Investigating the Integration of Authentic Multicultural Young Adult Literacy Resources: An Exploratory Study of a Bilingual IB International Private Secondary School in Dubai
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Even though globalization has urged each nation to give birth to globally competent citizens and future leaders capable to cope with the complexities of the modern world, international private schools still find it difficult to deal with the concept of diversity, providing students with instructional resources imbued with negative and stereotyped portrayals of other cultures, resulting in the perpetuation of a singular dominant view of the discourse about the other. Supported by the Orientalist and Post-Colonialist, Critical Race Theories, the Culturally Relevant/Transformative Pedagogy, and the Critical Multicultural Education, and in light of the previous studies on the topic demonstrating the urgent need for a change in the design of school curricula to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population as well as for higher quality culturally sensitive teacher education and professional development training programs, this study aimed at investigating the extent to which the IB curriculum of a bilingual international private secondary school located in Dubai is enriched with English-written culturally authentic multicultural literacy resources for secondary students, with a particular emphasis on those portraying Muslim societies. Adopting a sequential mixed methods design, the study revealed that the selection of these resources as well as the provision of in-service professional development workshops promoting culturally sensitive teaching practices did not rank very high in the school’s culture. As a consequence, considering the wealth of the beneficial effects that these resources may have on adolescent students, school leaders, IB specialists, and educators are encouraged to implement their use in the classroom, and teachers’ educators to provide trainee and in-service teachers with higher quality culturally sensitive preparation and professional development programs. Since the present study took into consideration a specific case, it would be recommendable that further studies be conducted in the future, not only in other international private schools offering different curricula but also in government schools, and located in the other UAE emirates. Ultimately, the study proved the importance for imported educational theories, policies, and curricula to be adjusted to the different cultural contexts in which they are implemented.