DOIT's three year program aims to enhance the quality of educational programs for promoting multicultural education, human and children’s rights and cultural diversity through a multi-faceted program that will bring about curriculum reform in its partner's Higher Educational Institutions in Israel and in Georgia. DOIT's program includes the design and piloting of courses for BA, MA students and in-service teachers, workshops for faculty, a program of outside of the classroom activities for students aimed to promote positive inter-cultural relations, and a portal that facilitates joint work and dissemination.
The Consortium Membership:
Israeli DOIT team
i. Gordon Academic College of Education: Coordinating Institution.
ii. Sachnin Academic College
iii. Interdisciplinary Center of Hertziliya
iv. Kaye Academic College of Education
v. Ben Gurion Univeristy
vi. Sapir Academic College
vii. Interfaith Encounter Association
viii. Student Unions of Gordon Academic College, Sachnin Academic College and Interdisciplinary Center of Hertziliya.
Georgian DOIT team:
i. Ilia State University
ii. Tbilisi State University
iii. Sokhumi State University
iv. Telavi State Univeristy
v. Samtske-Javakheti State Teaching University
vi. Civic Development Institute
vii. Center for Civil Integration and Inter-Ethnic Relations
European DOIT team:
i. University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
ii. Institute of Education of the University of London, United Kingdom
iii. Birkbeck University of London, United Kingdom
iv. Padagogische Hochule Oberosterreich, Austria
v. Hogeschool Van Amhem, The Netherlands
vi. Jaan Tonisson Institute, Estonia
Phase 1: Development and Design phase of DOIT’s programs: (Months 1-10 of project start: October 15, 2012-August 14, 2013)
- Development of Courses: The members of DOIT consortium worked in international teams to create three universal courses relating to different aspects of multicultural education and the promotion of children’s rights. In addition, experts from DOIT's partners, Higher Educational Institutions in Israel and in Georgia, developed material for two different courses which are culturally relevant for their countries. These cultural specific courses are aimed to promote multicultural education and human rights for their region. Each course includes a variety of materials such as syllabi, teaching and learning materials, and model lesson plans for the different target groups of the program (BA, MA and Inservice teachers). Each Higher Educational Institution (HEI) of DOIT will choose to pilot the programs within the modules which are most relevant for their chosen target groups. The course on Children’s Rights in and Through Education will be piloted at least for one semester in four of the Israeli HEI, five of the Georgian HEI and also in DOIT’s European partners in Germany and Austria. The key courses that have been developed are:
- Children’s Rights in and Through Education: The rationale of this course is that human and children’ rights can be promoted and achieved through education and that human and children's rights serve as a unifying force and foundation in multicultural societies and in our increasingly globalized world. Educators are key social agents in promoting these rights and in the creation of tolerant and just societies. The role of the educator requires an understanding of universal human and children's rights as well as the acquisition of tools for upholding these rights. Human and children's rights, can be achieved in and through education, by fostering the necessary awareness and understanding to strive to live together in multicultural societies and in an increasingly globalized world. The course objectives aim to:
- Provide both a cognitive and an experiential approach to human and children's rights education.
- Provide a venue for discussion of children's rights so that these issues become relevant components of the everyday lives, consciousness, and goals of professional educators and students of education.
- Raise students’ awareness of their roles and of their responsibilities as promoters and protectors of children's rights.
- Raise students' awareness of the links between multiculturalism and universal human and children's rights.
- Address the content of human and children’s rights by promoting critical thinking and social involvement.
- Promote critical thinking and social involvement regarding human and children’s rights.
ii. Pedagogical approaches that promote intercultural-ethnic understanding in the classroom. The course aims at enriching education students’ repertoire with pedagogical approaches, strategies and tools which can assist them in developing into reflective and culturally responsive teachers. Hence, it addresses student teachers’ competencies on both levels: the personal and the professional. Accordingly, the objectives of the course for teacher students are:
- To acknowledge both globalization and diversity as essential characteristics of societies in the 21st century and to relate these facts to one’s own life.
- To understand multicultural education as an overall pedagogical paradigm.
- To promote the understanding of multicultural education as a philosophical educational approach which entails professional outlook and proficiency, embodied in personal, social and political stands.
- To enhance professional competencies in the field of multicultural education by making use of various pedagogical approaches which emphasis Banks’ five dimensions of multicultural education.
