This year’s conference in Istanbul of the network "Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments Network in the European Education Research" was organized as paper sessions, joint sessions, workshop sessions, posters and network meeting. The Network promotes innovative strategies dealing with intercultural teaching and its learning environment. Key issues are cultural identity and diversity, multi-ethnic learning groups and communities, intercultural discourses and the role of intercultural education in promoting both the local identities of groups and a sense of common citizenship in Europe.
The Network established itself this year with 13 paper sessions, 1 joint session with network 7 and 2 with network 24, 2 workshops, 2 roundtable sessions and 4 posters were presented. A total of 54 presentations were organized.
This year the network continued the idea of a workshop ‘Session Zero’ which aimed to offer a window into both the network and those who worked within it for the week. The very well attended workshop discussed the network descriptors and some suggested, that a “Global” scope was added to the European. It supported us all in feeling welcomed to the network.
The range and quality of the presentations of the network were viewed by many to be excellent and the diversity of perspectives offered throughout the sessions and brought a sense of inter-disciplinarity to the network just as at earlier Zero sessions. It was also encouraging that the discussions after the papers were not dominated by one or two voices but seemed to offer space for anyone who wanted to offer a contribution to do so in a supportive environment.
The thematic focus of the sessions were:
- Developing Innovative Intercultural Competencies in Multicultural Contexts
- Music and Art Education in an Intercultural Environment
- Developing Collaborative Inclusive and Intercultural Practice
- Developing Teachers and Learners for Collaborative Intercultural and Inclusive Teaching
- Creativity and Intercultural Learning among HE Students
- Intercultural Practices
- Networking for Intercultural Learning
- Intercultural Learning, Identity and Citizenship
- Learning for Peace and Citizenship
- Higher Education - Making it Accessible
- Innovative Learning Environments for Future Citizens in a Multicultural Society
- The Impact of Migration and Cultural Diversity on Learning
- Using New Technologies and Systems Transforming Education and Learning in Multicultural Contexts
- Intercultural Issues in Foreign Language Teaching
- Young Learners’ Language Acquisition in Multicultural Contexts
- The Value of Cross-Cultural Tourism and Professional Learning in the Early Years
- Mathematics Activities
Most of the papers reflected the theme of the conference as well as the perspective of the network: To create new ways of working and new combinations of ideas and practices in intercultural education. Some of the sessions were drew upon the projects and the way of working developed within earlier international seminars of the network.
Maria Angels Subirats, Raimonda Bruniviciute, Carmen Carmona Rodriques, Christian Quvang and John Willumsen chaired the sessions and all initiated interesting discussions and also gave a variety of researchers a chance to present a lot of new ideas and approaches.
The number of people attending varied but most sessions were well or very well attended. The business meeting was attended by very few, so discussions of network issues at session Zero was appreciated.
Carmen Carmona and Christian Quvang joined in as co-convenors.
The developing website was mentioned at session zero and the subthemes are to be elaborated to mention a “global perspective”. The sub themes in Porto are to be:
- Intercultural education and issues of Inclusion
- Innovative Research Methodology
- Cross Cultural Research and Intercultural learning
- Intercultural Education and learning environment in Higher Education
- Innovative Arts Based Educational Enquiry.
A Network 20 dinner will be organized in next year’s conference in Porto by Eunice Macedo.