The cultural studies programme is highly practical, providing different perspectives on healthy living, dealing with conflicts, copying with different stages in one’s life and at the same time providing with deep insight on cultural values. It examines prejudices and practices which may go directly or diversely against Human Rights. The values and the methodology that the COOLT programme prompts are the ones at the core of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; the ones of global citizenship and sustainable development. Through the lenses of local and foreign cultures and with highly engaging activities, young people will be taught these values, and be given a chance to explore their benefits.
The COOLT programme aims to create contents and good praxis examples on peace education that can be used by professionals in the following areas:
- Formal education as part of social studies curriculum, appealing to History, geography, ethics and more.
- Informal education in workshops, trainings and all other activities which are related to the matter of peace, cultural understanding and interculturalism.
- As a stand – as a single programme for institutions willing to provide such course as part of their curricula / programmes.
The COOLT programme will consist of:
- A concise guide on how to teach culture for peace through experiential learning, story-telling, role-playing games, case studies and practical hand-on activities.
- A series of 9 modules looking at different aspects of culture (the circle of life, beliefs, values, prejudices, customs, dance and music, the man and the universe, holistic health and conflicts). In addition, there will be a big 10th culminating module on peace for cultural understanding which looks at culture as a phenomenon. Each module will include:
– Series of materials for the cultures of partnering countries.
– Series of activities, games and reflective questions.
– Visuals and videos related to the content.
– Activities related to conflict management and peacemaking, through the lenses of the module.
– Activities and role-playing games related to cultural understanding and critical thinking.
- Webinars – “training the trainer” material on how to use the methodology.
Product of the COOLT programme and methodology:
A toolkit with the methodology and the content will be produced in the following forms:
- Printed versions in all languages of the partnering countries for free distribution in schools and other institutions and associated partners.
- PDF versions of all materials.
- A web page containing all methodology and the training webinars.
Methodology and COOLT programme Target Audience:
The target audience of the programme are young children aged 12-17 from minorities and/or poor social background, attending schools with low-budget and minimal educational opportunities. However, due to the universal nature of the proposed training and educational materials, these can be used in any educational context.
Kids like this often find themselves in a conflict between the values and practices at home and those provided by their school or local community, resulting in anxiety, violence and other negative behaviors. This programme aims to make the target audience know and understand their culture and the one of the hosting/incoming communities and have a personal compass of shared values; to instill both critical thinking and understanding and provide with a foundation for ethnic communities to reconcile cultures.
On the other hand, the COOLT programme will facilitate educators, social workers and all engaged in peacemaking and education for peace, a comprehensive, innovative framework and methodology for teaching about cultural diversity and peace.