On 9 December 2021, the Erasmus+ INCrEAsE project’s final international conference titled The Importance of Intercultural Competences for Personal and Professional Growth of Educators: Development Challenges and Changes took place in Vilnius City Municipality. The conference, organized by Soros International House (SIH), was attended by more than 60 participants from all over Lithuania and project partners from Spain, Greece, and Romania. Partners from Italy and Cyprus also joined the event online.
The first speaker of the conference – rhetoric teacher, author of books, lecturer, and coaching specialist Donaldas Duškinas, taught the participants mindful curiosity and helped to awaken their inner child. Another speaker, Emilio Sanz, project manager at the Fundación Pascual Tomás, a member of the Valencia Education Council, and a regional government adviser on vocational training, presented the success story of the Valencian education system for the integration of multicultural and multilingual learners. SIH project coordinator Kristina Kudriašova introduced the main product of the INCrEAsE project – Intercultural Communicative Competence Training Programme and demonstrated its advantages.
Later, representatives of the project partners participated in a panel discussion moderated by SIH project coordinator Gileta Kierienė on the main topic of the conference. Finally, actress, acting teacher, and member of the music group Šaltinių Trio, Emilija Latėnaitė-Beliauskienė performed a practical reflective task, which demonstrated that there are areas of life where people of any culture, any religion, any color and any language understand each other without words and are able to enjoy what is going on around them – that is, making music together.
The conference was summed up by Fernando Benavente, president of the EURORESO network, general manager of IFESCOOP, and project partner, who gave the SIH team a lot of fine words for a very professionally organized event.
The conference was moderated by SIH Director Daiva Malinauskienė, who emphasized that the large number of conference participants proved that the topic of the event is very important for the Lithuanian and pan-European educational community, which is increasingly facing various challenges in its professional activities, as today’s learners represent a wide range of nations and cultures in all types of educational institutions. Therefore, teachers and educators must not only be properly prepared to work in a multicultural classroom and create intercultural interaction in it, but also be able to develop learners’ intercultural competence, taking into account their cultural diversity.
You can find out more about INCrEAsE on the project website, Soros International House website, and on the project’s Facebook page: https://increase.grant.umfiasi.ro, https://sih.lt/en/projects/international-projects/increase-project, https://www.facebook.com/ICCproject.
The products of the INCrEAsE project will soon be available on the project website: https://increase.grant.umfiasi.ro
The organizers of the conference thank the employees of Vilnius City Municipality for their sincere and professional cooperation and the provided opportunity to use the premises of the municipality – this is a great example of cooperation between citizens and the municipality.