IDEAL is a programme for social integration, based on the participatory pedagogical method Themis, which is characterised by its use of creative sense-activating didactic tools, a semi-structured curriculum, and a mother-tongue-based dual language approach. Two key principles of the programme are: learning about things that matter and learning by exposure to different perspectives. Topics include health, communication and parenting.
Courses for migrants in Europe are mostly aimed at literacy in western languages as a means for participation in society. These curricula are not suitable for migrants without previous basic education, which leaves groups of migrants vulnerable to alienation and without support for social integration. Many civic integration courses are still solely focused on in-classroom teaching in the second language in highly diverse groups of students. They focus on language acquisition and cultural knowledge only, have a fixed curriculum, and facilitators are mainly native of the host country, and monolinguist themselves. Furthermore, they apply an instructive didactic style, use a teacher-centred approach, a static lesson plan, and mono-didactic methods. Thus, traditional teaching didactics do not take the specific needs of first-time adult learners into account. Also, such courses deny the complex, dynamic and fluid characteristics of culture and intercultural communication competence.
In contrast, participatory didactic methods have shown good progress in learners who have not profited from formal teaching. Two key principles of such methods are: learning about things that matter and learning by exposure to different perspectives. By focusing on what matters to individuals, instead of teaching a predefined and fixed model of culture, learners are encouraged to interact with others to explore their identity and the context of their own cultural group, which already holds different perspectives. Consequently, through encounters with locals and exposure to habits and language of the receiving country, other perspectives will challenge the learning process even more.
- Category: Methodologies and Pedagogical Approaches
- Country: Netherlands
- Language: English
- Type of file: Webpage