London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Intercultural education in Latvia

Author(s) Chehlov, M. et al  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
Latvia's accession to the European Union changed the economic, political and educational situation in the country. The enlargement of the system of united European cooperation, the intensive exchange of information, products, and workforce poses a new task for the system of education to prepare young people capable of participating in European-scale projects, associations, and partnerships. These positive changes resulted in the reorganization of the traditional system of education and the development of intercultural education. The purpose of intercultural education is the development of intercultural personality capable of mutual acceptance of individual's national and cultural identity, a mobile personality capable of engaging in active cooperation with the representatives of various cultures. Intercultural education is based on universal cultural values like freedom, cooperation, tolerance, and others. Latvia is a multiethnic country. Intercultural education has to deal with a two-fold task here: the acquisition by young people of their own ethnic culture and the development of respect for other cultures. The contemporary Latvian culture is an aggregate formed as a result of the interaction of different cultures, the space of human coexistence. The article deals with the concept and the didactic models of intercultural education developed on the basis of the principles of integration, interdisciplinarity, and tolerance. The main forms of intercultural education are: projects (local and international), practice, and research. The experiment was carried out in several schools in Latvia and a gymnasium in Norway. The purpose of the article is to analyse the specific features of intercultural education in Latvia and to determine the trends of its development. Key words: Intercultural education, National and cultural identity, Interactivity, Interdisciplinarity

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