87th Experimental Intercultural Primary School of Athens
Accepting the other
Working language during the project:
Themes of the Council of Europe campaign “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:
- Making children’s and students’ voices heard
- Addressing controversial issues
- Tackling discrimination
- Improving well-being at school
Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:
- Valuing cultural diversity
The students followed role-play activities at the beginning of the project which aimed at helping them experience discriminatory situations.
- Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
Students were asked to write and talk about themselves and their class, the difficulties they face, their values and beliefs and share their answers with students from other classes.
- Openness to cultural otherness and to other beliefs, world views and practices
Participating in the preparation of celebrations, students got to know more about the fellow students’ cultures.
Target group age range:
Level of education:
- Primary education
Short description of the project:
Our project “Accepting the other” is an ongoing project that includes smaller scale ones. It has been carried out in our school for the last 4 years. The main aims of the project are to teach our students to value cultural diversity, to respect each other and be open to the different, to know and understand their self and to become autonomous learners.
The starting point of the project was an Educational Drama programme the implementation of which included activities focusing on issues of cultural, regional, ethnic and linguistic diversity. Students took part in role play situations where they had the opportunity to experience different scenarios that helped them gain an insight into the way people from cultures, countries or social origins different from their own feel when they are excluded because of such differences and to gain an insight into their own images of otherness. The project was then expanded to include more students and to address issues concerning the psychosocial well-being of students. Through such programmes and group activities in each class, teachers aimed at promoting better understanding of the self and the other, and linguistic and communicative skills. Since our school is a multilingual school, the activities were differentiated according to the linguistic abilities of the students in Greek, the participation of translators (official or volunteers among the students) and sometimes other ways of non verbal communication were used, such as drawing, acting and showing. The third part of the project has to do with celebrations, Greek national celebrations and the students’ countries of origins main celebrations. In our effort to be an inclusive school, we focus on the main idea of our national celebrations, freedom, democracy, solidarity, peace and we organise activities that include history teaching in groups, sharing life stories, talking about war, comparing different times and countries before we prepare the celebrations. This year we aim at preparing a calendar that will include all the main celebrations from the students’ different countries in an effort to get to know each other’s culture better.
- We aim to sufficiently prepare our students to become emancipated citizens, adopting the principles, the values and the concepts of equality, solidarity, freedom, citizenship, friendship, collaboration, human rights and children’s rights and to ensure that this happens in a safe, collaborative, colourful and creative environment.
- To teach students to accept and value diversity
- To promote co-operation, empathy, listening skills and respect
- To enhance students psychological well-being, build resilience and foster team spirit
- Students felt accepted and safe in the school environment, became more open to others and in expressing themselves and their feelings, developed linguistic and communicative skills and stopped fighting so much. They started to trust the teachers more and were more focused on the learning process.
Challenges you faced
- The biggest challenge we faced was that of language since we do not share a common language, which also made some colleagues reluctant to participate at the beginning and to have low expectations. There was also a lot of stress among colleagues due to lack of time and money, thus lacking necessary materials.
Time-frame of the project:
Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:
- Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
- Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
- All Different – All Equal