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In Germany all education related topics are regulated by the 16 different states (Bundesländer) which means there is not one school curriculum but 16. The Kultusministerkonferenz, short KMK (the constant consortium of the different ministers of education and culture of the 16 Bundesländer) is publishing recommendations to relevant educational topics. In their Recommendations on Intercultural Education in Schools in the version of 2013 they established 4 objectives for the systematic intercultural development of schools:

  • Schools perceive diversity as normality and as a potential for everyone
  • schools support the development of intercultural competences in all subjects and in extracurricular activities
  • the school is the central place for the development of academic language skills that enable pupils to gain further knowledge
  • Schools encourage educational cooperations (e.g. with parents, to develop a welcoming culture of appreciation, recognition and participation)

In the year 2012 all Bundesländer obliged themselves in the “National Action Plan Integration” to train educators and support their development of intercultural competences for that purposes, as well as to take the necessary steps to support pupils in their development of intercultural competences.

Intercultural learning is tackled in all 16 different curricular as a transversal key competence.

BELGIUM – Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

One of the first missions of teachers and schools, as stated in the official 1997 document, which is still relevant today, is “to promote self-confidence and self-development in every pupil; {…} 3° prepare all the pupils to be responsible citizens, able to contribute to the development of a democratic and pluralistic society that shows solidarity and is open to new cultures.”

The official text can be read here:

Additionally, a 2007 official document stipulates that “schools must organize transversal activities that promote responsible and active global citizenship education”.

However, intercultural education is not new in Belgium: a 1977 programme called “openness to languages and cultures” was designed to offer a more inclusive education to migrant pupils, taking their native language and culture into account and promoting diversity. Since then, partnerships between the MoE and national embassies enables schools to hire foreign teachers who can deliver languages and cultures lessons. The objective of the programme is reinforce self-confidence and self-awareness in pupils from foreign descent and to fight against stereotypes, prejudice, racism and promote curiosity and open-mindedness towards other cultures. More information on this programme:

Lastly, a new curriculum has been designed to implement global citizenship education in all schools from primary to high school. The teachers who want to be entitled to teach this new subject called “Education to philosophy and citizenship” have to attend dedicated in-service training.

When it comes to promoting international mobility, the MoE (FWB) enables pupils aged from 15 on to study abroad and validate their credits once back in Belgium. The stay can last from 1 month to one year and requires for the pupil to attend similar classes abroad or agree with the sending school on how to catch up for the missing parts of the curriculum. All conditions can be read on the official document:


Intercultural education has a dedicated area in the website of the Ministry of Education who states that  the growing presence of students who have a direct or family history of migration is now a structural data of the Italian school system. Intercultural education appeared officially in the Italian documents in 1990, when a communication from the MoE deals the first time jointly the theme of the inclusion of foreign pupils in school and intercultural education. The document contained important innovative principles: it provided guidelines for the inclusion of immigrant students and at the same time stated the issue of intercultural education for the entire school community .

In 1994, another important document was published from MAE named “Intercultural dialogue and democratic coexistence: the school engagement in planning”. The document outlined a wide-ranging picture of the multicultural society , of Europe and of the planet in general and underlined the need for prevention of racism and anti-Semitism. It also introduced concepts such as the “Relational Climate” and the promotion of dialogue and guidelines on the need to develop intercultural value of all subjects and cross curricular activities.

Other important documents have been issued on intercultural education  in the following years. Today Italian schools are aware of the educational policies to which they should refer to implement projects of inclusion and intercultural education giving particular emphasis to the study  of languages , cultural aspects and diversity.  Intercultural education – mostly considered as inclusion –  is communally considered as the general frame of reference of the school system and schools are supposed to plan their activities by focusing on

  • relationships which must be based on a climate of openness and dialogue;
  • intercultural engagement in curricular and cross curricular teaching;
  • interaction with the community and cooperation with institutions and associations;
  • inclusion and integration through specific strategies especially in presence of foreign pupils;
  • student mobility programs.
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