Exploring new discursive spaces: Multiculturalism and education for sustainable development

Year: 2008

Author: Burnett, Bruce, McArdle, Felicity

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper tracks Australia's relationship to the migrant Other via an examination of contemporary multicultural policy. By analysing the political and social conditions that enabled a national, and bipartisan policy of multiculturalism to emerge as formalised national policy during the late 1960s and early 1970s, this paper 're-problematises' the processes that shaped an articulation of race, ethnicity and the migrant Other. The paper focuses particular attention on the parallel narrative at work within multiculturalism as it first grappled with, and later came to embrace an evolving social experiment framed within the discourse of social justice. The paper addresses the post September 11 environment where multiculturalism within a traditional social justice framework fails to provide as clear a road map for educators. The paper argues the emerging area of Education for Sustainable Development provides pre-service teacher education with a productive node and fresh discursive possibilities to regain political/pedagogical traction for a human rights agenda.