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Empowering teachers and trainers to cope with religious diversity and boost intercultural education in Europe
Start date: Oct 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe is facing some major its major challenges since the end of the WWII. From the effects of the radicalization and the extremism, to the crisis of the refugees and the asylum seekers or the discrimination of some migrant communities, the question about how to foster the social cohesion and to fight against discrimination is in the middle of the debates in an increasingly culturally diversified Europe.Religion has come to a prime site in the cultural and social conflict, but religion is only one aspect among a range of factors which make migrants and ethnic minorities appear different. Policymakers throughout Europe feel increasing pressure to adopt more effective approaches to secure inclusion but are uncertain how to bring people together to achieve this. Ensuring inclusive education for all children and young people and empowering teachers so that they are able to take an active stand against all forms of discrimination and racism, are among the recommendations made by the European Commission.Religious and moral values area highly sensitive area. The religious dimension of intercultural education and intercultural education itself require specific kinds of teaching and learning approaches. Unlike some traditional approaches to intercultural education, these methods focus not on the link between the dominant culture and minority cultures, but instead on learning to live together. Therefore, the teaching approaches must be coherent with this specific reality and requires specific methods and tools. Young people are a particularly vulnerable group. Young newcomers (refugees, asylum seekers and migrants) should also get access to intercultural education and benefit from the acquisition of social, civic and intercultural competences, independently of the educational programme in which the may be enroll. B.LIVING project aims to empower teachers and trainers to cope with religious diversity and boost intercultural education in Europe, developing a new European dimension on intercultural education in school education and VET by addressing the religious diversity inherent to our multicultural societies, from the human rights and intercultural learning perspectives.To do so, seven partner organizations (Educational authorities, Schools and VET providers, companies and social partners) from six countries (Belgium, UK, Austria, Turkey, Greece and Spain) will work together to develop B.LIVING project, in order to define common strategies to address religious diversity and intercultural education in Europe. B.LIVING partners will:a) Identify skill gaps, educational factors and successful methodological approaches to deal with religious diversity in intercultural education. (IO1 State of the art report)b) Enhance the professional development of School and VET teachers and trainers facilitating the assessment, validation and recognition of learning outcomes for teaching Religious diversity and Intercultural competencies. (IO2 ECVET Training Curriculum)c) Elaborate useful resources to disseminate better understanding of different and innovative methodological approaches for handling religious diversity in positive and dialogical ways, in classroom and in non-formal and informal learning environments. (IO3 B.LIVING pedagogical Handbook)d) Design practical activities, based on the B.LIVING innovative pedagogical approach, to support VET teachers and trainers in the teaching of religious diversity and intercultural education, in formal, non-formal and informal settings. (IO4 B.LIVING professional Toolbox)e) Design and implement an innovative digital space and practical tools addressed to both educators and learners to raise awareness and develop knowledge on different elements related with religious diversity and intercultural competencies through interactive learning elements (IO5 B.LIVING Training APPs and learning platform)The main target users of the project products are School and VET teachers and trainers. Final beneficiaries are School and VET students and learners.During the life time of B.LIVING project, the partnership will directly involve 94 School and VET teachers and trainers (28 partners staff / 36 experts involved / 30 target users in pilots), 150 School and VET students and learners (in pilots) and 520 stakeholders. A wider audience, of a minimum of 1.000 recipients, will be reached at local, regional, national and European level through the planned dissemination activities.B.LIVING shall improve the inclusive education in VET system by offering innovative approaches and contents. The project will have a direct impact in the improvement of the skills that teachers and trainers require to effectively support religious diversity in intercultural education.The long term impact envisaged is a strengthening of the inclusive education in School and VET and a strengthening of the professional profile of the teaching professions.

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