It might seem as if we completely skipped 2022! In fact we were just too busy to post. In 2022 we had courses in Borgarnes and Reykjavík and other countries of Europe as usual and 2023 has already started with a course in Germany. Now the schedule for 2024 is also out. Many of our former participants are coming again which gives us great joy, one participant has joined 5 different courses and only has one left.
At last we managed to get full on active again in the autumn 2021. We went to Belgium with a training in connection with the ITTS project and we had several great groups joining our courses here and we are looking forward meeting more enthusiastic and interesting groups next year. The program is already full, we would just need a few more weeks in the year!
Who knew that our course in Borgarnes in March 2020 would be the last for such a long time? Certainly not us and our life without our courses and participants took some getting used to as we are all about the ‘face to face’ interaction – and zoom faces just are not the same. However, we were able to offer some online training, a new venture for ICI and it was well received by those who undertook it. Skills were upskilled! As Iceland moves out of Covid measures we hope that later in the year we will be back in Borgarnes with our participants doing what we love best.
In other news we started two new Erasmus Plus projects which we will contribute to and learn from:
International Teachers for Tomorrows Schools (ITTS) is a project led by the University of Bielefeld with partners from University of Leven, Belgium, Panepistimio Aigaiou, Greece, University of Mariboru, Slovenia, Izmir University, Turkey and Akademia Pomorsk, Poland and ICI. The aim of the project is to provide support for sustainable integration and inclusion of teachers with a refugee background in schools. The early stages of the project include transnational stocktaking with a survey which is currently under test stage. This will inform the materials that will be produced to support the aim and have four target groups: Teachers with refugee background and international teachers, Teachers, mentors and principals of schools, Teacher training students and lecturers in teacher training at universities. ICIs key role will be to provide training to the partners to ensure that Intercultural considerations underpin the project content and direction.
You can find the project fb link here
Practical Skills with Digital Technologies in Teacher Education (D Eva) led by the University of Barcelona with partners from Stichting Hogeschool Van Amsterdam, University of Timisoara and ICI. This project has a focus the pillars of People; Organisatons; Interactions; Resources and Digital Gap. It seeks to support innovative assessment practice in teacher training and support educators and leaders to improve skills and bridge gaps in assessment practice for both students and academics in Higher Education. E assessment resources will be developed to secure authentic, sustainable and effective student assessment of work and build technical capacity to use e assessment in a coherent way. Importantly it aims to equip universities with mechanisms to make positive changes and organically incorporate digital solutions. ICIs key role here will also be to provide training for the partners with main focus on creative assessment methods for diverse groups of learners.
The third project is called Nurturing Creativity in Education but this project is just starting and we will share more information about it soon
We are offering three sessions of an online course that is meant for everyone interested in the topics of diversity, prejudice, everyday racism etc. We think the course could be especially useful for teachers and trainers and could example be interesting for those of you who joined other ICI courses than the Sensitisation training. But it can also be interesting and useful for other school staff or colleagues that won’t be able to come to Iceland in the future for an in person course. Even on line – it will be active and cooperative. If schools or organisations register 10 participants or more they will get a 25% discount.
See further information here
At the end of each year, the ICI team write a few words about what has happened during that year and usually we have a lot to say. This year it’s a bit different.
We managed to run three courses at the beginning of the year. The last one taking place in the first week of March. By then things had already started to look bad, especially for Italy where a group of participants had to cancel their participation because of the epidemic. It soon became apparent there would likely be no European courses for the rest of the year.
We offered (and still do) online follow-up courses for previous participants, which we are happy to say have been very well received by the enthusiastic participants. And, not to forget, we joined two new and interesting KA2 projects: Simply Included -
and ITTS: International Teachers for Tomorrow’s Schools -
This has been a challenging year for everyone. Teachers and trainers especially have been challenged with changing their teaching approaches almost overnight – not because they think these are better approaches for their learners but because they have had few alternatives to choose from and had to adapt to the circumstances. They have shown unbelievable flexibility, creativity and resilience which are all skills that our learners need for life. So thumbs up for teachers and trainers!
