ should not be underestimated. In the metaphorical terms of courtship patterns, the symposium was certainly not a marriage, but rather a first date. However, even though many participants did not experience ‘love at first sight’, others were intrigued by the encounter and decided to create an anthology in order to follow up on the interesting issues that arose from these initial discussions. Only three of the contributions to this volume (Baquero Torres, Niedrig, Ydesen) are based on papers presented at the symposium. Since, for personal reasons, Susanne Spieker could not...

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