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A Replication of An Intercultural Approach in The National Tests of English: A Text- and Document Analyses of The National Tests in English Year 2000, 2005 and 2010
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The intercultural approach carries the same values as the democratic concept, which is the fundamental platform of the curriculum, Läroplanen. Keywords such as empathy, openness, democracy, education, critical thinking, human rights, identity, equality and understanding are some of the values that the democratic and the intercultural approach carry. The question is how these values are replicated in the education and the materials that are used in school? This is what this research is going to be focusing on. To answer this question, the research is going to analyze three national tests in English in grade nine. These three tests are the primary source of this study and they are from the years2000, 2005 and 2010. The main focus of this research is to see how the intercultural approach is replicated in the three tests. The range of the national tests is to see if there has been a development in the intercultural approach in the last decade.

The conclusion of this research shows that there is a Western norm that permeates throughout the production of the national tests, which contradicts the goals of an intercultural and democratic education. Even though there is an effort to try to correspond the values of the curriculum, there is still a lack of knowledge from the producer’s counterpart. The producers of the National tests have to be aware of the powerful position they posses when making the tests. They have the power to share their ideas about another culture. The stories should promote values that are independent from prejudiced assumptions. Some may argue that the bias that is shared in the national test is hard to see, since we share the same frame of reference as the producers. This makes it harder to reveal prejudiced assumptions about another culture since there are no binary opposites or contrasts to make bias noticeable. But this fact could be avoided if you have the curriculum as your point of departure when producing the tests. The intercultural approach is to acknowledge cultural differences, without generalizing people and cultures. The intercultural approach is based on promoting knowledge about cultural differences, to avoid alienation that develops into prejudice assumptions about different cultural phenomena. The intercultural approach should contribute to establishing and encourage respect for each person´s integrity and belief. The result of this research shows that the National Agency of Education has not managed to fulfil these values, even after more than 3 decades of experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 39 p.
Keyword [en]
Intercultural education, national tests, curriculum, democracy, prejudice, equality, knowledge and openness
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-19281OAI: diva2:633078
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-06-26 Created: 2013-06-26 Last updated: 2013-06-26Bibliographically approved

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