In the school project, the key goal is to familiarize children from 10 to 13 years of age in their schools with cultural differences. The children are reached through the citizenship education course, with topics like what you can do with your various freedoms and rights, for yourself, others and the living together. Connect2Us has designed a research-based package of educational games that we share with teachers and students as part of the citizenship education curriculum, as proposed under European Commission legislation. The aim of the games is to develop intercultural skills through awareness, understanding and acceptance. Each game is delivered to the teacher, or “gamemaster”, with a full lesson plan and instructions for play, as well as additional theorist information intended to underpin the philosophy.
Workshops for teachers are available to improve the intercultural knowledge and skills skills of teachers.
In June 2020 we tested one of the games in e and trial lesson. “Empathy Land” is a board game designed specifically to train players in the soft skills needed for successful intercultural interaction. Through the game principle, we stimulate the students intrinsic motivation to want to win the game, so that they really have to empathize with the other participants, their family and customs and at the same time their own family and customs.
A first trial session was held at the Gooische School in June 2020. Participants in the study group formed a class of 22 students, aged 10-11 years (Group 7). The feedback was positive and the children had lively discussions about their home situations. The teacher of the class heard spontaneous conversations that she could not have imagined without the game. We integrate the feedback from both the children and the teachers into the new versions of the games.
Using observing and questionnaires, we will try to make behavioural change with respect to cultural differences clear. The methodology for this is evolving.
We are looking for strategic partners who can support the production and distribution (publication) of the games.