International BaTEG Summer School 2023

BaTEG Summer School 2023: (Trans)cultural learning in teacher education

Die BaTEG Summer School 2023 bot rund 50 Teilnehmenden aus verschiedenen Ländern eine einzigartige Plattform zur Förderung des interkulturellen Lernens in der Lehrer*innenbildung. Workshops, Vorträge, Schulbesuche und kulturelle Aktivitäten ermöglichten einen intensiven Austausch zu Themen wie kulturelle Kompetenz und transkulturelle Bildung.


Der vollständige Bericht (nur auf Englisch verfügbar):

BaTEG Summer School 2023: Transcultural learning and more

The BaTEG Summer School (Trans)cultural learning in teacher education, held at the Centre for Teacher Education of the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg from September 17th to 24th, 2023, proved to be a remarkably enriching international event. Approximately 50 participants, including students as well as researchers, attended from various countries, such as Germany, France, Finland, Poland, and Australia. The Summer School aimed to foster intercultural understanding and collaboration, and it certainly delivered on its promise.

The summer school was organized by BaTEG (Bamberg Teacher Education for a Global World), the University of Bamberg’s project for the internationalisation of teacher education (funded by the DAAD), in collaboration with Dr Robert Craig (Institute for English and American Studies) and the Institute for Educational Science. Student organizers from Bamberg were also actively involved and received ECTS points for their contributions to the event.

The programme featured a diverse array of lectures, workshops, and activities that encouraged participants to explore the themes of (trans)cultural learning in teacher education. Some of the highlights include the following topics and talks:

Cultural competence and awareness: As an introduction to the Summer School, two short cultural coaching sessions were offered, giving participants the opportunity to dive into topics of culture and intercultural skills, including models of culture, intercultural communication, and cultural self-awareness. The workshops were held by Yevgeniy Itskovych and Martina Zier (both University of Bamberg), followed by Dr Jana Costa‘s (University of Bamberg) talk on cultural reflexivity as an integral aspect of teacher professionalism. It discussed the implications of understanding culture as a web of meanings, rather than a set of individual categories, and how this relates to teaching and professional growth.

Challenges of globality in the classroom: The topic was covered from different angles. Prof. Dr Annette Scheunpflug (University of Bamberg) presented on the challenges of teaching globality and of introducing students to the world's complexity. Katharina McGrath (University of Jena) presented a project titled FLinKUS, an extracurricular programme for German education students and pre-service teachers, aiming to develop critical pedagogical and intercultural competencies through action research in partner schools abroad and focussing on language-sensitive subject instruction and competence-oriented teaching. Dr Alexa Crais (INSPE Toulouse) and her students discussed the importance of nurturing competences in learners that allow them to participate effectively in diverse democratic societies. The focus was on fostering open attitudes towards cultural diversity and the development of communicative and plurilingual skills, essential for culturally diverse democratic societies. Verena Keimerl (University of Bamberg) explored the challenges of and strategies for adaptive teaching in diverse classrooms. Martina Zier (University of Bamberg) conducted an interactive workshop focussed on cultivating intercultural awareness in teaching. The session provided a range of methods and strategies for integrating intercultural content into teaching practices.

Intercultural skills via pop culture: Dr Mareike Spychala and Dr Anja-Kerstin Münderlein (University of Bamberg) discussed the use of popular culture, such as Doctor Who and Star Trek, in language classrooms. They emphasized the importance of media literacy and using cultural studies concepts like race and gender to teach intercultural competencies. Dr Valentin Werner (University of Bamberg) examined the role of pop culture as a valuable resource in language education. This talk emphasized that pop culture, including pop music, shows, and movies, is a vital element in the lives of language learners. Dr Dorota Owczarek's (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań) presentation explored the adaptation of popular American icons to European countries and the factors that make them attractive and influential beyond the United States. It encouraged active analysis and discussion among students to understand the cross-cultural appeal of these icons.

Transcultural issues and literary texts: Dr Marta Janachowska-Budych (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań) explored the concepts of interculturality, transculturality, and hyperculturality as well as using literary texts as a medium of reflection about and application of these concepts. Dr Robert Craig (University of Bamberg) presented an innovative approach to introducing students to Critical Race Theory and intersectionality through literature. He used Toni Morrison's short story, 'Recitatif,' as a case study to explore how literature can help understand complex issues of identity and discrimination, offering insights into the social history of 20th-century America. Touhid A. Chowdhury (University of Chemnitz) delved into the study of postcolonialism, emphasizing its role in understanding the effects of colonization on cultures and societies. This talk discussed the importance of postcolonial texts and the works of influential postcolonial theorists in gaining insights into various cultures and our contemporary world.

Linguistic perspectives: Dr. Katharina Beuter (University of Bamberg) explored the intricate relationship between language and culture, addressing questions of the cultural aspects embedded in language, the influence of language on cultural practices and beliefs, the possibilities of communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries, and the implications of this relationship for education. Dr Jutta Wolfrum (University of Bamberg) introduced the concept of linguistic landscaping and shared practical examples for promoting multilingualism and cultural awareness in educational settings.

Refugee experiences: Prof. Mervi Kaukko’s (University of Tampere) talk on amplifying refugee students’ voices addressed the challenge of neglecting young refugees' voices in educational research, emphasising the importance of finding ethical ways to discuss their experiences, and sharing stories from arts-based research projects with refugee students in Finland and Australia.

(Trans) Cultural Time in Education: Dr Matthew Thomas (Deakin University Melbourne) explored the temporal aspects of education and pedagogical practice, focusing on cultural immersion programs and the development of global mindsets in teachers.

In addition to the lectures and workshops, participants had the opportunity to visit German schools, including primary and secondary schools, and thus gain first-hand experiences and insights into the German educational system.

The program also included various cultural and social activities, such as morning yoga, city tours, beer tastings, and a trip to Würzburg. These activities offered participants a chance to relax, network, and engage in cultural experiences outside the classroom.

The BaTEG Summer School 2023 provided a platform for participants from different countries to exchange ideas, gain insights, and develop a deeper understanding of intercultural education. The diverse range of topics, interactive workshops, and cultural activities made it a memorable and intellectually stimulating experience for all. The participants had a wonderful time, and the knowledge and experiences gained will undoubtedly have a positive impact on their future endeavours in the field of education.

We would like to thank the members of the organising team, the primary and secondary schools that welcomed us in their classes, the dedicated students, lecturers, and participants of the BaTEG Summer School 2023. Your contributions and enthusiasm were crucial to the success of this event!