Educational and teaching approaches

Seven educational principles underlie the project:

1.  Motivation
The interest of the children and teenagers must be aroused by starting out from what they know (or think they know) about the Arab-Islamic and European civilisations and by asking them questions or puzzles which each video will help them to answer. Certain questions will be left unanswered, in order to whet pupils’ curiosity and encourage them to do some research of their own.

2.  Personal activity and interactivity
Pupils must be active and take part in the elaboration of their knowledge. Complementary research in libraries or on the Internet will extend and consolidate the conceptual patterns being worked out. The formation of working groups will be suggested in the teachers’ guides in order to promote interaction between pupils within the same culture and between pupils from different cultures.

3.  The element of fun and emotional appeal
The unifying link throughout the seven-step training programme will be provided by pleasant young people from the two cultures. These teenagers will appear at the beginning and end of each video, to ask questions and draw conclusions; and during the language learning section, to draw attention to linguistic difficulties and show how they can be resolved.

4.  Nature of progression
From the known to the unknown, from a geographical centre to neighbouring countries or countries offering analogies of a historical, social or cultural nature, etc. The progression must be psychological rather than ‘logical’.

5.  The reinforcement and contextualisation of the learning points
Certain key ideas will appear in most of the videos, for example: linguistic cross-fertilisation, the rich common past of cultural exchanges, current common values. Dialogue and the alternative viewpoint will be featured in all seven sequences. Research conducted in the pupils’ everyday setting will add the irreplacable element of concrete experience. All of the above factors will work in favour of the establishment of a conceptual network rich in meaning.

6.  Supervision of the learning process
This will be undertaken by teachers: primary teachers, teachers of history, geography, literature, social sciences, philosophy courses, etc.

7.  The transfer
Each video must feature some practical application, some point that makes it relevant to everyday life, some way in which the knowledge acquired can be used, for example: