E-Learning Training Courses on Multicultural Education: An Example from Greece

E-Learning Training Courses on Multicultural Education: An Example from Greece

Catherine Dimitriadou (University of Western Macedonia, Greece), Nektaria Palaiologou (University of Western Macedonia, Greece) and Eirini Nari (Platon School, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8246-7.ch071
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The implementation of the blended learning model is one of the most flexible and effective ways to organize teacher training courses since it combines contact learning and distance learning. Furthermore, differentiated instruction is the solution of Modern Didactics to the teachers' needs concerning their response to the challenges of the multicultural school. In this chapter, a teacher training seminar combining cultural diversity issues with e-learning methods is presented. The participant teachers were asked to use posters illustrating human and citizenship rights issues in order to create teaching scenarios promoting Multicultural Education. Thus, they were expected both to meet the challenges of differentiated instruction and to be familiar with e-learning approaches. The study points out the significance of the practice of education when developed within e-learning environments, a method which enables the production of collective practice-based knowledge. The authors' main aim is to highlight the importance of the usage of media tools in an e-learning training course.
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1. Theoretical Underpinnings

The issue of teacher education and the training programmes the teachers follow during their studies in order to become effective in multicultural classrooms, that is to be able to provide 'culturally responsive teaching' to their pupils (Gay & Howard, 2000), has been a core topic in international teaching literature (Banks, 2011). Along the same line, at the international level, especially during the last ten years, there has been an increasingly global focus on online and distance education programmes, as new innovative approaches in teacher multicultural education and training programmes.

Taking the above into consideration, the objective of this study is to set a framework for teacher-training, e-learning courses, focussing on issues of multicultural diversity. Specifically, during an e-learning, teacher-training course incorporated into a Multicultural Education project, teachers who participated were asked to create teaching scenarios in congruence with their specialisation. Posters about the issues of human and citizenship rights issues were used as an inspiring tool for the participants. The scenarios served as an arts-informed, narrative inquiry aimed at investigating the teachers’ knowledge on how to exploit meaning-making resources as multicultural storytellers through media texts (Dimitriadou, Nari, & Palaiologou, 2012). In other words, story-telling was used both to inspire teachers and motivate diverse students as learners in order to maximize the potential of their critical thinking and expression of their views.

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