During the two years' Global Kids' Project the project coordinators Torben Vosbein and Erika Köchl developed guidelines for teachers entering in similar activities.
To develop intercultural competences
To develop intercultural competences we have to try to understand how the other person thinks, feels and acts. We need intercultural competences not only to understand people from different nations, we also need them to overcome e.g. age differences within our own culture.
In this project teachers and students are dealing with differences between ‘continents’, which means enormous differences in history, social structures, famliy structures etc. It takes time to handle this interaction.
Teachers and students need
1: To have knowledge. It is important to know about geography, history and culture. Knowledge gives you the background to ask questions and interact.
2: To be aware of the emotional aspect. If your visitors smile and feel comfortable, the students should be able to respond in the same way. It does not require that much to get the feeling of non-verbal sharing.
3: Motivation. Teachers and students should be motivated to bridge the gap. You have to know what you expect to gain from the meeting. If not, it is just a disruption in a stresssfull school day. You need to know why you invest time and energy.
When you reflect on good practicies after a visit, you should think about what was worth remembering. What was good to know. Were there a feeling of ‘we are one’ – of obstacles being overcomed?