20 SES 06 JS, Joint Session
Joint Paper/Poster Session NW 07 and NW 20
The University College of Teacher Education of Styria (PH Steiermark; Austria ), like many other schools and universities, puts effort to contribute to the integration of people who have had to flew their country and came to Europe. The project 'Connect2Learn' does just that – it's revealing certain challenges, but also discusses the advantages of working together, and learning from one another. Given that the formal education system (especially the field of vocational training) is massively affected by the circumstances of migration and our previous constructions of "normality" are getting more and more obsolete (Mecheril & Oberlechner 2016, p. 153), future pedagogues are supposed to gather as many encounters and as much experience as possible with people who at first might seem completely foreign. Dealing with this persons allows the the students, to broaden their view on migrant´s issues and get an insight into their stories, shared experiences and their living conditions (Auferbauer & Pongratz 2017).
The initiative 'Connect2Learn' was started in 2015 and includes by now more than twenty different activities, who are being performed as a cooperation between several NGO´s, the city of Graz and by more than twenty teachers and numerous students of the College of Teacher Education (Pichler & Pongratz 2017): Joint courses, mentoring activities, fundraising and charity campaigns, knowledge transfer, multilingualism activities and global citizenship education.
The range of this project goes from short encounters as the Refugee Day at Styrian vocational schools (Berghold 2017), intercultural Cooking workshops (Krasneker et al. 2017), or prolonged educational projects like Nightingale Mentoring (Mats 2017), preparation classes for an apprenticeship in tourism (Taylor et al. 2017), as well as frequent attending of young people who have had to escape their country of the dual education system (Moser et al. 2017). The aim of our efforts is making intercultural encounters highly profitable in many different ways and for everyone who's involved in these activities.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, the participants are organizing regular meetings, which function as a place of constant exchange, communication and interchange of experiences. Furthermore, an annual special action day has been organized for two years now within these regular happenings, to introduce the field to pedagogues, as well as other people who might be interested in this issue in order to broaden the awareness among professionals in the field.
The focus of our activities lies on people who's asylum procedure is still in the works, because especially for these people it is quite difficult to receive educational opportunities or a chance for encounters in that area. Also very often, our students do not have a lot of shared stories or personal experiences with these people before actually getting to know them, and often mainly draw their opinions from what they might have heard in the media about certain topics. We priorly strive to provide encounters, which also are helpful for our students and when it comes to working with diversity in the future with experience and with respect. For this aim we are continually working on creating encounters and meetings, which are meant to outreach our College's surroundings – for example at vocational schools, special classes for non-german-speaking pupils and forms of infomal learning. One of the features that is essential with this initiative is the given that a lot of particular people are active within their different pedagogical field, which reveals a vast diversity of possilbe activities and learning opportunities.
Formative and/or summative evaluation were applied on each project of 'Connect2Learn', e.g. a quantitative orientated pre-/post measuring design in the setting of vocational schools, where encounters of pupils with unaccompanied minor refugee were surveyed with accompanying research. Other projects in the field of teacher education and professional teacher trainings were accompanyed with ongoing research methods in order to make them more adequate for the needs of the involved stakeholders.
With 'Connect2Learn', we want to focus on the activities in different fields of education (from secondary level and vocational training to teacher education and teacher training), and to show the experiences of the project so far – the chances as well as the challenges and the limitations that we have encountered.
Auferbauer, M. & Pongratz, H. J. (2017). Zwischen Angst und Solidarität. Soziologische Aspekte zur Flüchtlingssituation in Österreich. In: E. Pichler & H. J. Pongratz (Hrsg.), Refugees connected2learn. Integration von Geflüchteten – Umgang mit Diversität im pädagogischen Kontext (S. 21–39). Graz: Leykam. Berghold, A. (2017). Refugees Day an steirischen Berufsschulen. In: E. Pichler & H. J. Pongratz (Hrsg.), Refugees connected2learn. Integration von Geflüchteten – Umgang mit Diversität im pädagogischen Kontext (S. 328–339). Graz: Leykam. Mecheril, P. & Oberlechner, M. (2016). Migration bildet. Anforderungen an pädagogisches Handeln. In: S. Kronberger, C. Kühberger & M. Oberlechner (Hrsg.). Diversitätskategorien in der Lehramtsausbildung. Ein Handbuch. (S.153-166). Wien: Studienverlag Moser, F., Pucher, A. Rossegger, N. & Pongratz, H. J. (2017). Gelungene Integration jugendlicher Flüchtlinge in der Lehre. Chancen für die steirische Wirtschaft – Integration durch Begegnungen Erwartungen und Erfahrungen jugendlicher Flüchtlinge. In: E. Pichler & H. J. Pongratz (Hrsg.), Refugees connected2learn. Integration von Geflüchteten – Umgang mit Diversität im pädagogischen Kontext (S. 70–84). Graz: Leykam
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