Reflections on school integration: colloquium proceedings
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What does school integration mean? It must mean, among other things, that the divisions created by apartheid need to be addressed systematically and systemically. Integration is not merely about changing the racial demographics of learner and educator bodies. Integration means schools changing to meet the needs of all children, fostering meaningful interaction among learners in the classroom, on the playground and in extra-mural activities as well as instilling a human rights culture. It means constructing curricula, texts and pedagogies that are informed by a democratic ethos and it requires teachers, school managers and communities that are equipped to promote a democratic school environment. In short, it is about inclusivity and social cohesion. And the issue of integration is as pertinent internationally as it is in South Africa. The concepts of North and South, rich and poor, developed, underdeveloped and developing, shade into a patchwork of colour constructs. Questions of race, racism, citizenship and diversity are central to school systems throughout the world.
So is integration happening? This book contains the proceedings of a colloquium held in October 2003 and attended by leading South African and international researchers to review the latest local and international research and practice in the field of desegregation and integration of schools. The contributors take stock of the status quo in school integration and identify new directions research should be taking to support the process of change.