- To foster the acquisition of knowledge, skills and appropriate attitudes supporting one’s own professional development in the field of multicultural education.
- To promote awareness on how the reflection on one’s own experience influences teacher’s attitudes, thoughts and behavior in the multicultural classroom.
- To analyze the construction of identities as a multidimensional and lifelong process as well as the complex interactions between individual, societal, and global factors in the construction of one’s own identity.
- To investigate in the close interconnection between language, culture and education.
- To investigate in the subjective dimension of language and culture.
- To deal with ambiguity in intercultural communication.
- To promote understanding for teaching and learning principles in multicultural education.
- To facilitate the choice of adequate tools and approaches for one’s own specific multicultural context.
- To encourage reflective and active citizenship, thus to provide equal opportunities for all learners in education.
- To enable reasoning, critical thinking and creativity for problem-solving in the context of multicultural education.
iii. Identity Formation in a Multicultural Environment:
The modern world is characterized by a growing cultural diversity where contacts between members of various cultural groups are becoming the rule rather than exception. Processes underlying identity formation are at the core of the multicultural perspective, as they guide our perception of the self and the other, thus defining the quality of intergroup interactions. Identity, much like culture, is a dynamic concept and includes dimensions such as language, religion, symbols, myths, as well as the conception of a shared past and of a foreseen future. This course aims to familiarize students with the complex processes underlying identity formation in a multicultural society. It will address issues such as: the role culture plays in formation of personal identity, the roles of different dimensions of identity including ethnicity, religion, and the effects of the social power dynamics on the identity formation of the individuals.
The Objectives of course aims to:
- To provide knowledge about psychological theories that explain why humans tend to categorize individuals according to their social group membership.
- To comprehend the psychological processes that underline intergroup phenomena such as racism, discrimination, inequality, conflict and reconciliation.
- To equip students with the phenomenon of collective memory and its role in the formation of identity.
- To bring students to the understanding that attitudes and stereotypes formed on the basis of memory are not constant and unchangeable, but they are rather the matter of manipulation according to the concrete historical, political and cultural context.
- To demonstrate the role of education as one of the main tools of memory and identity construction, formation of conflicting memories and their overcoming.
- To understand the constructed identity of modern nation-states; types of nationalisms, their common features, consequences and implications for individual identity-formation.
- To reflect on the role of religion in formation of personal/group identity.
Developing cultural specific materials for each region:
Israeli and Georgian members of the consortium designed culturally relevant and specific courses that relate to their regional needs and challenges for promoting multicultural education, cultural diversity and human and children’s rights. These courses are:
- Multiethnic Georgia. This course deals with the following issues: dynamics of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of Georgia; main cultural characteristics of the different groups; experience of intercultural dialogue; challenges and problems in the process of interaction of the majority-minority groups. The course will promote cultural diversity as a value; reveal the risks and difficulties which characterize multicultural environment; highlight the role of education in their overcoming as well as in raising tolerance and facilitating intercultural dialogue. The learning outcomes are aimed so that Students will become familiar with:
- features of everyday life, rituals and traditions of ethnic and religious groups living in Georgia;
- ethno-cultural reality of multiethnic regions (Abkhazia, Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti) of Georgia; traditions of intercultural relations, problems existing in the sphere and prospects of their solution;
- ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of cities and towns in Georgia (Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Telavi), traditions of relations between citizens of diverse ethnic identities;
- contribution to Georgian culture of ethnically non Georgian public figures residing in Georgia;
- Georgian and international legal documents related to the sphere of ethnic and religious minority rights; significance of protection of minority rights in view of developing civil society in Georgia;
Students will become aware of:
- the role of peaceful coexistence and dialogue among different
religious and cultural groups in the process of developing the Georgian
state and the civil society;
- the importance of their mutual influence in terms of enriching the Georgian culture.
Students should develop:
- tolerant attitude towards groups possessing diverse ethnic, religious and cultural values;
- perception of cultural diversity values;
- skills of effective communication in multicultural environment;
- critical thinking, research and presentation skills.
