Leuven, Belgium. The University of Leuven - October 27th, 2021 - finally - The day “X”.
After several online meetings (because of the Corona! situation) our first face-to-face meeting took place in Leuven, Belgium.
In September, we physically (not only digitally) met all the colleagues participating at our ITTS Project. With them, some colleagues of their institutions joined the meeting who are involved in either teacher education or e.g. programms related to issues as diversity and intercultural education. It was an experience to shake hands, to get to know each other, and to exchange viewpoints about intercultural education at European schools and at universities.
Our partner Gudrun (InterCultural Iceland), the leading force of the sensitisation training, challenged us with concepts and approaches of intercultural education, the advantages of diversity in schools and various teaching methods useful to sensitize different target groups in education. In productive workshops and discussions, we explored concepts of culture and identity, talked about diversity, inclusive school systems and methods to raise awareness and sensitise people to the issue.
One of the great things of having meetings in different EU countries is that you get insights into the history, culture and traditions of the different places. Katrijn (KU Leuven, Belgium) presented some interesting facts about Leuven and its history and showed us the Groot Begijnhof in the south of downtown Leuven.
And the highlight of the evening - the common dinner in the Faculty Club of the University of Leuven. The location was special. So were the dishes. And of course, the colleagues who made the atmosphere relaxed and cosy. We closed the day with this dinner and slowly let the evening fade away - looking forward to the next day of training.
October 28th, 2021 - The second day of our meeting in Leuven
Full of new energy and positive encouragement we discussed about prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination at schools, and everyday racism, and in groups commented on how to explain those concepts to different groups of learners.
The face-to-face meeting in Leuven inspired us because of the new friendships, creative colleagues, and the positive spirit. Therefore, we are looking forward to hosting the next Meeting this winter at the University of Maribor, Slovenia.