University of Technology Sydney

028226 Beyond Culture: Diversity in Context

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Initial Teacher Education
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is designed to develop students' understanding of the complexities of classrooms and workplaces through an exploration of diversity in different educational settings and how these contexts engage in effective teaching practices that optimise student learning. Students explore a range of theoretical perspectives that they can use to negotiate cultural differences and create productive learning environments and opportunities for a diverse range of students. Students investigate how theory informs practice and vice versa. The subject interrogates comparative definitions of terms such as culture, multiple identities, hybridity, belonging, value systems, multiculturalism, indigeneity, gender and disability. Students explore the intersections of these concepts/constructs in local and international contexts and the importance of ethical engagement of digital technologies to connect with the world around them. The major focus is on becoming culturally competent and what it means to work productively in diversity.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Discuss theoretical perspectives that underpin culture and diversity (GTS.1.3, 1.4)
b. Explain the inter-relationship between local and global diversity (GTS 2.5, 3.5)
c. Compare and appraise the fluidity of identity and subject positioning (GTS 2.3, 2.4, 4.1,)
d. Demonstrate effective skills in diverse classrooms and workplaces (GTS 1.3, 1.4, 5.5)
e. Discuss the centrality of empathy, ethical understanding and reflexivity in establishing respectful and productive teaching and learning relationships (GTS 3.5, 6.2,7.1);
f. Critically evaluate and engage with different discourse about diversity (GTS 3.1, 4.1)
g. Understand the issues in ethical use of ICT and digital citizenship within cultural contexts (GTS 3.4, 4.5)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject addresses the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

1. Professional Readiness
1.4 Act as a developer of learning with colleagues and possess collaborative skills (GTS 7)

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry
2.1 Analyse and synthesise research and engage in inquiry (GTS 3)
2.2 Make well-informed contributions to contemporary debates pertinent to education (GTS 3)

5. Active Citizenship
5.1 Operate ethically with a commitment to social justice (GTS 4, 7)

6. Effective Communication
6.1 Communicate effectively using diverse modes and technologies (GTS 2, 3, 4)
6.2 Exhibit high level numeracy and literacies (GTS 2)

Teaching and learning strategies

OPELA (online language screening task)

An aim of this subject is to help you develop academic and professional language and communication skills in order to succeed at university and in the workplace. To determine your current academic language proficiency, you are required to complete an online language screening task, OPELA (information available at:

If you receive a basic grade for OPELA, the subject coordinator will work with you to develop an individual plan to support you to develop your language and communication skills.

Content (topics)

  • Definitions of culture and cultural identity, fluidity of identity, hybridity, multiple identities, belonging and becoming (PA 1.1, 6.3);
  • What are the essential elements of culture – why are these often contested (religion, language, gender, whiteness, ethnocentrism, racism and prejudice, belonging (PA 1.11, 6.1, 6.3, 6.4);
  • Theoretical/philosophical and ethical perspectives of culture (PA 6.1, 6.2, 6.11);
  • Comparative analysis of different educational systems and how they approach culture and diversity (PA 1.10, 6.2);
  • Discussion of Cultural tensions, current Australian context Global context (PA 1.1, 6.1, 6.2);
  • Models of cultural competence – what are the types of diversity in different contexts- workplaces, schools /tertiary institutions; How cultural diversity impacts in the workplace (PA 1.5, 1.10, 6.5, 6.11);
  • Applying the models of cultural competence in different contexts –locally and globally – comparative analysis (PA 1.5, 6.8, 6.9);
  • Cultural competence training in operation – examples; building personal toolkit (PA 6.9, 6.10, 6.11);
  • Culture and Digital literacy -digital citizenship – ethical and legal issues (PA 3.2);
  • Culture and Human rights /Building resilience; Mediating conflicts – case studies (PA 1.2, 1.9, 6.7).


