Moscow hosts 7th International Seminar “Dialog of Civilizations and Cross-cultural Cooperation”

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The Russian capital hosted the 7th international seminar “Dialog of cultures in a common education space: traditional values and innovative solutions.” It was organized by the Moscow Institute of Open Education as part of the government assignment and in cooperation with the Moscow city education department.

The event was initiated by the MIOE UNESCO chair in cooperation with participants of its international network and partner organizations from 12 countries and 21 regions of Russia. Assistance was also provided by the Secretariat of the Russian Commission for UNESCO, the UNESCO International Bureau of Education, Russian members of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network, the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, the International Federation for Peace and Conciliation, and the Etnosphere center of inter-ethnic education.

Discussions at the seminar centered around the special role of education in cross-cultural dialog and harmonization of relations in the present-day poly-cultural society. On December 3, the seminar was conducted in form of a plenary session and an inter-regional roundtable on cooperation in teachers’ training on the subject of “Methods and technology of work in the poly-cultural educational environment.”

A field trip gave the participants an opportunity to see the activities of secondary school No.480 named after V. Talalikhin in Moscow. The school, which is a member of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project, hosted meetings of four scientific and practical sections. Experts of the MIOE UNESCO chair and partner organizations organized a number of workshops to demonstrate methods of working in a foreign-language and multi-language environment and use of information and communication technologies for teaching religious studies. They presented new methodological issues related to moral and spiritual education of younger schoolchildren and social and cultural adjustment of immigrants.

The section “Dialog of cultures and integration of non-ethnic groups of population as a factor of sustainable development” became a forum for discussing the experience of educational establishments of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Serbia, Moscow and Russian regions in assisting harmonization of inter-ethnic relations and promoting civil identification through means of education. Representatives of inter-governmental organisations (the Council of Europe, the International Organization for Migration, etc.) joined the discussion and spoke about the international experience of implementing educational programs of integration and establishing cross-cultural dialog.

The section “Preservation of cultural heritage and identity in the age of computerization and globalization” included reports on use of information and communication technologies, as well as other innovative technologies for teaching. Speakers from Russian regions delivered interesting reports on use of components of ethnic and cultural education for preservation of native languages and culture while implementing the Federal State Education Standards. Participants also raised issues of interaction between students and teachers on social networks and through other new formats, discussed the pros and cons of such developments.

The section “Education in the spirit of peace, non-violence and civil responsibility” was mainly devoted to exchange of experience between secondary schools and pre-schools of Moscow, other Russian regions and foreign countries. Members of the UNESCO Associated Schools from the Moscow and Volga regions played an active part in the discussions; teachers from Khanty-Mansiisk, Moldova, Belarus and Azerbaijan shared their valuable experience. The discussion centered on the variety of forms for teaching cross-cultural competence and on the problems of improving the training of the teachers and heads of educational establishments in these matters.

Reports of the section “Harmonization of international relations through means of education” touched upon training and advanced training of teachers able to work efficiently in the present-day poly-cultural society. Teachers from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan shared their valuable experience of improving future teachers’ social and cross-cultural competences.

Traditionally, the adult event was accompanied by a youth forum titled “Dialog of cultures and culture of the dialog.” It was attended by delegations of schools that are members of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project, both from Moscow and another seven regions of Russia, as well as from Moldova and Belarus.

During the international seminar, rector of the MIOE O. Krutova signed cooperation agreements with the Sevastopol City Humanitarian University and the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute. The agreements are supplemented with priority action plans that will be used to develop cooperation in 2015 and later.

Participants of the international seminar expressed their gratitude to the Moscow city administration and the Moscow Institute of Open Education for the warm welcome and the opportunity to constructively exchange professional experience.