DIALLS started in May 2018 and is a three-year project funded by the EC’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund, within the topic Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies.
The ten academic partners are led by the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge and the project includes nine interrelated work packages.
Aims and Objectives
The aims of DIALLS are to teach children in schools from a young age to engage together in discussions where they may have differing viewpoints or perspectives, to enable a growing awareness of their own cultural identities; and to be sensitive not only to their own identities and cultures but also to empathise with those of each other.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To develop an understanding of young people’s cultural literacy through the teaching of dialogue and argumentation as a means to understand European identities, cultures and diversities, including:
- A cultural literacy learning programme (CLLP)
- An analysis of classroom and online discussions
- An open access collection of transcribed discussions from classes across Europe
- To provide comprehensive guidance for the development of cultural literacy in schools through:
- A Scale of Progression for Cultural Literacy Learning (SPCLL)
- To promote the emergence of young people’s cultural identities in their discussions and produced cultural artefacts through:
- A student produced cultural literacy manifesto
- A virtual gallery of student produced cultural artefacts
The DIALLS project works as a spiral of three phases, each taking a year. The first phase is a development phase, working with a core set of 15-20 teachers representing the partner countries to create and pilot classroom activities. The Cultural Literacy Learning Programme will include 15 lessons for each of three age-groups: 5-6 year olds, 8-9 year olds, and 14-15 year olds. Wordless picturebooks and short wordless films that have been produced from across Europe will be selected to be used as discussion stimulus.
The second, main phase will implement the CLLP and include students (from pre-primary to secondary) working together in their classrooms before interacting online with other students from the same country; then engaging with similar-aged classrooms from different countries. Even the youngest children will engage online, although their interactions might include the sharing of their artwork inspired by their discussions of the picturebooks and films. At the end of this second year we will hold the DIALLS 2020 semi-virtual student conference, including secondary students from the partner countries collaborating together online to create a Student Manifesto for Cultural Literacy. Researchers will analyse the discussions that have taken place online and in the class and build towards a open-access resource of transcribed sessions which will be available in several languages.
The third year of the project will see the CLLP become an open-access resource for teachers, and will also include the development of a Scale of Progression for Cultural Literacy Learning, to support teachers in their planning for the development of cultural literacy knowledge, skills and competences. We will test these resources by engaging a further set of 80-100 teachers to evaluate the programme.