MOBILITY OF STUDENT TEACHERS AND INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS IN A EUROPEAN PROJECT
1 Univeristy of Alcalá (SPAIN)
2 CEIP Isabel La Católica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The project “An INTegral Teacher Training for developing digital and communicative competences and subject content learning at schools (intTT)”, is a Socrates-Comenius project financed by the Executive European Commission and is developed by six Universities: Alcalá (Spain, Coordinator of the project), Comenius, Bratislava (Slovakia), Helsinki (Finland), Lisboa (Portugal), Leicester (United Kingdom) and Teknik, Karadeniz (Turkey). The intTT team has been working together in educational projects.
The intTT partners think that the training of the future teachers of primary and secondary schools needs to include the communicative and digital competences to foster significant learning of subject content. These competences are identified as key competences for lifelong learning and are closely related to subject content learning. One of the purposes of the project is to develop the materials produced in the project and to spread the methodology, a fusion of subject content-communicative and digital competence, implemented through student teachers’ mobility among the different countries participating in the project. This mobility experience can foster intercultural awareness in student teachers and also improve communication and cohesion among the different countries.
The world, and especially, Europe are increasingly drawing nearer, attracted by a convergence of economic and political activities. Nevertheless, the world is split linguistically and it also remains a multi-faceted place with diversified traditions, values, heritages and cultures which may one day be combined to obtain a quality of life that today is still a distant dream. It is very easy for us to act according to our cultural patterns, convinced that our values can be applied internationally in every situation.
There is a Senegalese proverb which says that 'misunderstandings do not exist. Only the failure to communicate exists'. Communication is essential to maintain a culture and communities sometimes fail from lack of adequate communication. So the more languages we learn, the more different horizons we will be able to reach. In mixing with people from other cultures, we are sometimes surprised by a point of view which is different from our own or sometimes we feel nearly paralyzed because we do not know how to behave in a particular occasion. Take greetings and forms of address as an example. A Frenchman is shocked if you do not shake hands on every possible occasion, but an Oriental may feel rather uncomfortable if you do. However a warm smile is an internationally recognized way of establishing a good atmosphere. A greeting can be an opening or an ending if we ignore cultural differences.
Acquiring a language and the culture of the country/countries speaking this language will contribute to a better understanding in the world. Each language has its own way of describing, expressing reality and this reality is closely linked to a social structure. In any case an intercultural awareness will provide us with a better future if we are able to select the benefits and attractions offered by every society. In our opinion, cross-cultural communication is a basic element when a foreign language is spoken or taught and literature should not be ignored to achieve this communication.
This paper presents different aspects of the Mobility Programme of the intTT project.
Keywords: Communicative and digital competences, subject content, teacher-training, mobility, intercultural awareness.