We now look optimistically to better times. We hope that the vaccine will make its magic and that we will see you or your colleagues or other teachers and trainers from all over Europe on our courses again next year. We will be prepared and ready and luckily, we are already getting questions and applications from schools and organizations that want to join us next year.
At the end of the year we often like to check our statistics (we are sociologists after all ????) We have sometimes sent out questioners to find out if our approaches have turned out to be useful to the participants and sometimes we go over the evaluation sheets again and post some encouraging words that we have seen there but this year we just looked at the numbers of participants through the years. Below you can see those statistics.
It is interesting to see how events in society are reflected in our numbers. In 2007, when the economic crisis started the numbers go down and again in 2014 when Erasmus+ took over from Grundtvig, Comenius and Leonardo programs and nobody really knew how to apply ???? and then of course 2020 is obvious.
We also checked the number of countries where the participants came from each year. One of the main changes over time is that the geographical diversity of participants was greater when applications were made by individuals rather than institutions.
We wish you all the best for 2021 in good health for you and your families and hopefully we will all continue to do our best to change the world together for the better!
ICI Team (Guðrún, Cherry and Sólveig)
ICI will offer two on-line courses this summer.
Course I - Title: Group worthy tasks for cooperative learning in diverse classrooms. Participants: Former participants on the ICI courses: “Diverse Society – Diverse Classrooms”, “Reaching, Teaching and Keeping our learners” “Creative Assessment for the 21st century”
Course II - Title: Using creative cooperative learning tasks during a Sensitization training on racism, discrimination, migration etc. Participants: Former participants on the ICI course Sensitisation training with reference to migration, racism, discrimination, culture and diversity with strategies for teaching these issues to diverse age groups.
If you want to register to either of those courses, please contact Guðrún (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will finalize the registration and send you further information about the course.
It is with great regret that we have to announce that our courses for April and May 2020 have now been postponed.
All participants on these courses have been informed of this decision.
Whilst Iceland is not under any travel restrictions nor is it considered a high risk area we have taken the decision due to the nature of our groups coming from across Europe and an ever changing scenario meaning that some might have to deal with last minute changes and travel restrictions.
We also wish to be pro active and ethical in our approach to playing our role in infection control under the area of gatherings of people.
We hope that you understand that our decision has been made in the best interests of our participants.
One more ICI year has come to an end – almost 17 years since we started it in 2003. We have met so many interesting and open-minded people since then and in 2019 we gave 9 courses for European participants from all over Europe and several courses for Icelandic schools and workplaces.
We also finished our Im Not a Racist, but… project and we were pleased to receive a best practice award from the NA for it. We are actually very proud of this project ourselves.
What never ceases to amaze us and give us so much hope for the learners of Europe are all the enthusiastic teachers and trainers, full of ideas and will to try to do everything they can to truly improve their learners wellbeing and motivation to learn.
We thank you so much for all the good moments together in 2019 and in all the past 16 years too. We thank you for the supportive and encouraging words that you shared for us, they really give us motivation to keep on with the ICI work.
We wish all ICI friends and colleagues a great 2020 with lots of happiness and achievements towards your personal goals and of course with lots of fun too! We hope to see you all here again one day
Dear ICI friends. Now is the time of year when we look back and remember once again how interesting and rewarding our work has been over the last year. We remember all those great and enthusiastic participants in our courses who certainly give us hope for the future. We see teachers who strive for the well being and learning opportunities of their diverse groups of learners. We see project partners and associates who work hard at fighting prejudice, discrimination and racism in their everyday work and life. All this makes us, the ICI team, hopeful for the future generations, even though it doesn’t always look bright in the world’s politics at the moment. Together we try to take chicken steps (that’s what it’s called in Icelandic
The complete training package is now complete in English, Romanian, German and Icelandic. The Trainer Handbook containing a 4 hour and a 8 hour module, support information and activities to enable training to be modified for specific target groups and QR code links to video content is here:
Video content with subtitles in English, Romanian, German and Icelandic is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jRNqEoJp_Y&feature=youtu.be
And the Facebook Game on Facts and Myths about Immigration is here:
Please share any experiences of using any or all of these materials on our Facebook page.