Teaching Culture


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The culture of teaching and learning is a rich topic to explore. Not only are there the stereotypical differences between learning by memorising and learning by doing but there are also differences across generations and this is particularly noticeable when you work in adult education. In this case your participants have clear expectations about what is going to happen in the classroom based on their prior experience. For these people it can be just as big a culture shock to come into the participative and experiential classroom as visiting another country.

Teaching Culture was the name of a project I participated in a couple of years ago when we developed an international training course to encourage teachers in adult education to include more cultural awareness and cultural competency aspects in their courses. The coordinating partner for that project was the German Volkshochschule Rhein-Sieg and I was delighted to be invited to take part in their workshop day on September 7th which was just after the VITAE project meeting ended nearby in Remagen.

Knowing how keen VHS in general and VHS Rhein-Sieg in particular are on training I was surprised to discover that the idea of a teacher workshop/conference day was new. In fact it was the closing event of the Teaching Culture project 2 years ago which had given them the idea. In addition to the workshop I gave with Laurent Borgmann about using digital tools in learning there was a wide variety of topics explored that day including Suggestopedia, learning styles and

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