SONETOR - Training of Cultural Mediators Utilizing New Social Networking Software
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Internal and external migration as a global phenomenon has grown considerably over the past number of years, particularly during the past decade, transforming European nations into multi-cultural societies. This has resulted in the need to develop policies and systems to facilitate the integration of foreign citizens into their newly adopted countries. At the same time, hosting societies must be made aware of and trained in strategies on how to deal with the phenomena of racism, prejudice and xenophobia against immigrants, which invariably arise when migrants attempt to integrate into their new societies. This particularly happens at times of economic difficulty in the receiving countries. The role of cultural mediators in this process is of paramount importance.
Many countries and organisations within them have developed vocational and educational courses and programmes for those working as cultural mediators, but to date no systematic effort has been made to design and offer sustainable services that address the initial and continuing professional needs of those working as cultural mediators.
The primary objective of the SONETOR Project was to examine the duties and responsibilities of those working in the role in each partner country. From this a job profile was developed for the role. In turn, this leaded to the development of a person specification outlining the knowledge, skills and competencies required of those performing the function. Based on these, the project developed a set of learning scenarios, designed to improve and enhance knowledge, skills and competencies.
These scenarios were developed using as many real life experiences, both of migrants and those working as cultural mediators. Other key stakeholders were indentified in each partner country and the project involved them in the project.
The main outcome of the project was the development of a special multilingual social networking platform, which fosters the development of a European community of cultural mediators. Through this it was possible to facilitate the exchange of experiences between the community members and other stakeholders. The platform combined peer learning and adult education pedagogical principles with the latest developments in social networking to ensure knowledge transfer and consequent establishment of a culture of good practice in the field of cultural mediation at a European level.
The e-learning modules were developed using advanced Technology enhanced training scenarios, tailored to the specific job needs of Cultural Mediators, using high quality digital training content. The project outcomes were further improved through the use as of communication tools, such as forums, blogs and wikis, which are developed and maintained by the registered members of the community themselves.
The consortium included partners from Greece (HOU- Lead partner, CTI), Ireland (UL), Poland (UPJPII), Austria (BEST) and Spain (MARQUE 21)