About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2572-2579
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

HOW TO FACE THE DIDACTICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE WITH INTERCULTURAL GROUPS

O. Mayoral García-Berlanga, M.P. Donat-Torres

IGIC (Instituto de Investigación para la Gestión Integrada de Zonas Costeras), Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
The UPV (Universitat Politècnica de Valencia) has recently received from the European Commission the third prize in the 2013 Awards of Excellence Erasmus mobility in recognition of its mobility management within the Erasmus program. The UPV is an attractive University for foreign students, having received 1645 Erasmus students of which 146 studied at the EPSG (Escola Politècnica Superior de Gandia), during 2011-2012 course, data that illustrate the importance of the European dimension in the UPV higher education.

Since 2004 the EPSG of the UPV has been offering some subjects in English targeting foreign Erasmus students. At present the offer of subjects in English has increased significantly and the number of students coming from Asia (mostly from China) and South America is also increasing.
It is widely accepted that the experience that teachers and students acquire when conducting their work in an international environment greatly benefits. At the same time, from the point of view of the teacher it is an enormous challenge to cope with heterogeneous groups. We have been teaching intercultural groups composed approximately by half Spanish students and the other half foreign students, mostly from Germany, Check Republic, Poland, Turkey, Italy, France and China.

Most striking difficulties have to do with different levels of listening, written and oral English and with different knowledge levels as environmental sciences studies are very differently organized in the different countries. More subtle but not less important differences concern behavioural aspects in class, how to deal with learning, student-teacher relationships, etc…

After nearly 10 years of experience in teaching intercultural groups we highlight some useful teaching techniques and methodologies that have been proved to be successful and that have been rated highly by students. Cooperative learning has proved to be one of the only ways of improving cohesion of the course groups. Interactive methodologies in which students have to explain different aspects of the subject to the rest of the students are initially rejected but finally accepted and valued as an excellent tool also by students. On the other hand, teachers have to cope with heavy work, helping those students or groups that are not able to keep pace with the rest of the study class. An open-minded and flexible teacher capable of changing and redirecting the programme is essential to obtain good inputs and the best out of the cultural richness and variety that every nationality can offer to the rest of the group. Teachers have to adapt to the changing reality of each group. For example, it is especially satisfactory for students to explain to their colleagues certain aspects of the ecosystems from the areas where they live.

Although this kind of teaching involves substantial work to teachers, we are glad to provide learners with the cultural knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to achieve active and full participation in society, contributing to increase respect, understanding and solidarity among individuals, ethnic, social, cultural and religious groups and nations.
@InProceedings{MAYORALGARCIABERLANGA2014HOW,
author = {Mayoral Garc{\'{i}}a-Berlanga, O. and Donat-Torres, M.P.},
title = {HOW TO FACE THE DIDACTICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE WITH INTERCULTURAL GROUPS},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2572-2579}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Mayoral García-Berlanga AU - M.P. Donat-Torres
TI - HOW TO FACE THE DIDACTICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE WITH INTERCULTURAL GROUPS
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 2572
EP - 2579
ER -
O. Mayoral García-Berlanga, M.P. Donat-Torres (2014) HOW TO FACE THE DIDACTICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE WITH INTERCULTURAL GROUPS, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 2572-2579.
User:
Pass: