toolbox world wide web


6. Identity
In Social Sciences it is spoken about different forms of identity. Identity (philosophy), also called sameness, is whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable

  • Identity (social science): umbrella term used to describe an individual's comprehension of him or herself as a discrete, separate entity

  • Cultural identity: person's self-affiliation (or categorization by others) as a member of a cultural group

  • Religious identity: person's self-affiliation (or categorization by others) as a member of a religious group

  • Gender identity: the gender(s) or lack thereof, that a person self-identifies with oneself

  • National identity: belief in membership of a nation

  • Personal identity (philosophy): refers to the numerical identity of persons through time

  • Sexual orientation identity: describes how persons identify their own sexuality
    Important is to underscore that it is the person self–affiliation towards religion, culture, nationality. We see this process of self–affiliation as an ongoing process of self realization with hybrid and fluid identities. We take in consideration that identity is always constructed narratively (Ricoeur 1990/1992; MacIntyre, 1981).
    Again we do have a common shared core issue as the result of two years working on the tickle project:

  • Increasing empowerment, participation and interculturalisation for each individual person.
    For us educators the task is, to support each individual in the process of self realization in a complex world. Supporting this process of self realization (for pupils and for our students, teacher trainees) is an eminent pedagogical task!

7. Intercultural teacher education

We consider the topic of interculturalism from an educational point of view. It means that we’d like to support “people” to become partners in building or constructing an intercul-tural environment. We would like to speak about interculturalisation as a pedagogical term. It is an interactive process including pro active participation of each person.

The main elements of this “supporting people in” are as following:

  • Constructing their “narrated identity” together

  • And at the same time constructing our shared cultural identity in our environment (our pedagogical aims are not only related to the person)

  • Building up our intercultural competency, the structure of our tools is based on ‘the empowerment of intercultural competency",

  • Produce democratic education related to participation of each person and intercultu-ralisation of our institutes

  • Choosing for the Humanistic approach, from deficit to developmental and from input to outcome

Some common points are listed here:

  • unveiling and deconstructing prejudices (Bogardus, Kelly)

  • narrated identities (ABCD /A(utobiography), (B)iography, (C)onflict and (D)ialogue/ crown model: Abram, 1998)

  • dialogue as a main method and attitude in every educational process

  • the importance of self-reflection

  • the importance of an applied kind of sociology for our students

  • helping to question and to criticize

  • give voice to the voiceless

  • to question power

Two additional useful approach

Developing competencies, responsibility for self-regulated professional development and self-reflection are based on constructivist approach and we consider Berliner’s model as great value to increase intercultural communication (Berliner, 2004).
Intercultural Competences have its impact on teacher education. Milton Bennetts de-velopmental model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) from 1993 is focussed on sensitivity as to enhance intercultural cohesion and has constructed a theoretical basis. His assumption is:
As one’s experience of cultural difference becomes more complex and sophisticated, one’s competence in intercultural relations increase.
Bennet distinguishes ethnocentric and ethno relative stages that you can recognize in socie-ties .
The core question is how to increase the ethno relative stages and to decrease the ethno-centric stages.
Huge importance is given to the personality of the teacher mainly in terms of their identity. Some other important common points for a common ground are:

  • Professional self-reflection

  • Openness

  • Continuous learning