Intercultural Competence in Teaching Practice

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The definition of the ITEPS programme:

•1. Intercultural competency

•The international primary school teacher works in a multicultural and diverse setting, enables pupils to recognise and respect different perspectives, and offers equal opportunities for education and development for all pupils. To achieve this, the international primary school teacher must have intercultural competence.

•Intercultural competence in the teaching profession includes the acceptance, recognition and enhancing of diversity in the classroom, and eliminating mechanisms of prejudices and discrimination.

•Intercultural competence starts with the teacher him/herself, and his or her ability to reflect on and explore identity and diversity in relation to him or herself. The international primary school teacher helps in (together with self reflection, knowledge and understanding of diversity in society, education and the individual) • communication and relationship with pupils, colleagues and parents of diverse backgrounds, in • employing inclusive educational strategies, and in • creating intercultural learning situation.

This results in the following descriptions of subcompetences:

•I endorse my intercultural responsibility

•I possess critical awareness of the dimensions of my own cultural identity.

•I am aware of different representations of diversity and minority issues in education.

•I value diversity in language and culture as a rich asset, and promote equal opportunity for all pupils.

•I foster cultural exchanges between pupils.

•I should be seeking skillfully to explore opportunities to extended learning, particularly if greater awareness of local issues can be achieved.

•I have sufficient knowledge and skills to handle group processes and intercultural and international communication.

Research questions on how to develop Intercultural Competence in Teaching Practice in the ITEPS and ITELS Programme.

These questions were generated by the workshop participants in Drammen, Norway on May 11 2015 in the workshop entitled "Intercultural competence and teaching practice":

1.How do teachers react on stereotypes in the classroom?

2.To what extent does the cultural background influence the relationships between the children, and between the children and the teacher?

3.How do children perceive their learning process of cultural intelligences?

4. 1. In which way do you make use of the different cultures in your classroom during your lessons? 2. In which way you take in account that pupils with different backgrounds have to learn a language? 3. What motivation do you recognize in learning? extrinsic or intrinsic? is it different per culture?