Investigating the moral territories of international education: a study of the impact of experience, perspectives and dispositions on teachers’ engagement with difference in the international Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

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    The higher degree of global mobility and connectivities within contemporary societies has led to increasing cultural diversity within school student cohorts. In turn, the human activities and interactions within the territories and boundaries of a school have become increasingly complex. During a 2017 study of how transcultural capabilities are being developed and utilised by teachers of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Canada and Australia, one theme that emerged was the extent to which teachers felt they could or should influence their students’ moral outlooks on cultural difference. Teachers often expressed spatially bounded moral views of cosmopolitanism; that is, teaching and learning about welcoming and engaging the stranger were framed within a personal, moral geography that was closely associated to defined places that were typically localised within the school community. This paper examines the moral geographies of PYP teachers to highlight the complexities, tensions, paradoxes, and contradictions embedded within the relationships between inclusion and exclusion of difference in the PYP schools. These phenomena are related to a broad range of challenges that arise as a result of the complex interactions between teachers, PYP curriculum and the principles related to engaging difference.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)136-150
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • dispositions of thinking
    • International Baccalaureate
    • moral geography
    • Primary Years Programme
    • transculturalism

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