Assessment task 1: Identities and social relationships



Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

500 words (excluding table/log)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Table of social relations submitted with appropriate detail 30 c 2.1
Commentary draws out key points 30 c 2.2
Reference to at least two (2) readings 20 c 6.2
General presentation 20 c 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: The Magic of Storytelling: Writing and illustrating a children's story


a, d, e and f

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Relevance of concepts to subject content including explanation 35 a, e 2.2
Relevance of illustrations to subject content including explanation 35 f 6.1
Evidence of planning Structuring / grammar / syntax / in-text referencing & reference list 30 d 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Reflection Essay


e, f and g

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Maximum 1500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Demonstrated understanding of the need to work ethically and respectfully re: difference. 20 e 5.1
Reflection draws on ideas from a selection of at least three (3) readings. 20 f 2.2
Reflection essay has a coherent structure, is of required length, and is presented with correct grammar, punctuation and spelling 30 g 6.2
A reference list of sources used for the assignment is included 15 g 6.2
General presentation 15 g 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at the workshops and participation in these workshops and any online activities is essential in this subject as the learning, knowledge and development of skills is based on a collaborative approach, which involves the workshopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. A maximum of one (1) workshop can be missed and students should inform the tutor in a timely manner if they cannot attend. It is a requirement of this subject that students undertake the OPELA task and attend any additional workshops and/or arranged to improve literacy skills.

Required texts

There is NO set text for this subject as readings will be available online.

At the start of semester you will be instructed on how to access the subject readings via UTSLibrary.

Recommended texts

Marshall, Lorraine and Rowland, Frances (2013). A Guide to Learning Independently (5th Edition). Sydney, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.


Alcoff, L.M., Hames-Garcia, M., Mohanty, S.P. and Moya, P. (2006). Identity Politics Reconsidered, Palgrave-Macmillan.

Ang, I. (2001). On Not Speaking Chinese: Living between the Asia and the West. Routledge.

Ashman, A. (Ed). (2019). Education for Inclusion and Diversity. Pearson Australia.

Austin, J. (Ed). (2005). Culture and Identity, Pearson Education Australia.

Barker, C. (2012). Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice (4th edition). SAGE Publications Limited.

Bucher, R.D. (2015). Diversity Consciousness: Opening Out Minds to People, Cultures and Opportunities. Pearson Education Inc.

Connell, R. (2007). Southern theory: the global dynamics of knowledge in social science. Allen & Unwin.

Cooper, J.E., (2011). Developing Critical Cultural Competency: A Guide for 21st Century Educators. Corwin Press.

Foreman, P. and Arthur-Kelly, M. (Eds). (2017). Inclusion in Action. Cengage Learning Australia.

Gargiulo, R.M. and Metcalf, D. (2017). Teaching in Today's Inclusive Classrooms. Cengage Learning.

Giles, J & Middleton, T (2008). Studying Culture: A practical introduction. Blackwell Publishing.

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L. & Dole, S. (Eds). (2017). Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement. Oxford University Press.

Higgs, J., Ajjawi, R., McAllister, L. Trede, F., & Loftus, S. (2012). Communicating in the Health Sciences, Oxford University Press.

Hodge, B & O’Carroll, J (2006). Borderwork in Multicultural Australia. Allen & Unwin.

Holliday, A., Hyde, M., & Kullman, J. (2010). Intercultural Communication: An advanced resource book for students. Routledge.

Pajalic, A. and Divaroren, D. (Eds). (2014). Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia. Allen & Unwin.

Perkins, M. (Ed). (2007). Visibly Different: Face, Place and Race in Australia. Peter Lang.

Pung, A. (Ed). (2008). Growing up Asian in Australia. Black Inc.

Quezada, R.L., Lindsey, D.B., & Lindsey, R.B. (2012). Culturally Proficient Practice: Supporting educators of English learning students. Corwin Press.

Vasta, E. and Castles, S. (Eds) (1996). The teeth are smiling: The persistence of racism in multicultural Australia. Allen & Unwin.

Other resources

UTSOnline will be a major source of learning resources for this subject (eg. videos, podcasts, YouTube clips, web-links, readings etc). New items will be added over the semester so be sure to log in on a regular basis.