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Our society is evolving fasttowards great(er) diversity. Hence the schools – as a reflection of that society – evolve at the same speed and in the same direction. We meet more frequently with (grand)parents from less obvious family backgrounds or multicultural families. Gender issues influence strongly modern society and school life. More often we encounter students with different ethnical-cultural,linguistic or religious backgrounds, students and teachers with a disability, families with less fortunate financial means or who have no access to good schooling due to economic status…

It becomes challenging to enable success for all learners, including children with different and diverse backgrounds.

In this course, participants will learn how to deal with diversity in an educational environment, they will experience it within the course and will learn to consider it a meaningful challenge, for example by: strengthening collaboration among all actors within schools, as well as with families, and other external stakeholders; supporting diversity awareness and holistic approaches to teaching and learning and improving education by opening to inclusion.

Coping with diversity is a way of looking at different people in another way, especially in times when schools are being confronted with inclusion and pupils with lots of diverse backgrounds.

During this course, which is set in Lisbon Centre (Portugal), we provide the knowledge, skills and attitudes the participants need to cope with diversity.
We have a study visit to a Sikh Temple, a centre for gender and a social centre or school. In the course we also incorporate diversity in the informal moments, every meal has a different gastronomical background.

We selected Lisbon on purpose as during centuries the city was the centre of a global empire. Although this empire is long gone, the people remained and created a mixture of colour, flavour, spices, gastronomy, music, culture… Next to London, Lisbon can be considered as one of the first multicultural capital cities where diversity became a part of the normal urban life. Lisbon is also one of the most open southern European cities towards gender and social innovation.


– Gaining insight and awareness in different aspects of diversity in education.
– Getting a clear view of the actual level of diversity management in your school and creating a plan on future (higher) levels of diversity management in your own school or institution.
– Drawing up a realistic list of priorities and possible solutions, designing projects and creating attainable challenges to implement these solutions and projects in your own school or institution.


– Registration, course documents and ice breaking activity
– Course overview and course objectives

– Introduction to diversity
– Identity, layers and composition of identity, rigidity and flexibility of identity
– Culture, layers of culture, surface and profound culture
– How to approach (cultural) diversity in society and education

– A possible framework: Index for Inclusive Schools
– Profile of inclusive teachers

– Gender as integral part of diversity
– First approach on gender policy at school
– Visit to the LGBTCentre in Lisbon

– Religion and diversity at school: Man’s law or God’s law
– Preparation of study visit to Sikh Temple
– Visit to SikhTemple
– Typical religious lunch in Sikh Temple

– Diversity and inguistic aspects
– Bilingual or monolingual education for ‘new comers‘

– How to build solid, long-term bridges between schools and the family/students
– Networking with ‘actors – facilitators’ in the surroundings of the school
– Visit to school or socio-educational centre in Lisbon: Exchange of ideas and experiences with teachers, educators and students on integration of foreign students, prejudices, communication between school and family…

– Presenting of own action plan for the implementation of the diversity policy at your school/organisation
– Evaluation and certificates
– Follow up tasks and contact possibilities: Skype, SharePoint, Facebook, Moodle…

A course day starts at 09.00 h and ends at 16.00 h, with a break for lunch of 1 h.
On Friday we end at 15.30 h, allowing participants to catch the last airplane.

The first and last evening, the participants have the opportunity to join a cultural programme, welcome supper and farewell supper.

During the course week, there is a free period for personal reflection and transfer exercises and a voluntary cultural activity.

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