Inside Out – Outside In

Funded by EU Erasmus +

Building bridges in teacher education through positive encounters with diversity (InOut) recognizes that diversity in socio-economic, cultural and ethnic terms is often associated with Early School Leaving and dropout in European education. This project proactively addresses these phenomena through a variety of pedagogical initiatives going beyond the formal boundaries of school institutions. InOut refers spatially to the higher education institution where the course will take place with the intention of going beyond the institution and socially to insiders and outsiders of the formal education system. 

The aim of InOut is to increase future teachers’ awareness of different forms of education among members of different cultural or ethnic groups often excluded from the national formal education systems. The broader goals of InOut include the opening of the dialogue between different forms of education in the different member states and opening the formal education system to other forms of education.

Seventy two student teachers will participate in the InOut intensive programmes with the development of an open-access module based on the Intensive Programmes making the pedagogical innovations, activities and materials of the project available to a wider audience.

The project partners come from across the European Union representing varying examples of and responses to diversity. The expertise of the project members encompasses cultural geography, drama pedagogy, language education, the history and theory of education, ICT and teacher development. The intensive programmes will be organized and taught by experts from different fields of teacher education represented by the project group. The participants will encounter members of communities who are defined as “outsiders” from the formal education systems. These encounters and discussions will take place inside the university (“outside in”) or within institutions or places outside the university (“inside out”). 

Students will be given the opportunity to work with notions of diversity from different perspectives - historical, cultural, educational - and to engage with diversity personally. The project activities include cross-cultural group work tasks as well as individual reflections supported by the maintenance of learning journals. An important methodological innovation of the project is the use of dérives (Holtham & Owens, 2011) in different physical and theoretical spaces supporting an epistemology of curiosity. InOut is designed to enrich understandings of diversity as a lived reality and as a valued resource for pedagogy and education. A key outcome of InOut is the broadening of the participants’ pedagogical repertoires in terms of knowledge and practice. The longer term result of the project suggests the possibility of renewing European educational cultures through pedagogically innovative bridge building.

Lead Partner

University of Jyväskylä