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Reflections on intercultural competence and inclusive strategies through aesthetic learning in education

Conference contribution
Authors Tarja Karlsson Häikiö
Published in Conference Make&Learn, Sloyd Education, Academy of Design and Crafts, 17-20 of September 2019, Göteborgs universitet
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Language en
Keywords aesthetic learning processes, inclusion, interculturality, participation, visual tools
Subject categories Aesthetics, Learning


Intercultural perspectives can be developed through the conscious use of aesthetic learning processes (Elam et al, 2017; Karlsson Häikiö, 2018a), but use of aesthetic and visual tools in school calls for more profound methods and seeing school as a visual and civic arena based on a broader perspective where different ways of seeing, being, and functioning are used in the educational activities. In the presentation is discussed how work from an inclusive perspective can help create forms of learning and development, as well as active participation and equal inclusion for all children and pupils (Karlsson Häikiö, 2018b). Reflection on cultural differences and intercultural aspects can be integrated into education and contribute to learning, not only based on the ethnic background of children, pupils or students. Lorentz (2016) defines intercultural skills as ability to communicate "with people of different backgrounds with regard to ethnicity, culture, language, religion, etc." (2016, p. 161). Although intercultural competence is not explicitly mentioned in the school curriculum (Lgr11), it implicitly describes the importance of the development of the abilities described by Lorentz. Elam et al. (2017) suggest how different cultural phenomena and art can create the conditions for learning, socialization and development. Working with aesthetic expressions can be useful in dealing with issues that are complex, such as racism, gender, class or power perspectives. However, this can add widened perspectives through the use of working methods of a more dialogical nature, which goes beyond the traditional learning context in questions where new ways of finding solutions are needed or in dealing with issues related to ethics or existential aspects.

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