Dissemmination and IMPLEplementation of helpdesks for intercultural learning materials

The DIMPLE project aims at establishing national information centers for intercultural learning materials called 'Helpdesks'.
The project is jointly sponsored by the European Commission under the title of Comenius Action 2 and the participating organizations. In some cases additional funding is acquired at the national level.
The Parel Foundation in the Netherlands initiated the project. This foundation has a ten year history in researching learning materials and manages an operational helpdesk for intercultural learning materials for several years.

Often teaching materials do not reflect the actual state of affairs concerning cultural and social diversity, meaning that certain groups in society are not accurately represented or not represented at all. Because of this students might easily obtain a biased view on complex issues like ethnicity, gender, class, etcetera.
In light of the growing attention for cultural diversity and intercultural education, sharing expertise seemed the designated way to further the process of curriculum development that takes these issues into account.

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The rationale for establishing national helpdesks is first of all related to the diversity in national languages. A second rationale is grounded in the sometimes very different national histories that created different educational contexts in terms of policy, curriculum and student population.

In what ways can a helpdesk for intercultural learning materials contribute to the production of culturally sound learning materials?

A helpdesk for intercultural learning materials could for example:
  • provide advice in the process of developing learning materials that are geared towards a multicultural society
  • function as an advisory board for issues concerning intercultural education
  • organize workshops for teachers, publishers, authors of educational materials and editors
  • publish brochures and research results and teaching materials for teacher training institutes
  • research new developments in the field of intercultural learning materials
  • document publications concerning intercultural learning materials
  • register instances of racism, stereotyping and prejudice in learning materials
  • maintain a website containing publications and teaching materials and research instruments such as check-lists for intercultural learning materials

Helpdesks are going to be staffed by specialists who advise educators, authors and publishers of learning materials. The first step is a helpdesk on the internet.


The British Council, Sofia
Contact: Leah Davcheva

Democritus University of Trace, Alexandroupolis
Contact: Aegli Zafeirakou

Liceo Ginnasio Gino Prati, Trento
Contact: Paolo Dalvit

Parel, Utrecht
Contact: Theo van Praag

Association for Cultural Initiatives, Krakow
Contact: Andrzej Bialko

Center Education 2000+, Bucharest
Contact: Alexandru Crisan

Autonoma Univeristy of Madrid, Madrid
Contact: Gema Martin Munoz

Karlstad University, Karlstad
Contact: Kjell Harenstam