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.
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:
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.
Bulgaria The British Council, Sofia Contact: Leah Davcheva Greece Democritus University of Trace, Alexandroupolis Contact: Aegli Zafeirakou Italy Liceo Ginnasio Gino Prati, Trento Contact: Paolo Dalvit Netherlands Parel, Utrecht Contact: Theo van Praag Poland Association for Cultural Initiatives, Krakow Contact: Andrzej Bialko Rumania Center Education 2000+, Bucharest Contact: Alexandru Crisan Spain Autonoma Univeristy of Madrid, Madrid Contact: Gema Martin Munoz Sweden Karlstad University, Karlstad Contact: Kjell Harenstam