Today, schools and education programs are trying to have many different kinds of people with different cultural backgrounds. One of the biggest things teachers need to do is to help students get used to new cultures. Also they try to show students how to think in a smart and open way, where they appreciate and enjoy our differences instead of not liking them.
The new edition of the course “Intercultural Learning and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom'' took place in Bologna from 20/08/2023 to 26/08/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Klára from Debreceni SZC Bethlen Gábor Közgazdasági Technikum in Hungary, Marta and Manuela from Fundacao Cidade de Lisboa in Portugal, Klaudija and Andrejka from Osnovna sola in vrtec Apace in Slovenia, Tanja from Wittumschule in Germany and last but not least Marika from Tallinna Laagna Gümnaasium in Estonia.
The course began by recognizing how important it is to think about the meanings of words. Everyone taking part worked together to figure out what "intercultural learning" means to them. They also shared their images of what cultural diversity means to them and this was a first opportunity for the participants to share their diverse points of view.
We investigated the concept of identity as a first step to go deep into diversity. From a visual activity, our participants thought about their own identity and the relation that identity has with culture.
After that, everyone took part in a storytelling activity focused on stereotypes. Together, we learned about how stereotypes can create a harmful pattern. They were asked to think about how stereotypes can turn into unfair judgments and unfair treatment. This makes a harmful cycle that makes stereotypes even stronger.
Our final focus was on inclusion. To start, everyone took part in activities, which helped them understand and talk about the difficulties of communication between different cultures. We tried to discuss how these activities can make students think twice about things they usually assume, and help them see how different cultures can actually connect. More activities were focused on being part of a group and understanding others' feelings when exclusion takes place. This led us to the concept of membership & empathy. Team work helped us to help students realize that everyone in the class is important and has something good to bring, and also to understand and care about the differences and needs of their classmates.
We are so happy to have met them. We are hoping that we’ll see each other somewhere in the world again. Thank you for their valuable contribution!
Discover more about this course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.