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Educating Teachers for Diversity

by Lusine Fljyan

Author: Anonym/mardi 11 mars 2014/Categories: Conference March 2014, learning envionment, academic performance, intercultural education, plurilingualism

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In the overall context of teacher education there is very little space left for shaping the pre-service teachers’ skills and competences to work in a multicultural environment. 

In our days there is a growing tendency that schools in Europe and beyond enroll the children with different linguistic and cultural background. How can education facilitate the learners’ efficacy in a multicultural environment? What kind of pedagogical knowledge, skills and competences are required to become a teacher that will work in a multicultural classroom? How can the teachers integrate various teaching tools and methods to materialize the intercultural education via different school subjects? These questions relate not only to teachers and teacher trainers, but also to the policy-makers in various countries so as to be able to design the country standards for implementing the intercultural education core components in the academic curricula and the content of school education. This issue is connected not only with the content of teaching languages, but also with all the school subjects. The acquisition of core intercultural competences by the future teachers will foster the academic success of the children and improve the quality of education. The frame of the procedures related to the development of intercultural skills of future teachers represents the following hierarchy:

1. Developing the standards for multicultural education by the policy makers;
2. Instructing teacher educators;
3. Training in-service teachers and pre-service teachers
4. Practicing the intercultural knowledge, skills and competences in class.

The higher education institutions should integrate the intercultural education components in the courses that are offered to students. The essence of this kind of education is to support the children with diverse linguistic and cultural background to achieve better results while schooling.

It is necessary to develop innovative teaching practices for developing new programs which will focus on the multicultural classrooms as the target audiences in schools.

The current model of teacher training in Armenia enables the higher education institutions be autonomous and imply the results of their research and innovation practices in the content of teacher-training. But for the continuous and oriented implementation of core components of multiculturalism in the content of teacher education it is necessary to develop certain models which will work in various situations and classrooms in different countries.

For a more efficient work, first of all, we need to specify the range of competences that are considered as intercultural or are closely connected with them, and then we need to identify the key competences that are necessary to integrate in the subject curricula at schools. After it we need to train the teacher educators to learn how to shape their students intercultural competences by means of various methods, using diverse teaching approaches.

Undoubtedly, all these measures will improve the quality of school education, as they facilitate the inclusiveness and the participatory rate of the children in the learning process, which will improve the overall quality of education.

Lusine Fljyan

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