Applying Building Educational Bridges

What do I need to know before applying Building Educational Bridges?

The training course is the outcome of an international exchange of expertise in adult education in the context of displacement and migration. The aim is to help master challenges in multicultural learning groups and in the process of return and reintegration of refugees by exploring diverse perspectives on education after forced displacement, on intercultural learning and on coping with distress.

Regarding its concept and the methods selected, the training course is based on the following three approaches:

1. The participatory education approach

2. The approach of diversity and multi-collectivity

3. The trauma-sensitive classroom approach

All three approaches strive to foster empowerment and agency of refugees and their participatory citizenship - in and outside the classroom. These approaches were also selected as each reflects the values and attitudes that the training intends to impart. They empower the individual, encourage open-mindedness and respect for human dignity. Furthermore, all three approaches work towards creating a safe, appreciative and diverse learning atmosphere while promoting a sense of mutual ownership towards the learning process through increasing learners’ engagement and contribution.


Building Educational Bridges step by step

Module 1

Module 1: What does education mean in the context of migration? Understanding circumstances of (return interested) refugees and the potential of education

Module 1 provides an introduction and framework for the entire training course. Attention is given to return and reintegration as part of the migration cycle. By presenting an overview of the global history of inequality, participants will understand the living conditions and challenges of refugees dealing with the issue of return. They will gain an insight into the reasons and motivations why people leave their home countries in the first place and why they decide to return home. Furthermore, discussions will cover the role of education in the migration cycle and how further training programmes can help to support and empower refugees.

Module 2

Module 2: Who am I and who are my students? Reflecting my role as instructor and my view on refugees  

Module 2 supports self-reflection and self-positioning with the aim of exploring your own role as instructor or coach. It includes a critical analysis of your own perception and shows how perception generates prejudices and stereotypes. Furthermore, participants explore the diversity of cultures and learn that culture is only one factor in explaining behaviour. Special emphasis is placed on reflecting stereotypes, prejudices and power imbalances, and how these influence one's own work with refugees. In addition, the module introduces the importance of language for interpersonal dialogue.

Module 3

Module 3: How do I deal with psychosocial problems and stress in the classroom? Building resilience in yourself and in learners

Module 3 provides an overview of the psychological effects of refugeeness and returning as well as their impact on teaching. The module highlights the most important signs and symptoms of mental suffering including their culture-specific expressions. It conveys basic skills to the participants for communicating and dealing with individuals of vulnerability and helps them to create a trauma-sensitive classroom atmosphere. With the aim of building the mental resilience of the learners, the participants receive guidance on how to implement strategies for coping with stress. Refugees will be supported in transforming stories of loss and despair into stories of hope, thus enhancing their agency. In this module, participants will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to enable return interested refugees to make informed decisions about return and other relevant areas of their lives.

Module 4

Module 4: How can we learn together? Implementing lessons with interactive, participatory methods

Module 4 focuses on reflecting the teaching situation with return interested refugees: How can the teaching process be implemented in a participative and integrative manner? Why is feedback important? And how can group dynamics be influenced? The module intends to enable the participants to create an appreciative and safe learning atmosphere in the courses they conduct, which strengthens empowerment and agency of return interested refugees. Furthermore, the “Toolbox for Instructors and Coaches” with teaching methods is introduced.

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