Europe is experiencing one of the most significant arrivals of migrants and refugees in its history. As the number of migrants entering Europe rapidly increases, their cultural integration and inclusion in European societies becomes a priority. Bearing in mind that integration is a two-way process, the progressively increasing multicultural character of EU societies demonstrates the need to introduce intercultural education programmes that recognise and effectively support diversity, promote mutual acceptance and respect, while combating racism and xenophobia.
Against this backdrop, supporting the efforts of EU member states to help integrate migrants and refugees into Europe’s education systems and ensure their skills development is an urgent and demanding task. Its success is dependent on the educators and teachers, who should be appropriately trained to have a deep understanding of basic concepts of culture and intercultural communication, as well as the historic and contemporary international context. This would enable them to develop an inclusive curriculum and integrate intercultural citizenship education so that they can foster interculturalism and avoid archaic educational practices that cultivate monoculture, othering and stigmatisation.
To achieve this, as well as the wider challenge of migrants’ cultural integration, this project will design a programme for adult educators working with migrants. For this purpose, the project partners will:
a) investigate the status quo regarding migrant integration policies, existing programmes and training structures on intercultural training for migrants and educators in partner countries;
b) compare and analyse the results of this investigation to develop a needs analysis for intercultural education of trainers;
c) develop an internationally competitive modularised training curriculum with qualification standards specialised for Adult Education (EQF Level 5);
d) produce a handbook for trainers, which will include learning outcomes, a theoretical framework of basic concepts and the training package itself which will include practical exercises and, where possible, case studies.
At the beginning of the project , a database of stakeholders in every partner’s country will be created which will include actors related to the project aim; experts in AE and intercultural education, migration centres providing training, other interested parties etc.
The main activities of this project are:
O1 and O2: Research on intercultural education; Partners will collect data on existing training programmes designed for migrants and their cultural integration and will point out the needs for updates or the development of new material.
O3: Curriculum development; A Curriculum on intercultural education and training for Adult educators will be developed based on O1 and O2 results.
O4: Development of training materials; The objective is to elaborate a set of sample training materials organised in modules and divided into topics. Development of a MOOC, where the training materials will be uploaded and adapted.
Implementation of a Joint Staff Training Event; The partners will test the developed curriculum and training materials, they will provide feedback on activities and make necessary changes before the final output. The feedback provided by end-users will ensure that the results will be relevant to target groups and will therefore encourage their use.
O5 and O6: A Training guide and a course syllabus with final material and useful information and tips will be made available to Adult educators and all interested parties.
During the project, the partners will raise awareness of the use of intercultural training techniques in adult education. The project will therefore have a direct impact not only on adult educators and staff involved in the project, but also on the wider target group of adult educators and newly arrived migrants receiving intercultural training focused on the host countries. The integrative nature and the professional relevance of the materials and methodology will also have an impact on the motivation of newly arrived migrants to learn about the culture, customs and everyday life in their host countries.
The developed training programme can be easily adapted and tailored to changing needs. The curriculum can also be used as a teaching and learning aid for other institutions as it focuses on certain topics which can be re−organized according to the needs of different contexts. The course could also be transferable to other educational sectors, which will guarantee the sustainability of project results and the project network.