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Diversity and Democracy in Everyday School Life: Challenges Critical of Discrimination in the Transition from School to Work

Diversity – in terms of ethnicity, skin color, gender, sexual lifestyle, age, physical constitution, social affiliation and/or origin, religion, world view, and much more – is our social reality. However, this is often still accompanied by experiences of discrimination.

These exclusion practices experienced on the interpersonal level, i.e. in people’s dealings with one another, are generally anchored in the structural and institutional level of society. They are generated, reinforced and maintained by them. Especially for young people at the transition from school to work, such experiences of discrimination become a negative imprint and determine their further career.

In this context, teachers at vocational schools and trainers have a special role to play in counteracting such discrimination dynamics. Establishing social inclusion and democratic negotiation processes as a cross-sectional task is one of the core challenges for teachers today. Diversity has to be accepted as “normality”, stereotypes and prejudices have to be reduced and discrimination, exclusion, racism and group-related misanthropy have to be prevented. In order for the mutually reinforcing and supporting levels to be recognized and changed, not least a cross-dimensional understanding of interpersonal, institutional and structural discrimination is needed. However, the democratic diversity competencies required for this are usually insufficiently taken into account in teacher training.

This is where the workshop series comes in: aimed at vocational school teachers and trainers, it aims to offer assistance and provide perspectives on how to recognize these mechanisms of exclusion and how to counter them effectively.

Training agenda

Workshop (presence)

Workshop 1: Experiences of Discrimination in Schools

  • Experiences of discrimination in everyday school life and discrimination-critical schools
  • Discriminatory everyday school life in language, images and action practice as a result of school structures
  • Diversity-oriented change processes for schools in a diverse reality

Workshop 2: Empowerment strategies for everyday school life

  • Empowerment approaches in everyday school life
  • Establishing and anchoring empowerment approaches in the structural environment of the school means democratization
  • Safer space as an instrument of the social space school

Workshop 3: Discrimination-critical orientation as a cross-sectional task

  • Understanding life realities – recognizing needs – understanding multiperspectivity
  • Diversity-sensitive design for school and professional orientation
  • Negotiation spaces are learning and unlearning spaces for shaping the future: Schools as learning spaces for democracy

Learning targets

  • Democratic diversity competencies for recognizing and coping with constellations of discrimination
  • Recognizing discriminatory incidents in everyday school and training life
  • Ability to act in case of discriminatory incidents in vocational school and training
  • Competences for the design of democratically diverse learning and training spaces

Contact person

Düzgün Polat, Vanessa Kohlmann, Paul Sörensen

+49 (821)90799737, +49 (821)90799736, +49 (821)90799738