Our Innovative Cultural Literacy Learning Programme
Integrating cultural literacy into your school curriculum means fostering tolerance, empathy, and inclusion. Using dialogue and argumentation as tools means strengthening students’ ability to talk and reason together, teaching them the importance of listening carefully to other views, building on these and sometimes challenging or disagreeing with them. These are life-long skills.
The Cultural Literacy Learning Programme (CLLP) is a resource for teachers to use that can support children and young people to discuss themes around living together, being socially responsible and exploring cultural heritages and identities. Developed by teachers and researchers working together and implemented in over 250 schools in 2020, the CLLP will be available as an open-access resource on this website from Spring 2021. The resource includes lesson prompts and short films as exciting and engaging stimuli for discussions. As the films are all wordless, they can be used in any country, in any language! The Programme will also include an assessment tool to support teachers to map the development of children’s cultural literacy dispositions, called the SPCLL (Scale of Progression for Cultural Literacy Learning). It will also be available in Spring 2021.
What is available now?
We are still in the middle of finalising our online CLLP with a group of invited teachers across Europe. Together, we are testing our resources and working in communities of practice to discuss and improve them. In the meantime:
Browse our virtual gallery, featuring a selection of the ’cultural artefacts’ that students across Europe have made in response to lessons on cultural literacy. The gallery will be available from Autumn 2020.
What is coming?
From spring 2021 the CLLP will be available as an open-access resource on our website for use by all teachers. Bookmark this page so you can easily return here to access the resources, or sign up to our mailing list to be notified when the CLLP is published online.
The CLLP resources will comprise a suite of short films and lesson prompts aimed at three age groups: 4-7 years, 8-11 years and 12-15 years.
These will be accompanied by professional development materials to support you to promote cultural literacy in your classroom.
The resources will also include an assessment tool, called the Scale of Progression for Cultural Literacy Learning (SPCLL) to help you plan for children’s cultural literacy development.
What other teachers say about DIALLS
Hundreds of teachers across Europe and Israel have used lessons from the Cultural Literacy Learning Programme. Here’s what a few of them have said about the impact it has had on their teaching and on their students:
”The whole experience [teaching DIALLS lessons] from the beginning to the end was valuable, interesting, and very constructive for me and the children.
Although at first I was afraid that the whole methodology of the programme would not suit my students, I was happily proven wrong.
The difficulties that children initially had, especially in the area of cooperation and acceptance of other children, as well as dialogue and argumentation, were evident. They…found it difficult to have awareness of other children. From the initial lessons, their egocentric character was very evident, with the self overpowering their sense of the collective.
This seems to have changed over the course of the first 8 courses of the programme. Children in general in everyday school life seemed to operate much more harmoniously than in the beginning. The cooperation between them, the respect and the ability to compromise were significantly strengthened. These features also helped my work to an important extent.
The material given to us was remarkably strong pedagogically and useful in our work not only for the current academic year but for the school years to come too… The visual texts work together and interact, and are a powerful teaching tool for achieving the objectives of the programme as well as language learning objectives more broadly, since they work as an important stimulus for the production of oral speech.
Overall, what I will take away from DIALLS…is how important it is for children to develop such skills and abilities for intercultural dialogue and for understanding the daily lives of our fellow human beings. If we manage to encourage these skills to some extent from the earliest stage of education, they will be basic resources for children for the rest of their lives.”
”I found the session based around the short film ‘The Elephant and the Bicycle’ particularly insightful for both myself and my understanding of the children in my class, and for the pupils themselves and their understanding of society. The pupils were hooked by the film and it prompted a lot of discussion from a range of pupils – both those who often shared their opinions and those who rarely did so.
Since then, several children have reached out to members of our school community linked to the video. Cards have been made and left for cleaners, children have offered to help support staff with their work and more thought has been given in discussions about how different areas of our community are affected by things.”