Being a professional observer of the teacher’s scene I have subscribed to various corresponding mailing-lists. Yesterday I was lucky to learn that the oft-quoted summer slump bears also positive news from time to time. The „Lehrer-Online“ Newsletter made use of exactly this „sun slump“ (referring to the rainy summer 2011), to point out to some interesting intercultural projects.
The discovery of the Arabic speaking fellow citizen
Two of the presented projects caught my eye. On the one hand, it is the student exchange „Welcome Turkey“, set off by the Robert Bosch Stiftung (RBS). On the other hand, it is the EU-Initiative „klicksafe“ that provides information also in Arabic as of now.
In the former case the RSB talks about a follow-up programme due to the immense response to the initial run of the project. This makes my ears prick, as this shows the interest of German schools in „Turkish social reality of private lives”. The project description on the internet site of the foundation makes me curious. I am especially interested in the transformation and control of the RSB’s demand of „Intensive preparation and follow-up work is a prerequisite. For this purpose, one German and one Turkish school must work together as a team“. How will this preparation and follow-up work be supervised? How will they ensure the quality of it and how will it be done? Out of the relevant literature (Auernheim, Gogolin and Co.) it is widely known that the subject of „intercultural learning“ has been neglected in German schools so far. Educational concepts are missing, the correspondent training of teachers is insufficient and the interest of the ministries of education to finally embrace the subject and let it become a part of the education schedules is rather marginal. Reality needs at German schools might be far ahead of the „red tape“!
Adoption of different point of views as a precondition of intercultural learning
A glance at the project description by the RBS does not prove intercultural learning as the major goal of the undertaking. Doing a little research on the site I come across the Country Information, which displays a.o. some hints in regard to „cultural differences“ in Turkey that should be obeyed and respected by the German pupils. Helpful suggestions in respect to a systematic preparation and self-reflection in the sense of an adoption of different point of views are missing however. Probably, that is meant as a personal contribution of the respective project schools. This is, however, a mere speculation, as the menu item „project“ on that site (which is unfortunately not available in English) indeed shows eleven projects in pictures. Unfortunately, there is no project summary available. Therefore, the traceability of the undertaking is left unanswered. That is a pity, as the opportunity to let others learn from the experiences made is missed. However: “Willkommen Türkei! Hoşgeldin Almanya!“
Further readings (mostly in German language):
- Lehrer-Online: Schulpartnerschaften mit Medienunterstützung
- klicksafe.de: Sicherheit im Netz: Materialien auf Arabisch
- Robert Bosch Stiftung: Willkommen Türkei
- Robert Bosch Kulturmanager in der arabischen Welt
- Strohmeier, Fricker (2007): Interkulturelles Lernen: Unbekanntes Unterrichtsprinzip oder gelebte schulische Praxis?
- Richter (1998): Interkulturelles Lernen via Internet
- Christ (1994): Fremdverstehen als Bedingung der Möglichkeit interkulturellen Lernens
- Gogolin: Auswahlbiographie
- Auernheimer: Publikationen seit 1991