Page: 251-262 Author: Lukášová, H., Rozsypalová, M. Key words:
Multicultural education and its theoretical starting points are a very topical theme of discussions today. It has significant value in the field of education for co-existence between national and ethnic groups, races and cultural communities, and by changing attitudes can be an important instrument in the struggle against negative phenomena like xenophobia and racism. In 2002 a research probe was conducted in the Ostrava region with the aim of mapping the basic civic attitudes of pupils in the 5th year of basic school. A total of 10 hypotheses were posited. The questionnaire, originally formulated in Portuguese, was translated into Czech from English and given to pupils of schools in large and small communities. A total of 194 pupils of the 5th year filled in the questionnaire. The results of the research probe confirmed 2 hypotheses but 8 hypotheses were not confirmed. They suggested that 5th-year pupils in schools in the Ostrava region preferpeople of their own skin colour, do not engage much with the life in their surroundings and are not very interested in events and in the region, and that they give precedence to national identity over regional or continental identity. They know who the top state leaders are, they are capable of identifying phenomena in society that require civic solidarity, they communicate with people (i.e. fellow pupils in their environment and are able to decide on questions of how ecological problems should be tackled. The results indicate above all the isolation of the Ostrava region within Europe and a rather xenophobic attitude reflected in the answers of pupils of middle-school age, The results also suggest the positive influence of project teaching in terms of changing pupil attitudes. Now that multicultural education has become a cross-section theme of the current Framework Educational Programme for basic education, and school educational programmes, this approach could be much better incorporated into teaching.
Multiculturalism as such has been in crisis for some time now, which makes it important to work on identifying new ap-proaches and continue to monitor this area of education.