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The D.I.V.E. model


Group 4 – promoting and supporting mobility


pupils from 14 to 18


  • To give the pupils a tool to help them dealing with ambiguity and suspending judgment when being immersed in a different culture
  • To help the pupils make sense of situations that are unfamiliar to them during an international encounter
  • To distinguish between descriptions, interpretations and evaluations
  • To respond effectively and appropriately within an intercultural interaction


1 period


1 picture with an ambiguous context, for example:

An explanation of the D.I.V.E. model


Show the picture to the participants and ask them to comment it.

Store their comments into 3 columns:

  • Write down in the first one all the objective comments that describe the picture with facts and name it D for description.
  • Write down in the second one all the comments that are related to opinions and name it I for interpretation.
  • Write down in the third one all the comments that are related to feelings and name it E for evaluation.

Explain to the participant what the titles of the columns mean and give them the real context of the picture.

Explain them the DIVE model and invite them to use it each time they are in an unfamiliar situation. It will broaden their views on the situation and help them understand it in an intercultural way:

  • Describe: What do I see in an objective, factual way?
  • Interpret: What do I think about what I have described?
  • Verify: What do others think? Is my interpretation accurate?
  • Evaluate: How do I judge what I think and others think?


Make sure to use an ambiguous picture that can lead to multiple interpretations.

The model can be also used without the picture exercise. In order for intercultural learning to be effective, the steps should be done in order.  Often, we tend to evaluate before we describe and interpret, which leads to stereotypes.

During a class exchange or an international mobility experience, the pupils will meet people with different habits, points of view and ways of life. This model can help them have a non-judgmental attitude when facing differences.


AFS Student Learning Journey Curriculum

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