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Building an Intercultural Pedagogy for Higher Education in Conditions of Conflict and Protracted Crises: Languages, Identity, Culture!

About us

The Research Context:

The conditions engendered by the conflict and other forms of protracted crises in each of the four case-study sites foreground the crucial importance of locally-generated, context-specific intercultural pedagogies. In the aftermath of the civil war in Columbia, young people in poorer, marginalised communities are often excluded from education. In Gaza, the occupation and siege has resulted in the exclusion of academics and students from the international academic community and public sphere, and massive youth (including graduate) unemployment. In Turkey, Syria’s most refugee-populated neighbour, increasing numbers of Syrian refugee youths struggle to enter higher education (e.g., at the University of Istanbul), to acculturate there and within the neighbouring communities where they settle with their families. And in the United Kingdom (UK), similar conditions prevail: new (Syrian) refugee arrivals, especially youths, are facing hardships with language, adaptation, post-traumatic disorders, health, discrimination, and re-entry into education. The network—through the medium of workshops based on arts-based and intercultural communication activities—will build capabilities in LMICs in peer and intergenerational learning, formal and informal learning in HE and community settings, teacher and institutional educational and researcher development and capabilities, and student (peer-to-peer) understandings of participation and responsibility, and civic engagement. The dialogic, intercultural, and cultural learning experiences engendered through the workshops and their associated activities across the network will lead to improved understanding of marginalised, vulnerable, and displaced groups; and build intercultural pedagogies that are responsive to the arts and humanities, e.g., multiple languages, culture and heritage, multiple identities, representation; and on a societal level, to human rights violations, social and religious injustice and exclusion, loss of (linguistic, cultural, heritage, and ethnic) identity, and trauma. Importantly, the reciprocal learning engendered through this transnational, interdisciplinary, and multilingual network will support and have implications for HE intercultural education at Durham and in other high income countries.

Aims and Objectives:

Our research network will deliver the following six objectives:

  • Initiate a research agenda for the co-construction of intercultural pedagogies—focusing on languages, culture and cultural heritage, multiple identities, and representation—in LMICs among a network of transnational, multi-/interdisciplinary, multilingual researchers and educators, and in cooperation with NGOs, charities and other community support groups across the four case-study sites in contexts of conflict and other forms of protracted crises;
  • Use the network’s LMIC locally-generated and context-specific activities as a platform to initiate the co-construction of intercultural pedagogies grounded in critical theories that foster intercultural dialogue, equitable quality education, and lifelong learning (in response UNESCO 2030 education strategy and SDG4); and harness conceptualisations of global citizenship that support youth participation, responsibility and engagement (in response to SDG4.7) in formal and non-formal education;
  • Develop and deliver pedagogic intercultural resources (activities) grounded in arts and humanities that facilitate intercultural dialogue, multilingual communication, and language learning/exchange among students in HE and their peers who have limited or no access to formal education due to the above conditions;
  • Provide an internationally accessible sustainable repository (this website) of intercultural resources that can be used by other researchers/educators and community support groups in LMICs and high income countries affected by the above conditions;
  • enrich understandings of translation, language and communication among researchers, educators, experts, non-professional translators and community groups to enrich understandings of multilingual researcher methods and processes (or “researching multilingually”, as established in the PI’s previous AHRC-funded projects (AH/J005037/1 and AH/L006936/1);
  • Consolidate the network to facilitate further in-depth and sustained research activity concerning the development of intercultural pedagogies and global citizenship education through the arts and humanities.