venerdì 23 settembre 2016

Cultural Diversity in your Classroom Reflections 2

What I have learnt in the last two weeks

I will post my lessons and projects for the MOOC which is going to finish by 2nd October. We need to find strategies that help our learners to think about the importance of dialogue and being open to other cultures. This is really important as more and more societies do not seem to be  ready to integrate and learn from other cultures.

We are human beings and the recent events dealing with a huge number of refugees and immigrants moving to Europe are the biggest problems in our societies. Wars and economic  problems are influencing our choices: Europe, the USA and other  countries are facing such problems and the solutions are often building " walls" to stop the invasions from people who are just escaping and trying to find a place where to live. We should not be afraid . However, many people are afraid of diversity, some are old while others are very young and are against integration because they feel that people are threatening our " society" and " our way of living". 

I like to think of the poem by John Donne who wrote " No man is an Island": we need to design tasks, to work on projects to teach our  learners that

                         No man is an Island

You can read the poem online too:

I have collected my favourite websites which have inspired me in designing my lessons:

promoting respect for cultural diversity is one of the main objectives we should all share -

see article online

Here is my  Thinglink with the most important web links which I have used for planning and learning about best practices and tips:
Here is my learning diary where I have shared what I have done in the last two weeks:in  the next post I  will describe my lessons/module.

mercoledì 21 settembre 2016

Cultural Diversity in your Classroom Reflections 1

The beginning of a new school year-
Learning and Sharing  Ideas about the best Ways for enhancing cultural Diversity in Class 

I have had a great opportunity for my  CPD this month: the European platform Schooleducationgateway has presented an interesting  MOOC - " Cultural  Diversity in your Classroom" - just check online
I have done it and I am going to write about it and what I have learnt.

The course is followed by thousands of teachers, most of them are European educators  but we can  also find  teachers living in other parts of the world. It is a  challenging project as teachers are guided and can learn from experts about the importance of designing lessons, modules and  activities that support cultural diversity and teachers of different  subjects can  integrate this topic into the activities which they run in class.
In Europe we have had a lot of immigrants moving from  areas where  civil wars and wars have created sufferings and families and children are now trying to escape to safer  places. Some of them want to live in the north of Europe, others are hoping to find home in the USA or  Canada. Among the many stories I have heard about or read we have  families with children and some of them will become our  students.
People who are involved in education are the first ones who can  meet these children and students in their classes.The problems related to the issue of migration are manifolds and involve immigrants and their children  but  also the students living in the richest parts of the world need to learn about the importance of Cultural Diversity and  everybody should be aware of such values when meeting people from other cultures as they can be enriching. We should all be aware of the challenges but also  take advantage from what these people can tell us about their culture and start  meeting them and sharing ideas.

Some of the best students I have taught in my classes have also been from another country. They arrived in our primary schools and they became part of our communities.  Education is therefore important for them and they can also help their families and parents to become more integrated if we are open to them.

I live in Italy and in my classes I have always taught students coming from other European countries but also a lot of  immigrants ' children  who tried to escape poverty  and find a better world in Europe.
They came from China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and other African countries. They wanted to find a land where to live in peace and be given more opportunities of freedom.
We have always had a " melting pot " in our classes, as teachers involved in teaching  students coming from all over the world we were  faced with language and cultural diversities, sometimes their families did not get in contact with the educators and needed the help of people who spoke their languages.
As a teacher I have faced a lot of difficulties but I have also realized that many of them felt they had not always been integrated and language  difficulties made this a greater problem.
The Mooc has run for two weeks  so far and we have had opportunities for sharing what we have done: Twitter and webinars are the main tools which we have used.
I have already seen some interesting learning diaries shared by the teachers who worked online and each learner/teacher has had to design a lesson about what we have learnt.
Twitter and FB are social media which have been used by teachers and if we check online we will see a lot of information about this interesting topic.

                                                                  Ideas  for educators

In a post which I wrote on a webinar online I had come across the theme of students  coming from other countries- culturally responsive teaching was the title of the webinar and then I wrote about it the other blog which I  keep for my personal reflections:

I will present my  Learning Diary in my next post and will write about my ideas about how I would like to teach Cultural Diversity in my school.