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What is IE

What is Intercultural Education (IE)

A model of intercultural (respectively multicultural) education has started its development in the West Europe and Northern America at the end of the 1960s. This development has started in connection with a concept of multiculturalism which reflects new social situation arisen as a result of colonial empire break-down, as a result of more visible emancipation of different social-cultural groups which differ from particular national (respectively state) mass cultures and in consequence of problems with integration of immigrants coming from the third world. The ideal of multicultural theories is a society based on equal and non-conflicting coexistence of different cultural, ethnical, religious or other groups, the type of coexistence which brings such a social order where the signs of any kind of discrimination, racism and xenophobia are minimized. The concept of multicultural society is the alternative to a society based on monocultural model of national states, it is a political project which prefers variety of values, norms and ideas to ideological or cultural homogeneity.

Intercultural learning is taken as one of the tools which has the ability to create multicultural society, as a way towards the development of plural civil society based on the principle of self-equality, equal rights of individuals as well as groups. It originates in the conviction that many of negative stereotypes, which are the starting point to a prejudiced behaviour towards the minority groups, are learned by children and young people within the educational process which is in national states almost entirely orientated on the presentation of majority (national) cultures and its values.
That is why the general goal of intercultural learning is not only to pass on to children the knowledge of their own cultural background but also to understand different cultures, to develop their sense for justice, solidarity and tolerance, to lead them towards the understanding and respect of growing social-cultural variety and to open the door of understanding different ways of living and the world for them.

Intercultural education is preparation for life in a multicultural reality, preparation for social, political and economical aspects of interaction among people with different social-cultural backgrounds. An endeavour of ICE is to create people´s ability to understand, and to respect other cultures than their own, to communicate and cooperate with members of other social-cultural groups and generally to improve relationships between majority and minorities. ICE is trying to develop three main areas of specific competencies within the members of educational process, such as the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes. The goals of intercultural learning are then defined in the context of these areas.

Intercultural competencies
Area Cognitive Instrumental Affective
Informations about current situation of members of other ethnical, cultural and social groups living in Czech and European society. Knowledge of the mechanism which builds the borders between the groups and realizing how to get over them. Skills to orientate ourselves in culturally plural world and to use intercultural contacts and dialogues in order to enrich ourselves as well as others. Attitudes of tolerance, respect and openness towards different life styles, towards all individuals without regard to their social-cultural background. The conscience of necessity for our individual role when coming
The receivers of educational process (pupils, students, seminar participants):
  • understand the history of their own social-cultural background
  • understand the history of social-cultural background of other groups in region, the CR, Europe and in the world
  • know how social-cultural background strengthen or weaken the identity of each individual
  • are aware of physical, mental and social needs common for all people
  • know how other societies refer to these needs
  • are able to recognize, analyze and critically assess different aspects and behaviour of other social-cultural patterns
  • contribute to non-conflict coexistence of people with different social-cultural background in civic society
  • can face the manifestation of intolerance, xenophobia, discrimination and racism
  • are capable of leading a constructive dialogue and cooperation, they can solve any conflicts calmly
  • respect different aspects and behaviour of other social-cultural patterns
  • consider as useful active involvement in combating all forms intolerance, xenophobia, discrimination, and racism
  • take for granted participation in adequate and just solving of conflicts occurring on account of socio-cultural diversity;
  • hold in esteem the notion of equality of all individuals and groups

The Variants webpage provides information, texts and methodical material for the usage of intercultural, global development and media education. The webpage offers tools to reach the goals and contents of the Framework Educational Program through interactive way of teaching.