The role of schools in the enhancement of social tolerance and cohesion

Year: 2002

Author: Prior, Warren, Mellor, Suzanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

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 poorly-funded, centralised education systems, uneven access to schooling, and where student progress is determined by academic exams and post-school employment options are few. In such circumstances, citizens are uncertain how to use education to cohere their culture and society.

This World Bank funded consultancy project sought the views of citizens of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu 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 :
• The context of the study in the Pacific region
• Research and the World bank
• Issues associated with case study research
• Case study findings
• The educational framework developed.