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Published: 9 March 2011

TICKLE - Teachers Intercultural Competences as Keystone to Learning in Europe

1. Aims

The project aims to develop, test and disseminate didactical tools for the development of intercultural competences for teacher trainers, teacher trainees and teachers. The prerequisite for this task is the identification of areas and contexts, in which cultural diversity is of manifest relevance for the teaching and learning processes in schools and classrooms of the participating countries. We want to raise the awareness of cultural diversity of professionals, who do or did not have to deal with that question yet and make the professional community aware, that cultural diversity is not threatening, but supporting pathways to European citizenship as one of the main future issues in a wider European horizon. By doing this we can build up cultural diversity competences and attitudes into the general profile of the teaching profession. We shall actively apply newly developed teaching methodologies from previous EU and Comenius 2. 1. projects in learning situations, which are characterized by a severe cultural diversity issue and expand the range of methodology in this area of teaching and learning by using these synergies.

2. Activities

The main activities of the project in the seven countries will be to create 42 keystone tools or methodological approaches, which can be used to enlarge intercultural competences. Each partner has to develop 6 Keystones. During the 7 project meeting in the participating countries, these tools will be presented in 6 one-day training units (from 9: 00 – 12:00 and from 14:00 – 17:00) to teacher trainers, teacher trainees and teachers of the guest country. One person of each partner country is responsible for the presentation of one keystone per meeting; the other members of the national task groups will attend the training units of colleagues. The keystones will be immediately evaluated by the attendants and the day after discussed by a meeting of all national group members with support of the external consultant. The main question here is, whether the presented keystones could be implemented as useful tools in one´s own national or regional initial teacher training. This approach will create “real life laboratories” based on the methodology of intercultural competences for teachers. The national task groups will disseminate in the time between the project meetings the results to their own professional community and alter the keystones if necessary. This will create significant and immediate dissemination and valorisation effects in all participating countries. All keystone training units will be placed for public download on the TICKLE webpage directly after the end of each project meeting. At the end of the project a tool box with 42 training units for the development of intercultural competences will be ready, which can be used in other European pedagogical environments as an added value for the teaching profession. We will reach several hundred practitioners as active multipliers and feed backers in the participating countries and exchange best practice models with the help of personal and professional assessment of the tools by the external consultant and the external evaluation.

3. The TICKLE Philosophy

TICKLE tries to develop knowledge, understanding and build up of intercultural competences among the educational staff about the diversity of European cultures, languages and its values by enhancing the quality and European dimension of teacher training; this leads to improvements in pedagogical approaches and intercultural methodology, which will create necessary competences for teacher trainers and teacher trainees, to deal with cultural diversity in classrooms and schools. The methodological and didactical keystones, developed in partner countries and tested and feedbacked in training units in another country can contribute to the awareness and need for intercultural competences of the teaching staff, which supports the combat against racism and xenophobia in school education and helps to enlarge a climate in classrooms, which is necessary to start intercultural dialogues and supports intercultural education.

We try to improve teacher education systems through the transfer of innovation and good practice; the training units with the presentation of methodological and didactical keystones for teacher trainers, teacher trainees and teachers will include project achievements from our recently finished Comenius 2. 1. project “Appraisal of Potential for Teaching” with six participating countries as a kind of promoting and disseminating educational best practices; but will also include newly developed keystones by the Tickle Partners. In the end this approach leads to the development of new teacher training courses or course contents for teacher trainers or teacher trainees or both in the participating countries as a valorisation and dissemination result.