The Forum on Intercultural Learning and Exchange (FILE) is an annual invitational conference that explores a particular topic in international educational exchange that has not received much sustained focus. It is one of the main activities of Fondazione Intercultura and it is convened in cooperation with EFIL (European Federation for Intercultural Learning), and AFS Intercultural Programs.
Following the success of FILE VI on ‘The school assessment of the intercultural learning of pupils during and after individual exchanges abroad’ on 29-31 October 2015, the preparatory team – Darla Deardorff, Uffe Gravers Pedersen, Melissa Liles (AFS INT) and Elisa Briga (EFIL) – came up with the proposal of teacher’s training on intercultural competences as a topic for the next edition. The suggestion was endorsed by Fondazione Intercultura which has agreed to sponsor FILE VII on “The intercultural training of teachers: what, when, how?”, taking place in Colle di Val d’Elsa, 3-5 November 2016.
FILE VII will explore the topic by brainstorming and discussing:
- Which intercultural training should be available for teachers? Methodologies? Content? Should it be part of their in-service training?
- Which teachers should receive this training? Foreign language? Others? All?
- Should intercultural learning be a separate subject in the curriculum of pupils or should it cut across all subjects?
- How to check/assess the outcome?
- Which is the role of governments, teacher training colleges, educational agencies? How to promote cooperation on these topics?
- How to promote teacher exchanges and partnerships?
The expected outcomes will include suggestions on how teacher training may come to include a preparation for the task for transferring an intercultural mindset to pupils in school and how teachers can be given tools to provide culture learning opportunities for their pupils, esp. in secondary schools.
The outline of the programme has been drafted and invitations have been sent out to experts. As usual, the call for participants from the AFS network will come out later in Spring.
The participation of 60 people from different parts of the world is expected : half of them will be from universities and research institutions active in the field of educational exchanges; the other half will be practitioners from NGOs that have been involved in international exchanges for many years. In the past we have found that this mixture of academics and practitioners is very fruitful.
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