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EDU8503 Culture and (Multi)Cultural Education

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Culture & (Multi)Cultural Educ
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 079900 - Other Education
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Renee Desmarchelier


One of the preeminent conceptual anchors for contemporary education theory, practice, and praxis is that of culture. This multifaceted concept is taken to mean many different things across the educational landscape, often used in specific contexts and for narrow purposes without sufficient accompanying explanation or definition. The range of such uses moves from the densely anthropologically-derived, across notions of popular and high culture, dominant and subordinate cultures, through to identity-based and parochial senses of culture. This course therefore provides educators with both the semantic complexity of this core professional term as well as the purposes and agendas underpinning discourses attaching to educational policy and practice, as well as to the significant contribution a broader understanding of culture might bring to the educative process.


This course looks to address initially the question of "What is culture?" and to then proceed to critically explore illustrative examples of the ways in which various notions of "culture" have found their way into discourses surrounding education theory, policy, and practice. In addition to a focus on the ways in which prevailing notions of culture have influenced education, the course also looks at the ways in which "culture" has been taught; that is, culture as content. As a critical encounter with "culture", the course looks to social justice/betterment possibilities and practices resident within contemporary moves to decolonize education. The course provides a very sound basis for further work in all areas of professional education studies in contemporary times.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. critique significant discourses and concepts of “culture” and characterise the centrality of language to culture
  2. critically discuss the impact of cultural colonization
  3. critically analyse various approaches to (multi)cultural education
  4. critically analyse the basic tenants of contemporary moves to ‘decolonize’ education
  5. critique possibilities for culturally respectful pedagogical and curriculum practices.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Notions of culture 20.00
2. Colonization and decolonization 25.00
3. Language and culture 15.00
4. (Multi) Cultural education 20.00
5. Social justice and culturally respectful teaching practices. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Darder, A 2012, Culture and power in the classroom: educational foundations for the schooling of bicultural students, 2nd edn, Paradigm Publishers, Boulder.
(Note: 2016 reprint also acceptable.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Lavia, JM & Mahlomaholo, S 2012, Culture, education and community: expressions of the postcolonial imagination, Palgrave Macmillan, New York: NY.
Steinberg, SR (ed.) 2009, Diversity and multiculturalism: a reader, Peter Lang, New York: NY.
Wren, T 2012, Conceptions of culture: what multicultural educators need to know, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 26 Sep 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 24 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the postgraduate suite of Education programs and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.