In today's schools, there are students from many different backgrounds. Helping these students feel comfortable in a new culture, while also teaching them to be curious, open-minded, and respectful of differences, is a big challenge for teachers.
The new edition of the course “Intercultural learning and cultural diversity in the classroom” took place in Tenerife from 20/08/2023 to 26/08/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Solomiya from Heinrich Heine Gymnasium in Germany, Stafanie from Mittelschule Pestalozzischule in Germany, Sona from Základná škola in Slovakia, Anna and Barbara from Sterzing 3 in Italy, Diana from myJUMP.sk in Slovakia.
The course started by emphasizing the importance of understanding the true meanings behind words. Everyone collaborated to define "intercultural learning" based on their perspectives. They also shared their visions of cultural diversity, introducing their varied viewpoints from the get-go.
Our first deep dive was into the idea of identity. Through a visual task, participants reflected on their personal identities and how these identities relate to culture.
Next, we engaged in a storytelling session about stereotypes. This helped us understand the negative cycle created by stereotypes. Participants reflected on the dangers of allowing stereotypes to lead to biased opinions and actions, reinforcing those very stereotypes.
The course then shifted its attention to inclusion. Activities were designed to highlight the challenges of cross-cultural communication. We aimed to challenge our usual assumptions and showcase the bridges between different cultures. We also carried out exercises to experience the emotions related to feeling left out, leading us to discuss the importance of belonging and empathy. Collaborative tasks were a reminder that each student brings value and emphasized the significance of understanding and valuing the diversity and needs within the group.
The richness of the course was amplified thanks to the sharing of experiences and open discussions. Our diverse backgrounds meant that we were, in essence, an intercultural classroom. This unique dynamic enriched our learning and made our exploration of the topics much more profound and authentic. Every perspective added depth, and our collective journey highlighted the true essence of intercultural learning!
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.