Past Program

Jun 03 - Jun 06, 2011

Learning to Live Together in the 21st Century: How can schools best enhance community relations and inclusion?


Schools try to set, or negotiate, norms of attitude and behavior which have considerable potential impact on the educational achievement of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural groups, and on the relations between those groups within a school's boundaries and beyond in larger communities. 'Inclusion' needs to go further than simply enrolling all local children in the same school. How can schools best promote creative and harmonious relationships among different groups within a larger community, with attainment possible for all? Where there is communal tension, how can schools contribute to conflict prevention and resolution? This Fellowship seminar will explore some selected aspects of these complex and crucial questions.

  • What curricular development should there be to focus on community relations and enhance understanding of, and ways of avoiding, conflict? (The Salzburg Global Seminar is partnered with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on in a Holocaust Education Project suggesting approaches to achieve this.)
  • Perhaps as powerful is the 'hidden curriculum'. To encourage constructive behaviours, some schools have trialled 'restorative justice' as an alternative to more traditional forms of discipline. What is the potential impact of such initiatives on community relations within schools and beyond?
  • A particular case study of the issues around inclusion is the place of Roma children in school systems. There have been recent rulings of the European Court of Human Rights against school segregation of Roma children in countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia, and controversy as to how far those rulings have been evaded. Beyond legal compliance, what positive measures in addition can be taken to ensure that the access of Roma children to education is effective and leads to educational achievement?
  • It is over 50 years since the racial desegregation of schools in the United State was ordered by the Supreme Court. What have been the more general lessons learned from that process in enhancing education attainment, opportunity for all, and community cohesion? (The Salzburg Global Seminar is partnered with ETS, the Educational Testing Service in the United States, on a series of sessions on 'Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide'.)

Schools are in many respects a microcosm of the larger societies in which they are situated as well as a preparation for the future of those societies. What is their potential for helping communities to live together more successfully in the remainder of the 21st century than was the case in much of the 20th?

* the combined alumni of Salzburg Global Seminar and Fellows of the 21st Century Trust

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Conducted under the auspicies of Salzburg Global Seminar, Austria