2. Israel’s Multicultural Society: The course will provide basic knowledge about minorities in Israel, through a crisscrossed structure interweaving knowledge-oriented units with more experiential ones (workshops, classroom activities, role playing games and so on). The experience-oriented attitude contextualizes the knowledge and enacts it as an inter-subjective project of mutual acknowledgement and actualized co-existence. This experience is bound to enrich the students’ sense of identity with new points of reference for discourse that can promote intercultural, ethnic and religious interaction.
Development of Out of the Classroom Activities: Three student unions in Israel and three student unions in Georgia that are members of DOIT’s HEI together with DOIT’s NGOs have developed a program for out-of-the-classroom activities aimed to promote intercultural relations on their college campuses. The events that are planned vary from campus to campus and range from field trips to cultural diversity events on campus (e.g. movies, music, ceremonies, folk dancing, lecturers with discussion, etc.)
Development of Quality Assurance and Assessment Tools: During phase 1 of DOIT's program, two international working teams: Quality Assurance and Curriculum Development worked together to develop assessment tools that will assess the impact of DOIT's programs.
DOIT's Portal design and development. Sapir Academic College of Education is DOIT's Web Server Developer and Maintainer. Over the first months of the program, their team worked together with members of DOIT's academic team and developed DOIT's portal for joint work, project management, quality assurance, exploitation, dissemination within and beyond consortium and the sustainability of the program. A project logo that will serve as visual identification with the project was designed to be used on all project materials.
By month four of the program, DOIT's portal http://tempus-doit.sapir.ac.il was launched and enabled the collaborative work process, communication among members, and dissemination of DOIT's work.
Phase 2: Implementation of DOIT’s program (September 2013-August 2015)
Piloting of Courses: More than 50 pilots will be implemented in fifteen of DOIT's partner institutions in Israel, Georgia and Europe and that thousands of students will benefit from DOIT's program.
Developing and Implementing Faculty Workshops: The first year of piloting of courses (during the 2013-14 academic year) will be paralleled with the development of faculty workshops that will train faculty in DOIT's HEI and other universities to teach DOIT's courses. Sustainability and institutional capacity to maintain and disseminate the program require that the faculty have an understanding of multicultural education and principles and of human and children's rights. In addition, the faculty needs to understand the pedagogical rationale of the program and be trained to pilot the new curriculum. Workshops will be provided in central regional areas in order to outreach and train academic faculty, so they will be able to implement the courses that have been developed. In addition, teaching manuals will be developed. These faculty workshops and published manuals will provide the faculty with the necessary tools to implement and disseminate the new curriculum.
Out-of- the -classroom activities for the students. NGOs working with leaders of the six student organizations (three in Israel and three in Georgia) will guide the students in implementing their programs. The programs will vary from campus to campus in order to meet the specific needs and challenges that exist in regards to intercultural relations in the different universities. For most of the campuses, these student activities will include major events that will publicize the program and attract students to the ongoing activities.
- Smaller events over the academic year (one 2 hour activity every three weeks) that relate to different issues of intercultural-ethnic-religious relations among the students)
- One national activity which brings together all students in the participating HEI in the country.
- One concluding event for the whole campus of each university which is participating in the program.
DOIT'S Portal for Online Dissemination and Publishing During the implementation phases, DOIT's website will continually develop with the progression of the project and will include the learning syllabi and course materials in English and multiple languages that they are being piloted. There will also be workrooms, questions and answers, and live chatting where the participants can present their experiences and receive feedback and guidance. A public portal will be planned to be launched.
Quality assurance and Quality Management processes
All aspects of DOIT's development, implementation and program are monitored for qualitymanagement phases of the assurance utilizing ‘Performance and Improvement Management” (PIM) methods (During the second phase of the program),assessment of the pilot courses and students activities will be implemented and evaluated.
Gordon Academic College of Education (GCE) is the leader of this project and responsible for project management. GCE has experience in coordinating multi-institutional and international projects. It is a leader in developing innovative educational programs in all fields of applied pedagogy including curriculum development. GCE will coordinate the development, exploitation, assessment, dissemination, quality assurance and managerial processes of DOIT. Faculty from ISU will assist by coordinating DOIT's 8 HEI and NGOs from GEO. During the first consortium meeting, protocols of project management which will ensure quality management through all stages of the program, financial management, communication, work schedule and report plans, and the implementation of all project objectives and programs will be presented. This protocol will be published online in MEPS and accessible to all members of DOIT's consortium.