toolbox world wide web


Intercultural Competence Development  in Teacher Training

The areas of competences of the TICKLE Toolbox 
German Tickle Team

The areas were developed within the scope of the Comenius project TICKLE (Teachers` Intercultural Competences as Keystones for Learning in Europe).  The concept is put on competence-oriented and is based on systemic- constructivist basic acceptances. The education of the teacher trainees orientates itself by principles like process orientation, need orientation, orientation of experience, resource orientation and own responsibility. Contents of the education standards are not processed according to curriculum, but arise from the need and the process.
For the introduction to our concept we show our understanding of competence development, from systemic-constructivist attempts and intercultural competence.


Competence development

Competence development requires...

  • Subject relation: Category of the individual, development only by the subject
  • Biographic development: Development takes place in the whole lifetime and in all life phases
  • Interaction: Coping of concrete action situations, interaction between environment and individual
  • Cooperation: Participation in community and exercise of social relations
  • Experience: Constitution of experience by interaction of experience and processing
  • Reflection: Construction and removal of experience by reflection, self-reflection and structural reflection.

Gillen, J. (2006): Kompetenzanalysen als berufliche Entwicklungschance–Eine Konzeption zur Förderung beruflicher Handlungskompetenz, Bielefeld


Systemic- constructivist approach
Essential aspects of systemic thinking and action are:

  • Recognition of variety
  • Esteem and acceptance of every single individual, his possibilities and borders
  • Orientation towards competence and resources instead of in deficits 
  • To think in relations instead of in qualities
  • To take the context in the look

This basic position also finds itself in dimensions of intercultural competence.
            Intercultural competence

Joachim Schuch (Joachim Schuch: Interkulturelle Kompetenz – die Kür der Kinder- und Jugendarbeit?, in Jugendsozialarbeit News, 5.5.2003, <>  
describes intercultural competence as follows:

  • Readiness and ability to imagine itself in the thinking and feeling of other people (empathy).
  • Ability to be able to look at circumstances from several perspectives from the point of view of the majority as well as from the point of view of a minority (multiperspectivity).
  • Readiness to deal with the own perception critically (self-reflection).
  • Courage to stand uncertainties (ambiguity tolerance).
  • Ability to adapt itself to the situation and surroundings (flexibility).
  • Openness for new knowledge and perceptions (openmindedness).
  • Communication and conflict ability.