toolbox world wide web


Name of the tool

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Links to the keystones
Attitudes and awareness

Aim of tool/ Brief overall description
To become an intercultural competent teacher it’s important to reflect on your level of competences regarding teaching in intercultural situations. This can be done by comparing your competences with the competences of the ‘intercultural competent teacher’. Another option is to compare your life-history with the intercultural ‘story of the Dutch’. The first option focuses more on the goals, the second option more on the process.


Main methods
Individual work
Interaction in pairs/ groups



Description of the process and the possible stepping stones

  • Decide if you want to use the ‘intercultural competent teacher’ or ‘the story of the Dutch’. It’s also possible to give both documents to the participants so they can make their own choice.

  • Hand out the documents and instruct that the participants have to compare the content of the documents with their own level of competences as an intercultural teacher.

  • Every participants writes his/ her own reflection.

  • Let the participants exchange their reflections and go into dialogue by using the appreciative inquiry:

  • Instruct the next rules of dialogue and make sure these are used during the exchange:
    - Let the other tell their story, avoid to tell your story
    - Appreciate the story of others, don’t judge
    - Go into the story deeper by questioning the experiences, thoughts and feelings
    - Give each other time to think
    - Speak for yourself (I…), not for others (you/ they…)

  • During the game the teacher observes the interaction (verbal and nonverbal) of the participants. In case of people not really getting into dialogue or not doing the exercise with respect, intervenes by questioning the choices they’ve made.

  • After exchanging the reflections discuss the outcomes: What did the participants experience? What competences do they want to develop? How can they develop these competences? How can participants work and learn together?



Abram, I (2001): The ABCD of classroom education; Projectgroep ICO, Den Bosch



Henk Boer
Gerbert Sipman
Bernadet Tijnagel



HAN University, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, Pabo Arnhem