toolbox world wide web


8. Our intercultural experience

Our Tickle project in itself is an intercultural experience. In this concluding chapter we describe our partly common narration to construct a shared interpretation/theory, presented here as the framework for the toolbox.


What is TICKLE?

The TICKLE project aims to develop tools that can help to raise intercultural compe-tences of teacher trainees, teacher trainers and teachers. Seven European teacher training institutions work together in the field of interculturalism in European class-rooms. We believe, that not many teachers in European classrooms are prepared for the challenge of intercultural issues in schools, which arise from the expanded European Union partner countries and their diverse histories, cultures, habits, attitudes and values.


Who is it for?

The TICKLE project is designed by teacher trainers for future teachers, who have to face many intercultural challenges in the classrooms, when they start teaching. They must be prepared – this includes getting a closer view on each pupils own intercultural understanding as a prerequisite of awareness for other cultures in classrooms. The toolbox with practical materials and training units are geared to the needs of the classroom teachers, but also teacher trainers, support staff and also resource centre staff may find them useful too! It pro-vides both practical support for teachers who want a 'hands on experience' and also help and information for teachers who just want to find out about intercultural competences.



Due to changing labour markets and expanding economies many families with their children move to other European countries. They are no refugees or migrants, but European citizens under the European Union Charter. They look for a better living, but not necessarily for integration in the host countries. The richness of their home cultures and value structures can be used to create a richer learning environment in schools, if teachers know, how to deal with them.


Can we solve problems?

In all areas of education systems we can identify expanding figures of cultural misun-derstandings, disrespect or value related questions between different groups. Blaming the others, „not being like us“ is not a good concept for the European future. The creation of tools, that can deal with diversities in classrooms is a need for the development of high quality con-tent in schools. It is essential, that the potential of intercultural competences must be raised in a way, that stimulates and fosters Life Long Learning. It is important to train future teachers how to become aware of their own inner beliefs and values towards interculturalism and to generate learning materials that can support this process. This is the aim of the TICKLE project.


What exactly TICKLE did?

We presented tools to create intercultural awareness in conferences in the partner institutions:

  • Arnhem – Netherlands, February, 23th, 2008
  • Tallinn – Estonia, May, 30th, 2008
  • Eger – Hungary, September, 19th 2008
  • Győr – Hungary, December, 12th, 2008
  • Guebwiller – France, March, 13th 2009
  • Lulea – Sweden, June, 5th, 2009
  • Offenburg – Germany, September 18th, 2009

These conferences with workshops (and the related materials) from the seven partici-pating countries present the work of the TICKLE experts. They reflect and enable teacher trainers, teacher trainees and all other responsible persons in the national education system to identify and decide which tools and contents are most useful for common European purposes. They are meant to encourage the share of tools within the existing frames of national teacher education systems. We also support exchange of trainees between the participating countries and stimulate new approaches in teacher training related to the concept of lifelong learning, knowledge sharing and peer learning.
The TICKLE project page contains all materials and results of the workshops and conferences:

Our special experience

During the TICKLE conferences we faced our unexpected differences, misunder-standings, unknown situations, etc. and we had to go through a process of intercultural ex-perience. We understood that we have really different backgrounds, social and cultural pro-blems, we had to deal with situations and experiences very far from each other. We have in our countries different minorities, different social climates, different approaches of intercul-turalism. In some countries even the question of interculturalism should be reformulated, be-cause it is not acceptable to speak about it explicitly. On one hand this variety made it a bit difficult to find common points, common approaches, and sharable tools, on the other hand we discovered that this diversity is a real richness, and we could understand better even our context in the mirror of the other contexts. In the sharing process we could reformulate our tools by the aid of the others’ reflections, feedbacks who came from diverse contexts.
It was very useful that we saw the local situation personally, and that we had not only “official” meetings, but some cultural experiences like social dinners or visits to the hosting institution and to some typical local places of education or history of the country where the actual conference took place. These programs and the discussions, dialogues in the breaks contributed too to the construction of a partly common theoretical, interpretational framework, and to the development of our toolbox.


9. Literature

Abram, I (1998): Intercultural Learning: identity and image amidst conflict, dialogue and (auto)biography. In: International Education of Migrant Children, International Comenius Action 2 seminar, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands.

Baecker (1997):The Meaning of Culture. In: Thesis Eleven, 51, 37-51.

Bennett, M. J. (1993): Towards a Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. In: Paige, R. M. (ed.): Education for the Intercultural Experience. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

Berliner, D. (2004): Describing the behavior and documenting the accomplishments of expert teachers. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1990): Discovering what families do. In: Rebuilding the Nest: A New Commitment to the American Family. Family Service America [web site].

Bronfenbrenner, U. (2004): Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development. New York, Sage Publications.

Colombo, E. (2004): Le società multiculturali. Carrocci, Roma.

MacIntyre, A. (1981): After Virtue. University of Notre Dame Press.

Ricoeur P. (1990/1992): Oneself as Another (Soi-même comme un autre). University of Chicago Press, Chicago.


Useful links:
Articles on Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model of Child

An article on narrative approaches:

An article on Abram’s ABCD Crown Model: