Initiating Intercultural Learning – Using a “Design Experiment”

in Teachers' Professional Development
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The necessity of intercultural learning is emphasized in lots of contexts. This is especially the case within the field of vocational education and further education. Recent State curricula prescribe a focus on intercultural learning and awareness. Although at a first glance it seems to be intuitively quite clear what is meant, this construct as well as the corresponding terms and objects of this area get vague and hardly tangible. Thus, it does not wonder that concrete measures and concepts for fostering intercultural learning do not follow a theory rather than practical necessities, normative principles or isolated single concepts. But these show only minor effectiveness in intercultural behavior in practice, as diverse studies make overt. Therefore, in this study the concepts of “culture”, “intercultural communication” as well as “interculturality” should be illuminated and discussed – providing hints for modes of effective and efficient teacher behavior but also for corresponding teacher education and training (here in the fields of Business commerce). On the basis of Engeström’s considerations about “activity theory” and “expansive learning” as well as those of Ting-Toomey’s “mindful identity negotiation” approach a theoretical framework for “intercultural learning and development” gets (re-) conceptuallized. By this framework it should be showed how this theoretically reformulated concept of intercultural learning can be implemented into practice and evaluated by following Brown’s suggestions for a “design experiment” to change not only individual perceptions and believes, but also intercultural behavior. As the research and practice field of intercultural learning is that diffuse this study is not be understood as a solution for all intercultural problems. But having the necessity of intercultural learning in mind it is the intention of this study to raise and to continue an intensive (inter-)disciplinary discourse for developing a stringent theoretical model to foster intercultural learning and development as well as to initiate changes in the practical fields.

Teachers' Professional Development

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