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4. The interpretation of multi- and interculturalism

As for ’culture’, we have also plenty of definitions and interpretations about multi- or interculturalism. We use the term: intercultural and interculturalism. It is a continental habit. It expresses that not only different cultures live together (next to each other), but there is a kind of expectation that they (should) interact with each other.
Multi- or interculturalism has its history and from that history the main approaches are emerg-ing (see Colombo, 2004), the main ideas and phases are as following:

  • “The melting pot”: a clear modernist answer to surmount the old differences finding, creating a new humanity united.

  • “Black is beautiful”: radical movements questioned the interpretation of assimila-tion and inclusion and proposed another way: the celebration of difference

  • The tolerance point of view: the good democracy is measured, not based on its in-ternal unity, but on its pluralism: the more different the better is it.

  • Power relations approach: we should deconstruct and reconstruct e.g. our own educational system (with its power relations) and construct new hybrid identities.

The above delineated, narrated history is one possible interpretation and it is from the ex-periences of the US and other Western countries. We cannot but take our culturality as start-ing point of our educational stories. Including the outcomes of our reflective process we are able to create a kind of new story and design a theoretical interpretational frame as a com-mon starting point.

Some common shared core issues for us, educators, as the result of two years working on the TICKLE project are listed below:

  • the important role of environment in interculturalism

  • the democracy as a value to maintain and promote

  • the importance of tolerance

  • the need for dialogue (communication)

  • the attention to marginalization

  • identity as a crucial point

We as educators stand up for increasing the level of emancipation, interculturalisation and participation in our society.