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Teaching in Diversity
Start date: Dec 1, 2016, End date: Nov 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Respect for and tolerance to diversity are fundamental European values. Nevertheless, the recent economic and financial crisis reinforced significantly the negative attitudes towards the „others“ that the increased mobility evoked after the EU Enlargement. Nowadays, the flow of refugees has fueled into the existing hostility towards people with different cultural background. Diversity has become a challenge that people face and deal with on a daily basis. Acknowledging that the educational institutions are the first place where diversities meet and interact on a daily basis and that they are the first pillar of the societal integration and acculturation, the project will address the topic of Diversity Management at school, focusing on the teachers as key actors in the process of transfer of knowledge, values, skills and competences. In contrast to the numerous initiatives providing the teachers will skills and competences of 'how to teach diversity', the current project will focus on one significant gab, identified in the teachers' training: WHY to teach diversity, how to TEACH IN diversity and HOW TO MANAGE diversity. The project addresses three key issues: (1) the challenge of knowledge-based adequate management of the growing diversity in Europe, especially in connection of the current refugee crisis, with the aim of fostering inclusion and societal integration yet at the school level,(2) the identified gap in the professional development of school teachers equipping them with the needed knowledge and understanding (of the fundamental principles and legislative frameworks regulating the human and minority rights protection and shaping the European values and norms) that will enable them to teach intercultural competences and skills to students and to manage successfully intercultural communication, potential intercultural clashes and learning outcomes; and (3) the establishment of an international teachers' network for continuous and real-time self support in managing of diversity. The three specific needs are intertwined and crucial for the development of an inclusive European society, where the educational institutions are the first point of intercultural interaction and acculturation. The project aims to address these needs in a comprehensive but practical manner focusing on the management of diversity through daily application of the human and minority rights. The transnational approach is therefore essential - although all of these are European goals based on the common European values, each country faces particular issues and had specific educational environment and practices. By involving 8 countries in the project implementation, the partnership believes that the project outputs will integrate the common European elements and issues and in the same time will be nationally-adaptable. This will ensure their validity and transferability to other European countries but in the same time, the products will be relevant and directly usable throughout Europe. The key project goals have therefore been defined as:1. Teachers' empowerment through: - Development of solid knowledge and understanding of diversity management (legal frameworks, standards, principles and practices, values and competences) - Enabling the knowledge-based transfer and development of civic competences from teachers to their students- Raising awareness about diversity management mechanisms and development of new skills and approaches to diversity2. Supporting the early societal integration at school level through development of educational staff aware of and knowledgeable about culture-sensitive learning, mechanisms for mitigating intercultural conflicts, facilitating intercultural communication3. Establishment of an international educators' network for real time self-support in addressing diversity challenges and of a mobile application for facilitating the network's interaction4. Development of a training module and open educational resources in diversity management for teachers and 5. Adapting the developed training package for ONLINE training in diversity management for teachers The target group and expected end-users of the project outputs are- teachers and educators from all levels of the preschool and school education - teachers and educators working with refugees and migrants- school management and supportive staff - public officials responsible for school management and policy making at the level of primary and secondary educationTo ensure the achievement of the identified objectives, a wide partnership was formed, including different organisations from 8 European countries. Among the project partners there are research institutions, VET providers, ICT specialists, a school with pedagogical profile, associations of educators and such promoting new technologies and media in education. The project duration will be 24 months but the outputs will ensure the sustainability of its results thereafter.

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