The Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and Learning has been estabished to support the Intercultural cources taught at the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education (DESECE). It is placed at the Laboratory of Sociology and Education, DESECE, University of Patras, Greece. The Forum has been transformed into a network of academics, researchers, teachers and social actors that empower students’ cross-disciplinary learning. Emphasis is placed on social inclusion, culturally responsive pedagogy and intercultural learning through:
- differentiated instructional design using the Learning by Design framework.
- cycles of intercultural dialogue using the Delphi Method
- collaborative action research projects
- school-based teachers’ training/ communities of practice
- refugee education and children narratives
- teacher reflexive narratives
- measuring Intercyultural competence.
Since 2015 the Forum has developed a nationwide network of schoolteachers and principals enabling them to get training in cutting edge pedagogies, test WEB2 technologies/tools and publish their differentiated curriculum plans on the open access platform of CGSCHOLAR. The Forum also maintains an international expert’s database in intercultural education. These experts take part in the annual forum on intercultural dialogue and learning and discuss challenges and future common actions for the field.
In addition, the Forum has run a number of activities with refugee children and schools in the region of Patras and nationwide about refugee integration such as the Panhellenic cartoon contest (Representations of the ‘Other’) in 2017. The Forum maintains close contacts with the Refugee Camp in Myrsini Hlias where research is done, tools are tested and refugee narratives are recorded. One prime target is to measure intercultural competence in formal and non-formal refugee settings. Other refugee camps are also in its reach through academic and stakeholders’ networks.
The Forum has also participated in European projects with emphasis on teachers’ training for an inclusive education. For example the program GetClosetoOpera resulted a well define training framework for inclusive teachers.
Finally, the Forum maintains a strong record of disseminating its research and activities through the organization of conferences and special events.
Dr Eugenia Arvanitis is Associate Professor of Interculturality & Diversity in Education at the University of Patras, Greece. She also teaches in the Post Graduate Program “Language Education for Refugees and Migrants (LRM) at the Hellenic Open University. She is the author of several research papers and books on intercultural schooling and mediation (http://eugeniaarvanitis.cgpublisher.com/). Intercultural Forum is her vision of creating a third space for intercultural dialogue and practice.
Spyridoula Giaki is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Educational Studies and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Greece. She explores teachers’ intercultural competence and social capital. She has previous expertise with european projects, working as at project manager in NGO’s & vocational training centers. Currently she is working as an admin & media associate of intercultural.upatras.gr. Finally, she manages the erasmus projects of the Forum and undertakes research.
Vassiliki Efthimou, holds a MSc Special Education at the University of Nicosia and she is currently a doctoral student at the Department of Educational Studies and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Greece.
Annila Mammou, is a graduate of the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education of the University of Rethymno and of the Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Education of University of Patras. She holds a MSc Special Education at the University of Nicosia. Annila is currently a PhD student at the Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Education of University of Patras. She focus on Greek minority education in Albanian schools. She is also a member of Intercultural Forum, Laboratory of Sociology & Education, DESECE, University of Patras. Over the last ten years she has been working in public primary schools in Greece either as a general education teacher or as a special educator.
Angeliki Mikelatou holds a Masters degree in European Administration and has worked as a Project Manager of co-financed projects by European Social Fund in the EC Business and Innovation Centre of Attika and as a Project Officer of Lifelong Learning programmes in the Ministry of Employment in Greece. Currently she is working at the European Aviation Safety Agency in Cologne, Germany. She is a research associate to the Forum.
Sofianna Paximadaki has been working as a teacher of Greek language in Secondary School Education for the last ten years having attained a position in the Art School of Crete. Since 2014 she has been working in a Greek school for immigrants in Germany. She has participated in several seminars as teacher trainer on art and teaching language. She is the author or one book Multiliteracies: Using Cartoon in Teaching the Greek Language and a research associate to the Forum.
Dr Maria Vlachou is an Early Childhood educator and a Ph.D. recipient from the Department of Educational Studies and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Greece. Her research Focus is on differentiated pedagogy and intercultural storytelling.
The Intercultural Team
This team is led by Ariadni Kouzeli (Ph.D Student, University of Delaware). Its role is to engage in different educational activities (such as organising students’ learning during the Children’s Festival and delivering educational programs to refugee students).
- Ioanna Maria Belegrinou, University of Patras
- Nefeli Arvaniti, University of Ioannina
- Maria-Nefeli Kikira, University fo Patras