How can we foster tolerance in the school environment, teaching students to express and to understand different points of view, evaluating the “different” as an added value, essential for the life of every society?
An important result towards achieving this goal has been obtained thanks to the Otherness project. A project developed thanks to the collaboration of four international associations such as the Prosveta-Sofi Foundation in Bulgaria, the Center of non-formal education in Greece, the Instituto Politecnico De Santarem in Portugal and the Center for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci” in Italy.
The “Manual of the teacher”
In order to develop a new approach to the themes of tolerance, diversity and active citizenship, has been created the “Teacher’s manual”; a rich program consisting of 48 activities dedicated to students and addressed to professors interested in including in their trainings topics as: human rights, ethnic, linguistic, social and cultural diversity, promoting the importance of an active and conscious participation in the local communities.
More specifically, the teacher’s manual is a program consisting of three modules (Human Rights, Diversity, Identity and Active Citizenship) divided into 48 activities dedicated to students and professors interested in addressing these important topics in their courses.
The digital tool includes an online platform where digital resources such as quizzes and videos allow active and engaging participation in the modules provided by the manual.
The results of the questionnaire
What do students think about the themes of diversity, tolerance, poverty, intercultural exchange and human rights?
In addition to the courses carried out by teachers with their students, a questionnaire composed by 30 specific questions has been administered in partners’ countries before and after the implementation of the training program implemented in the schools.
What has resulted is very promising!
Indeed, in most of the cases students consider and evaluate the difference as an added value; a precious element in their educational path and in their reciprocal understanding.
The major part of them think that tolerance consists in accepting differences and the opinions of others and in believing that everyone, independently from their differences, possesses the same rights.
Tolerance, diversity and differences among people are the topics which interest the most, along with aspects such as the assistance to the behavior of disadvantaged people.
Other important aspect concerns the cohabitation and the constant meeting that is lived everyday with hostile or aggressive students; a circumstance that is experienced everyday by the students who interpret it as a condition caused by bad familiar background or as a natural consequence of the past experiences of these students; a past which lead them to perceive problems as solvable just through violence.
Despite these behaviors, most of the students say that they would intervene to defend the most hostile students in case they would see them unjustly accused; only a small percentage of respondents would not intervene in their defense because they would consider the punishment unfair but at the same time deserved because of their past conduct.
In general students know their fundamental rights, but not in a deep and detailed way, for this reason they do have a strong interest in acquiring more skills in this area.
The developed products have achieved great success, in addition to the great participation of students and teachers in schools.
The programs implemented in the schools and the digital tools developed are now available to anyone who wants to address these issues in their trainings, giving space to perspectives of continuity in the effective use of these tools.
And you? Do you want to use the “Manual of the teacher” in your next training courses?
Go to the section “Resources” on the webpage othernessproject.eu and check the rich material available in English, Italian, Bulgarian, Greek and Portuguese version.
The project funded by the Erasmus + program (Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnership in the education sector) includes a rich partnership:
- Prosveta-Sofia Foundation (Bulgaria, coordinator);
- Center of non-formal education (Greece);
- Instituto Politecnico De Santarem(Portugal);
- Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo “Danilo Dolci” (Italy).
Keep yourself always updated on Otherness results!