Making the curriculum culturally relevant: a project in action

Preece, J. and Bokhari, R. (1996) Making the curriculum culturally relevant: a project in action. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 20(3), pp. 70-80.

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


This paper describes a university action research project which is developing culturally relevant courses for families of Asian heritage in East Lancashire. The authors describe the process of do, review and re‐application of new insights as courses are developed bilingually in the community and in the mother tongue, followed by more recent efforts to foster appropriate guidance and accreditation strategies which respect different culture values. The authors emphasise the importance of the first community based, non accreditation phase of the project in making links and building up mutual understanding of the issues involved. The focus throughout the courses is on ensuring a cultural perspective which is promoted by role model tutors and development staff who respond to a wide range of learner motives and starting points in order to facilitate progression and curriculum change in the mainstream. The second phase adopts strategies which will enable closer links with mainstream provision. This is done by adopting a holistic approach to educational guidance, selecting sympathetic university staff to become involved in assessment procedures for new Foundation and Certificate level modules and also a whole family project which links schools, families and the university. The latter is in the form of a shared course between schools, university and participants to explore myths and expectations about university education. Whilst this activity is not in itself an accredited course, it is devised as a form of educational guidance activity but with the continued ethos of focusing on community concerns and relating to families on their terms through role models and culturally relevant activities. The paper concludes by emphasising the need for continuity of communication with communities if progress is to be made. The development of a ‘black’ perspective in mainstream accredited provision requires credibility, both in the community and in the university, and can only be achieved slowly over time.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Preece, Professor Julia
Authors: Preece, J., and Bokhari, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Journal of Further and Higher Education
ISSN (Online):1469-9486
Published Online:28 July 2006

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record