In Italy, intercultural and interreligious dialogue are an urgent issue: the rates of functional illiteracy are still very high with a consequent increase in social unrest.
In particular, cultural, ethnic and religious illiteracy contribute to exacerbate these problems within multi-ethnic and multi-confessional societies, slowing down the mechanisms of integration, participation in citizenship and sharing of public space and creating, on the contrary, niches to differentiate.
In response to this need, the Peace between Cultures project intends to promote intercultural education and peace through an innovative educational path aimed at preschool, primary and secondary school classes in the suburban area of Reggio Emilia. The activities plan to facilitate and accompany the process of building knowledge and skills on the issues of intercultural education and peace, in line with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the enhancement of cultural diversity (SDG 4).
Fondazione Reggio Children accompanies the project by taking charge of the coordination of training and the participatory path of research and innovative teaching with an interdisciplinary working group that sees the collaboration of the Foundation experts and the teaching staff of the Comprehensive Institute, with the collaboration of researchers in the educational and historical fields of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and of the Foundation for Religious Sciences, and cultural mediators of the Mondinsieme association.
From the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year, the project was divided into several preparatory meetings between the team of Fondazione Reggio Children and the representatives of the Comprehensive Institute to share the needs of the different school levels, through the points of view of Headmaster and teachers. The Control Room was therefore set up, an interdisciplinary working group made up of teachers, atelierists, pedagogues, researchers, cultural mediators, project managers to support the ambitious goal of the project.
The Control Room shared and defined the methodological framework and the project actions, which are articulated in a research-training path with the teaching staff, educational planning in a vertical curriculum dimension, and actions for the involvement of families and their approach to school life.
In January 2022, the project activities began with the four primary school classes of the IC. Manzoni involved, in particular: a class of the Ada Negri Primary School (at the Civic Museums), a class of the G. Pascoli Primary School, and two classes of the Bergonzi school, one of which housed within the Bank of Italy.
In April 2022 began the second cycle of activities of the project involving the girls and boys of the G. Pascoli Primary School class, two sections of the Scuola dell'infanzia Pascoli of Reggio Emilia and one class of the Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado A. Manzoni. The activities have been concluded in June 2022 with the term of the year.
In the occasion of the conference "Peace among Cultures: the school for intercultural and interreligious dialogue", held on 12 December 2022 in the Aula Magna of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, was presented the final publication that collects the results of the project and the questionnaire attended by 335 families of the Comprehensive Institute on the themes of both the school-family relationship, school-pupils, and interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
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