"Diversity in Schools": Project Promoting Intercultural Openness is Launched in Three Berlin Schools at the Beginning of the New School Year
Press Release, 3 August 2012
The new school year sees the launch of the project "Diversity in Schools" in three Berlin schools. The three-year program fostering extensive intercultural openness in schools is being carried out by the Jewish Museum Berlin in cooperation with the German Children and Youth Foundation and sponsored with around 800,000 euros from the Mercator Foundation.
Applications from Berlin secondary schools interested in establishing and strengthening an interculturally respectful lesson and school culture as well as ongoing reflection and (re)design of daily school life were accepted until 23 March. Three schools were selected and now begin the two-year development program with teacher seminars and professional assistance: The "B.-Traven-Oberschule" on the Falkenhagener Feld estate, the "Hermann-Hesse-Gymnasium" in Kreuzberg, and the "Ernst-Schering-Schule" in Wedding.
These schools have shown commitment to dealing with diversity in the past. The project "Diversity in Schools" builds on these experiences and offers individual support to teachers to attune to the immigrant community and draw on the different experiences and perspectives of their students in the classroom.
Over the next two school years from August 2012 to July 2014, the Jewish Museum Berlin will develop four modules for a series of teacher seminars on the theme "Diversity in Schools" and test them in the three schools. The focus will be on "Diversity in the country of immigration," "Diversity in art and culture," "Self and other media images of youth culture," and "Stereotypical knowledge and multiple perspectives in teaching materials." The content and structure of the modules will be developed with the schools and tailored to suit their respective development goals.
Building on the thematic impetus of the training sessions and the schools’ respective development goals, the schools together with a process consultant from the German Children and Youth Foundation will develop new ways of dealing with diversity in teaching and school life. Their firm anchoring in the teaching and education program will ensure the sustainability of these measures.
On Monday, 3 September, the project will be officially launched with a first networking and introductory meeting of the participating schools and an evening reception with a panel discussion. More detailed information about these events and an invitation to the panel discussion will be sent out in due course.
The Jewish Museum Berlin and the German Children and Youth Foundation are collaborating for the first time on this project, pooling their respective expertise in the fields of historico-political and intercultural education and school development and networking. The Jewish Museum Berlin has been developing innovative educational programs for the last ten years and has earned a reputation as an important learning center away from the school campus. The project "Diversity in Schools" is part of a series of new programs on migration and diversity, which in connection with the opening of the museum’s new Academy in November, will broaden the Jewish Museum’s impact in the realm of education. The German Children and Youth Foundation is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to making Germany a good environment for young people to grow up and learn in. The Mercator Foundation develops sustainable programs fostering integration and cultural education. Through this project, all three partners are demonstrating their commitment to providing all school students, irrespective of their origin, with equal educational opportunities.