Intercultural Learning at Berufskolleg Wirtschaft und Verwaltung Ahaus


    A Report

    The Berufskolleg Wirtschaft und Verwaltung Ahaus intensively strives to internationalise its teaching by closely co-operating with selected partner schools on the basis of European Educational Programmes. The European educational programme

    "Life and work in Europe - young people find a new orientation"

    has been financially supported for the last three years by the national agency for the Socrates / Comenius Programme.

    Our co-operation with several international schools (with an emphasis on Denmark: European Class in Lyngby; a further partner school is Cirencester College in England) is characterised by its curricular approach. The mutual work aims more at long-term processes than at short-time products. During several international visits, teachers and students worked out together a didactic annual plan on the basis of their national curricula. The emphasis lies on the Gymnasiale Oberstufe. Main subjects are the preparation of new projects and teaching materials, which are carried out or used at the schools either simultaneously or deferred. Results are either exchanged by E-mail or during the next students' exchange.

    During the last two years, four of such exchange programmes have been carried through with the European Class at Lynby. The students worked on several topics in projects such as:

    • Environment: Garbage and Garbage Dressing; the Greenhouse Effect; the Depletion of the Ozone Layer
      (Subjects: Geography, English, German, Economics, Business Studies)
    • The European Monetary Union: Political and Economic Impact of the Euro
      (Subjects: Economics, Politics, History)
    • Elementary Philosophical Questions
      (Subjects: Religious Education; Natural Sciences; German)
    • Production of a European Students Newspaper
      (Subjects: German; English)
    • A Local Radio Broadcast: International Students' Exchanges
      (Subjects: German; English; Course in Literature)
    • Video Production: A Film on the Basis of a Piece of Literature
      (Subjects: German; Course in Literature)
    • Video production: Presentation of the school and the region in which we live
      (Subjects: German, Literature)
    • Commercial Correspondence: Simulation of typical activities in the English language such as Enquiry, Offer, Order, Despatch, Complaints, Reminders, Settlement of the Invoice etc
      (Subjects: English, Economics)
    • Reading Literary Texts: Dürrenmatt, Die Physiker (The Physicists) under the aspect: "Responsibility of Science"
      (Subject: German)
    • Reading Literary Texts: P. Hoeg, Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee under the aspect "Cultural Identity"
      (Subject: German)
    • Marketing Problems: The Furniture Industry
      (Subjects: English; Economics, Business Studies )
    • The Use of Modern Information Technologies: A Workshop
      (Subjects: Computer Sciences; German)
    • Structural Changes in the "Ruhrgebiet": From Coal to Culture
      (Subjects: Economics, Business Studies; Geography)
    • Women in Society
      (Subjects: English; German; Law; Politics)
    • Use of the Internet: Internet Cafe
      (Subjects: Computer Sciences)
    • Dangers of Modern Technologies: Nuclear and Gene Technology
      (Subjects: Politics; German)

    These projects were carried out in close co-operation with partners outside our school, for example local companies, the local radio station and newspaper, the German government, the car manufacturer Opel in Bochum. The results were published in the local press, the Internet and in the school entrance hall.

    For the school term 1998/99, the following new projects are planned besides the already existing ones:

    • Peace and War
      (Subjects: English, History)
    • City Game "The Westphalian Peace Treaty" in Münster
      (Subjects: German, History)
    • Project Day Internet
      (Subject: Information Technology)
    • The History of Technology
      (Subject: Physics)
    • The History of TV: The Dream of Watching
      (Subject: German)
    • Exploitation of Raw Materials: The Political Conflict at Garzweiler (mining of brown coal)
      (Subject: Politics)
    The Berufskolleg Wirtschaft und Verwaltung Ahaus with its international connections wants to make a practical contribution to the process of growing together in Europe. The students instantaneously improve their vocational qualifications and get to know and understand foreign cultures and mentalities at the same time.

    The following activities and developments at our school shall foster the learning process across boundaries during the school term 1998/99:

    • Curricular co-operation with Lyngby and Cirencester throughout the term.
    • Students exchange programmes in Ahaus (autumn 1998) and Lyngby (spring 1999).
    • Participation in the European Studies Programme together with schools from Birmingham, Londonderry, Cirencester, Lyngby, and Valence.
    • Development of our German-Albanian school partnership with particular consideration of development politics.
    • Humanitarian help project of the joint administration by pupils and teachers for Bangladesh.
    • Incorporation of Danish and English foreign language assistants.
    • Continued participation in the school project: "NRW (=North Rhine-Westphalia) online - communication world-wide".
    • Formation of particular "European Classes"
    • Co-operation with the Netherlands and England in vocational training.
    • Extension of the school's offer of foreign languages.