A new classroom experience
This week, our researcher Marlene van Heel-Bradbury was a invited as a speaker on intercultural competence development at the University of Porto. She taught intercultural theories and invited students to participate in interactive exercises on global competence to a group of students in their Masters in Teacher Education, and a group of Bachelor students in European languages. One of the teaching methods she used in her workshops was ‘story circles’, a method developed by UNESCO for developing intercultural competences.
“Teaching intercultural competencies to a new group is always a fun intercultural experience in itself”, says Marlene who just returned from four days in Porto. “And that’s what makes this job so rewarding. Every time you try out a class activity in a new cultural context, you see new reactions and new cultural differences in social interactions.”
“I am used to training Dutch students, who tend be quite open to share experiences and interact with one another in class. In these Portuguese groups, I learned that group interaction comes in many different forms. In one of the story circles exercises, for example, students were totally comfortable to sit quietly together when they had nothing more to share. It did not feel awkward to them when their conversation came to a natural ending. Now that’s something I wouldn’t see that often in my Dutch classrooms…”
Want to know more about the project, our collaboration with the University of Porto or the content of the trainings, feel free to contact Marlene (firstname.lastname@example.org).