Early and preschool teachers intercultural competence: study program analysis in Croatia

Proceedings of The International Academic Conference on Education, Teaching and Learning

Year: 2019


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Early and preschool teachers intercultural competence: study program analysis in Croatia

Iskra Tomić Kaselj




Interculturalism in education represents the foundation for a multicultural society. It tends to develop new, more tolerant behaviors in everyday life which includes changes and awareness in people’s attitudes. Intercultural competence is a very important part of education but specifically for children in early and preschool age. Systematic implementation of intercultural education in early and preschool education would help formalize interculturalism in the whole education system. Early and preschool teachers have an important role in this subject. The role of experts is in the right choice of materials, challenges and incentive of it. Early and preschool teachers’ competencies are prerequisites for development and interculturalism implementation in kindergartens. Therefore, education for early and preschool teachers has to answer practice incentives. For these reasons early and preschool teacher study program analysis was conducted. The aim was to analyze two aspects of those programs: name and content of courses that can be related to interculturalism and intercultural competence. Qualitative analysis was conducted based on programs available online. Four University study programs in Croatia were analyzed. Based on the research data it can be concluded that interculturalism is not represented in many courses on given aspects. The term multiculturalism is used in course content, but there are no course headlines connected to term of interculturalism. It is important to include intercultural content in study programs, and maybe as a course for itself.

Keywords: competences, courses, early and preschool education, interculturalism, undergraduate study program.