Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Warren Prior
Senior Lecturer, faculty of, Deakin University.
Suzanne Mellor
Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research.

The Role of Schools in the Enhancement of Social Tolerance and Cohesion

It is generally assumed that education will be good for a country and its inhabitants. But if the educational experience does not support those aspects of a culture the inhabitants believe to be most important, it does not contribute to social cohesion. Societies adjusting to 'modern' forces, question the 'benefits' of education, when they have If OK poorly-funded, centralised education systems, uneven access to schooling, and where student progress is determined by academic exams and post-school unemployment options are few. In such circumstances, citizens are uncertain how to use education to cohere their culture and society.

This consultancy project sought the views of citizens in the Pacific region of the on the role of schools in maintaining culture and in promoting social tolerance and harmony. Researchers also developed an educational framework for promoting social cohesion and democratic participation in schools in the Pacific region.
This presentation will consider theoretical issues, case study findings and the educational framework developed.

Suzanne Mellor: BA, Dip Ed (Melbourne), BEd. (La Trobe), MEd St. (Monash)
Suzanne is a Research Fellow at ACER. She has conducted case-study research and directed research projects for governments and instrumentalities. These have included investigation of curricula programs and the evaluation of assessment and reporting regimes. She has written reports associated with this research work and has presented conference papers and published nationally and internationally in practitioner and other journals. She has developed curriculum, and written classroom textbooks. She has also taught in a range of places of learning, from secondary schools to teacher-training institutions.

Warren Prior: BA, BEd. , M. Ed.
Warren is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Deakin University. His teaching and research interests include social education curriculum development, citizenship education and school effectiveness. He has recently undertaken a number of consultancy projects both nationally and internationally with a focus on the role of schools in enhancing social learning.

Presentation Type
60min. Workshop

Equipment Requirements:


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001