What? Welcome to my Neighbourhood project is an exchange programme for elementary schools in which pupils of different social/ethnic backgrounds meet to increase diversity competences. A key to the success of the programme is the use of Cooperative Learning in the activities. This methodology offers to translate the contact hypothesesin educational setting into positive experiences.
Why? In the Netherlands and many other multicultural societies, children grow up in segregated neigbourhoods due to socio-economic and ethnic segregation. Children live in the same city or region, but in different worlds. It is therefore not self-evident to get in contact with children of different backgrounds, and develop skills for intercultural citizenship. The project acts on this by enabling these children to have positive experiences with peers from other environments. This means - o
How? Schools are matched on basis of the schools’ neighbourhoods and pupil populations. Combinations of schools are sought with pupils who differ in social and ethnic backgrounds. The programme’s duration is two weeks (three half-days a week). The first week takes place at school. Children are prepared for the exchange and are stimulated to reflect on who they are themselves, on the kind of school they are attending and on the kind of neighbourhood they live in. At the end of the first
Who? Welcome to My Neighbourhood focuses on the oldest pupil groups of elementary education. Combinations of elementary schools are being sought with pupils who differ in social and ethnic background. The groups children work in are mixed, a few children from their own class and a few from the partner class.
Results About 45 exchanges have taken place - 90 classes, around 2,250 pupils. The programme runs at more than 30 different schools, many have been participating for multiple years. Before and after the exchange, diversity competences have been measured with online questionnaires (developed with Leiden University). Results show that pupils after the exchange are more positive towards contacts and friendships with their peers and have less anxiety. Interviews with teachers show that the vast m
And what now? Welcome in my Neighbourhood started as a grass root initiative and now has several years of experience in developing, executing and improving the method for connecting different groups of children with each other within the Netherlands. In order to spread the programme within the Netherlands, various materials were developed. For example a manual, a road map for teachers, a programme book for pupils, a booklet “We Will Keep Contact” and instruction dvd's. The foundatio
Honors & Awards Welcome to my Neighbourhood was in 2009 accepted for inclusion in the Compendium of Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America: A Compendium of Good Practice. The compendium is published by the Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), the Office for Democratic Institutions and the Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights