LIFETWO project realized a set of piloting actions at national level involving more than 20 schools in 8 European countries, for a total number of 65 teachers and 1300 students of secondary schools.
The piloting sessions in classroom based mainly on modules and practical activities (exercises) included in the LIFETWO Learning Guide aimed at developing intercultural understanding and appreciation among students in second-level schools.
The play sessions of the 40 Answers digital card game were included in the piloting experience and replicated at international level during the LIFETWO Spring School week, hold at Città di Castello (Italy) in May, 2022.
Overall, feedback from project coordinators and participating teachers demonstrated very high levels of satisfaction and a strong appreciation of the potential of developing inquiry-based methodologies to enhance students’ inter-religious and intercultural awareness and competence.
The Manual and support provided for teachers to develop their understanding and skills regarding the design and implementation of inquiry-based teaching and learning modules was regarded highly impactful for religious/intercultural education but also more generally to develop teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and skills.
Project coordinator, teacher as well as student data demonstrate strong endorsement regarding the positive impact of the project. Data collected in schools clearly shows that the project encouraged participants to reflect on their own culture and beliefs, values and decisions and on their intercultural contexts and experiences. Feedback evaluations also emphasised the projects’ impact on developing students’ ‘empathy towards other cultures’ as well as on the creation of more positive interpersonal relationships and learning environments.
“The project activated secondary-education teachers’ and students’ critical thinking and reflection skills in successfully dealing with religious diversity in education and society. Through the exercises and discussions, as well as through the 40 Answers game, the project contributed significantly to the development of positive interpersonal relationships among students” (Teacher, Cyprus)
“We have received very positive feedback from both our teachers and students. Our students expressed their satisfaction for almost all exercises. For most teachers and students, the Spring School in Italy was the first experience to be in another country with people from different cultures which was inspiring” (Teacher, Turkey)
“The project should be continued, as all the schools involved (as well as their students) have noticed the positive impact this experience has had on the students and the wider school community” (Teacher, Spain)
“The experiences of students and teachers with the project are very promising and they will lead to further work in the area of intercultural education after the formal end of the project. Students and teachers particularly appreciated the exchange during the Spring School in Italy. One teacher emphasised that “it was more than a training for teachers and students, it ignited a training path; it was like seeing ideas and values that we have explored during the piloting of the LIFE 2 programme come to life” (External expert, Italy)
“I believe that with the help of intercultural education we all may step into the future, aiming for peace within the countries by appreciating and understanding the different cultures and ethnicities” (student, Ireland).