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WHY LEARN ABOUT SCOTTISH GYPSY/TRAVELLERS

In the past, Scotland’s indigenous ethnic minority was known by different names - Travellers, tinkers and summer walkers. The term ‘tinker’ is no longer an acceptable term as it is frequently used as a term of abuse. More recently families are called Scottish Travellers or Gypsy/Travellers.

While multicultural education is an essential component of any Scottish school curriculum, information is rarely included about Scottish Gypsy/Traveller communities, their place in Scottish history and their contributions towards Scottish society.

Scottish Gypsy/Travellers often seek to hide their identities rather than promote themselves and their lifestyles. As a result. most non-Traveller communities know little about or have direct experience of Scottish Gypsy/Travellers.

The media, films and stories tend to romanticise or demonise Travellers by portraying them stereotypically as ‘the Gyspy’, rather than seeking to understand their rich and diverse histories, cultures and lifestyles.

Newspaper reportage generally reflects society’s cultural acceptance of levels of prejudice and discrimination that would not be tolerated if directed at any other ethnic group.

Curriculum for Excellence seeks to encourage children and young people to gain a broad and critical view of the world and the diverse communities of people that live around them. By providing curricular materials for mainstream use, these resources support a positive approach to inclusion of Scottish Gypsy/Travellers in education.