Intercultural Aspects and Diversity in Schools - Parental Mentoring
WORKSHOP LED BY JÖRG BELDEN
Jörg Belden graduated in Theology and Philosophy at the University of Bonn in 1999. Since 2007 he is a lecturer for media didactics at the University of Hamburg. He works as a project manager in the field of school development at the KWB Coordination Center for Continuing Education and Employment since 2009. He developed programs for vocational and academic orientation from 2009 to 2014. Since 2014 he establishes structures that foster voluntarian participation in schools for the Hamburg Ministry of School and Vocational Education.
Who are we and to which institution do we belong?
The project “Schulmentoren” – funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg – is implemented by two institutions – the Hamburg Ministry for School and Vocational Education (BSB) and the Coordination Center for Continuing Education and Employment (KWB), a Hamburg-based nongovernmental agency specialized on implementation of projects for different target groups. The project aims at development and implementation of mentoring schemes at 33 participating schools and provides inter alia training units for parent-to-parent mentors.
What is our major hypothesis?
People from all parts of the world come to Hamburg to live and to work here, to find security, a future for their families and to become a part of the city. They enrich the city with their culture, their religion, their languages and traditions. The children visit our schools and learn the German language, they experience religious and ideological diversity and befriend with classmates. In their unprejudiced way to interact they often become role models for their families. Their intercultural competence is the foundation of our integration (policies).
Parents from abroad do not understand every routine and topic in our schools. On the other side teachers do not have an understanding for every religious or cultural need of their students. Therefore it is important for parents, their children and the school, to speak about topics, which appear unfamiliar: e. g. religious festivals, periods of fasting, swimming lessons, school trips or sex education. These conversations prevent bias and establish mutual understanding.
How do we plan the session?
The session is divided in 4 thematical slots (each approx. 15-20 minutes):
– The significance of intercultural and religious questions in school
– Example: Swimming lessons
– Example: Sex education
– How to cope with interreligious and intercultural challenges
Each round starting with a brief input (5 minutes address with a ppt-presentation), to be discussed afterwards. (10 min.). After the fourth slot the participants note down their personal “lessons learned”. If there’s time left, the participants are invited to read out their notes.
What is the goal of the session?
Experienced (migrant) parents support as School Mentors (Schulmentoren) newly immigrated parents from different countries. They build bridges between families and their schools. They not only inform parents (e. g. about legal conditions), but also convey the meaning of certain situations.
The goal of the session is:
– to show (on the concrete example of the project Schulmentoren) how parents, children and teachers get into dialogue about intercultural challenges,
– to learn from two concrete school activities (swimming lessons and sex education), why they are problematic for parents and how mentors can elucidate the approach of the school,
– to discuss, how parental mentors can be enabled to support other parents.
Furthermore there shall be shown – based on participants’ experiences – alternative ways to cope with cultural and religious diversity in schools.