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Diversiguity - exploring new approaches beyond intercultural learning
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 30 Apr 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the field of international youth work and non-formal education there have been many developments and discussions concerning culture, intercultural learning and diversity and inclusion over the recent years.Several initiatives have been started to question and to critically review the practice in this field:• Council of Europe: Seminars and Publications to “Rethinking Intercultural Learning”• SALTO Cultural Diversity in the UK had asked a group of experts to re-define intercultural competence; on the basis of this definition they made a research and produced a study on how intercultural competence is being addressed in YiA projects • The “Melting Iceberg” and "More than Culture" training courses• The COMETS Training of trainers on the topic of Intercultural Learning in Bulgaria• The Network “DIVE” – for diversity sensitive educational work started to connect different approaches in working with difference• SALTO Inclusion and SALTO Cultural Diversity has launched the “Inclusion and Diversity Strategy” in 2015 In all current debates one aspect seems to be clear – the notion of “culture” and “Intercultural Learning”, as it has been applied largely over the years in the practice of the European youth field, is too static and fails to address important dimensions threatening social cohesion and inclusion of young people in Europe today. On a practical side, more support such as methodological handbooks or diverse activities offering further exploration of advanced, participatory and sustainable approaches and underlying theories is needed. Therefore, a group of trainers, facilitators, youth workers, together with organisations working in this field developed this project to share and to further develop existing concepts, theories and approaches.The project is aiming at gathering around 20 educational experts from Germany, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Armenia, Serbia, Montenegro, UK and Belarus active in the European youth field (trainers, facilitators and youth workers) to explore together the issues mentioned above.The activity will be a 4 days' seminar taking place in Berlin to explore the current debates and developments in the different regions and in the frame of the work of the participants and the participating organisations. It aims to give impulses for further developments in the frame of European youth work and the Erasmus+ programme.The seminar programme will contain presentations - designed and delivered by the participants - concerning theories, concepts and methods in terms of (inter-)culture, ambiguity and change as well as the diversity and inclusion strategies in non-formal and international youth work in our countries. A fundamental element of the project will be the development of ideas to further qualify the field of non-formal learning in European youth work, concerning our topics.Another part will focus on the sharing of methods and approaches and the identification of common ground to be able to move forwards as a platform and produce effective outputs that will benefit young people across Europe. The methods will be very much non-formal and participatory as the main aim of the activity is sharing. The sharing of developments and methods needs participants to be involved in a meaningful and effective way, so there will be the encouragement of ownership and leadership of the content and the platform for all. A peer supervision approach will be developed for reflecting the practice and exploring challenges of our work. Interactive methods will be used throughout, with a focus on creative visual methods for many of the sessions, especially for the part of the programme relating to further development and finding ideas for dissemination and sharing of results.This project is thought to be a starting point for connection and development that will influence other trainers and youth workers across the continent, organisations in a broad range of countries and also European and international youth work as whole. Since all participants are very active in training and youth work in the European youth field we aim to contribute to a raise in quality in the field. We will provide ideas how to put life and fresh practice into the term "diversity", from a local practice level up to the international political level through connection to the European Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.Many professional trainers are very aware of the developments. They themselves already changed their pedagogical practice and their attitudes towards culture and diverse groups. This is in many ways already different from how it was 15 years ago. But due to the conditions and indisputable challenges of youth work these developments have not reached the majority of organisations and youth workers. Therefore our vision is to bring together a collaborative platform of experts to give impetus in this direction, and thereafter positively impacting European Youth work.
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