On the eve of the International Day of Education, celebrated on 24th January, World University Service Germany on behalf of InterCap organized an 1,5-day workshop, dedicated to the topics of migration and sustainable development. Participants were trainee teachers (Referendar/-innen) of the Studienseminar Neuwied, who at the moment undergo practical phase of their education and already teach at schools. The InterCap workshop was integrated in their curriculum as an “XXL-Seminar”, which takes place every 1,5 years and is mandatory for all trainee teachers of Studienseminar Neuwied. Present were 14 trainee teachers and 2 teacher trainers.
During the workshop, the trainee teachers received an introduction into the topic of sustainable development and Global Learning/Education for Sustainable Development, and discussed the challenges and opportunities that the dimension of migration brings into their school practice. The practice-oriented educational method "Theatre for Living", which was thoroughly explained and presented to the participants through a number of exercises and techniques, was used as a basis for discussions. InterCap trainer Eileen Paßlack demonstrated how, using this methodology, the complex sustainability and globalization topics can be anchored in the classroom.
During the first day of the workshop, the participants learnt about InterCap and reflected about their prior knowledge on the topics of sustainability, migration as well as their earlier encounters with theatre. Besides, a dialogue on some common perceptions of migration challenges, which was read by the participants, spurred the initial discussion, which was later on referred to and served as a basis for further reflections during the work with theatre methods. The second day was dedicated to the topics of sustainability and global learning and the opportunities of introducing them in schools through the methodology of “Theatre for Living”. Starting with the thorough discussion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of education in attaining them, which was led by InterCap trainer Alexandra Samokhvalova, the participants gradually moved to the practical exercises. Concrete case studies from participants’ experience were played through using various “Theatre for Living”-techniques. For instance, through human “statues”, the challenged of the globalized world were “brought to life” and reflected upon.
The final part of the workshop was dedicated to an extensive reflection of the methodology and the ways of integrating it in their school practice. Majority of participants reflected positively on both the topics and the methods, offered during the workshop. Several trainee teachers immediately spotted an opportunity to apply individual exercises and techniques in their respective school subjects. Others noticed that the techniques were generally easy to apply in schools as they don’t require lengthy preparations. Some of the challenges in running the methodology in schools, discussed by the group, included the concern about high emotional impact of certain topics and exercises and the way young people can handle it as well as a wide range of open questions, which might be challenging for school pupils. Altogether, the workshop received positive feedback. Several participants voiced their intent to apply the new knowledge in their schools as soon as possible.
InterCap would like to thank all participants for the lively contributions and Christoph Weidinger and Marion Holzhüter for assistance in organizing the workshop!