Utrecht World School
How can primary schools structurally devote attention to intercultural education and more effectively prepare pupils for participation in a multicultural society?
Attention to intercultural education was insufficiently institutionalised at Utrecht primary schools.
Primary schools in Utrecht are familiarising children with each other's cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The participating schools have developed a team vision and working method for intercultural education and set it down in the school plan. The title of "World School" is attached to the project.
The initial period is characterised by orientation and
developing a vision and plan. At project level there is a sounding
board group with representatives from the primary schools,
educational courses, the Utrecht Multicultural Institute (MIU), the
National Bureau against Racial Discrimination (LBR) and the city of
Utrecht. The World School project was subsequently elaborated at
school level by a working group of at least two teachers, plus
parents wherever possible.
Various activities were organised at schools, usually in the form of a project week. The objective of a project week is to impart knowledge about different cultures based on a theme. Additionally, gatherings were organised, including an exchange project between schools and a joint school camp. Parents were actively involved in a special school evening. Separate study meetings were held for teachers. Cooperation initiatives have been launched with other authorities, like Pabos and COS. All schools worked together on a World Newspaper and a World Celebration.
- All seven schools received the "World School" title in the first year and have embedded interculturalisation in their school plans.
- In the first year, the project reached approximately 2000 pupils and 250 parents were involved. About 150 teachers actively participated in the organisation.
- By devoting considerable attention to providing information, the project has increased the attention given to interculturalisation in the education system throughout the city.
- Good cooperation was established with relevant partners and the fullest possible use is being made of their expertise.
- A great deal has been achieved with a relatively moderate budget for activities.
- The project was continued at provincial level after the first year; 15 schools have now become a World School in the province of Utrecht.
- In the 2005-2006 school year, the project will be expanded with
the addition of another seven candidate World Schools.
Students, parents, schools
For every primary school the Utrecht Multicultural Institute provides 50 hours of supervision per school year plus educational materials and methods. The primary schools receive an activities budget that they can spend on World School activities. At least one study afternoon is devoted to the World School team vision. The experiences and results of the World Schools are transferred to other primary schools in a city-wide conference.
Multicultureel Instituut Utrecht
Joske van Dulmen, tel. +31 30 2313833
Project start date
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