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Images of 'Intercultural Education'

Images of intercultural education

Study «Images of intercultural education»

Study 'Images of intercultural education'
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How teachers see reality determines how they perceive inter-cultural challenges at school and in their teaching. In the sense of intercultural sensitivity to different distinctions, the perceptions of differences and similarities can develop and are determined by the teachers' own experiences within the social settings and values. Intercultural challenges at school and in the classroom are characterised by meetings that do not take place in a neutral place: instead the teachers have to consider their own role and the function of the school as an institution. Compulsory schooling, established as an important part of modern society, traditionally contributes to the consolidation of a cultural unit in a community, making monoculturality the aim and programme of education. This type of monocultural institution is in contradiction to the recognition and value of diversity as the prime educational objec-tive. The project began at this point, aiming at an empirical reconstruction of this field of tension in teachers' educational convictions. It raised the question of how teachers view and reflect on cultural differences in their own school context, and how they handle conflict between cultural heterogeneity, on the one hand, and the normative function of school, on the other hand; and how educational views differ depending on different intercul-tural sensitivities.

Interviews with teachers about a hypothetical dilemma were evaluated and the data was classified according to different levels of intercultural sensitivity (using the Intercultural Development Inventory). This has shown that teachers handle conflict differently depending on their intercultural sensitivities. The results identified the significance of intercultural sensitivity for educational convictions about cultural heterogeneity, making it possible to determine what factors might influence the development of a school-specific intercultural competence for teachers.


Type Title
Leutwyler, B. & Mantel, C. (2015). Teachers’ Beliefs and Intercultural Sensitivity. In G. Mészáros & F. Körtvélyesi (Eds.). Social Juctice and Diversity in Teacher Education. Proceedings of the ATEE Winter Conference 2014 (p. 145 – 156). Brussels: Association for Teacher Education in Europe, ATEE.
Leutwyler, B., Mantel, C., Petrović, D., Zlatković, B., & Dimitrijević, B. (2014). Teachers’ Beliefs about Intercultural Education: Different Levels of Intercultural Sensitivity in Schooling and Teaching. Educational Research, 5 (8), 280-289.
Petrović, D. S., Leutwyler, B., Zlatković, B. M., Mantel, C. & Dimitrijević, B. M. (2013). Teachers’ Intercultural Sensitivity. An Approach for Teacher Education.Vranje (Serbia): Plutos.
Leutwyler, B., Petrović, D. S. & Mantel, C. (2012). Constructivist Foundations of Intercultural Education: Implications for Research and Teacher Training. In N. Popov, C. Wolhuter, B. Leutwyler, G. Hilton, J. Ogunleye & P. A. Almeida (Hrsg.), International Perspectives on Education. BCES Conference Books. (Vol. 10, S. 111-118). Sofia: Bulgarian Comparative Education Society.
Mantel, C., Simić, N., Petrović, D. & Leutwyler, B. (2012). Notions of cultural differences among teacher education students in the Serbian and Swiss context. In A. Baucal & J. Radišić (Hrsg.), Conference "Patchwork - Learning Diversities" August 30th - September 1st 2012, Belgrade (S. 183-191). Belgrade: Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.

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Carola Mantel
Head of IZB
+41 41 727 12 91