Multicultural education - Good for business but not for the state? the ib curriculum and global capitalism

Julia Resnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In the 1970s and the 1980s, multicultural education spread in many countries. However, in the mid-1980s the golden age of multiculturalism came to an end. Neo-conservative political forces attacked multicultural policies and progressively a neo-liberal discourse pervaded economic and social policies, also affecting national education systems. In contrast, multicultural approaches have emerged with tremendous vigour in the field of business management. Juxtaposing cognitive, emotional and socio-communicative multiculturalism found in organisational studies onto multiculturalism in the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum indicates whether multiculturalism in international schools aims to respond to the needs of global capitalism. The findings show that emotional, cognitive and socio-communicative multiculturalism are seen as essential traits for good performance in transnational corporations, and they are strongly encouraged in the IB curriculum. The relevance of multicultural skills in global management alongside the decay of multiculturalism in public education systems entails a growing educational disparity between lower class and higher class children. A new educational structure in which two differentiated systems - a national system and an international system - emerges and redefines the terms of inequality of opportunities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)217-244
Number of pages28
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Business management
  • Global capitalism
  • International Baccalaureate curriculum
  • International schools
  • Multiculturalism


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