Transcultural capability and the Primary Years Programme (2018)
Lucas Walsh and Niranjan Casinader—Monash University
This study aimed to understand how well transcultural skills are being developed and utilized by teachers in schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Canada and Australia. The study used individual teacher data (n = 38) from four schools to analyse the cultural dispositions of thinking (CDTs) exemplified and practiced by the teachers in each of the schools. All of the teachers who participated in the study demonstrated some degree of transcultural capability. The dominant pattern across the groups was that the large majority of PYP teachers were either transcultural or one CDT away from it (based on a model developed by Niranjan Casinader published in 2014). Overall, the data indicated that teachers being employed by PYP schools are personally and professionally invested in the cultural education dimensions included within the programme. The researchers suggest that the realization of transcultural capability requires a shift in personal attitude. Key to this is the need to move from “thin” experiences and notions of culture to rich transcultural learning and the perception of diversity as a normal state of contemporary life.