The “Vielfalt bildet!” (“Diversity educates!”) project that started in 2020 aims to sensitise future multipliers in education, teachers and pedagogues for racism. People of colour and people with a migrant background are typically underrepresented at educational institutions such as universities. As institutions representing society, they are, therefore, part of the systemic reproduction of racism and social inequality. However, they also have the potential to provide avenues of discourse to question existing socio-economic conditions, narratives and structures of bias and prejudice.

The Institute of General and Vocational Pedagogy of TU Darmstadt collaborates with

• The Migrant Organisations Die Brücke e. V. and Roza e. V.;

• The self-organisation Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland Bund e.V. (“Initiative of Black People in Germany”);

• The Verband deutscher Sinti und Roma – Landesverband Hessen (“Association of German Sinti and Romanies in Hesse”);

• The Bildungsstätte Anne Frank (“Non-university educational institution Anne Frank”)

• The vocational school Heinrich-Emanuel-Merck-Schule Darmstadt and

• The comprehensive school Schuldorf Bergstraße

Together, they are to develop and test opportunities that will allow to reflect, question and discuss racism and discriminating structures on different levels. The aim is to recognise the expertise of civic self-organisations and to reach as broad a target group as possible. Scientific discourse on racism is deliberately interlinked with work in the field of pedagogy outside of universities while the “university” is made visible as a site of pedagogy offering multifaceted perspectives. In addition, this project is also a member of the anti-discrimination network AdiNet Südhessen.

In accordance with the general concept of participation, collaboration with different partners plays a major role in the “Vielfalt bildet!” project. The Bildungsstätte Anne Frank as a non-university educational institution and the Verband deutscher Sinti und Roma – Landesverband Hessen as a group representing the interests of the German Sinti and Romanies minority living in Hesse are important players working and educating collaboratively in the area of racism criticism while providing a wide spectrum of key topics and pedagogical formats. In addition, the self-organisations Die Brücke e. V., Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland Bund e.V. and Roza e. V. are also active participants of this project focussing on different society-specific aspects to politically promote social participation and standing up against discrimination. Collaborating with the schools Heinrich-Emanuel-Merck-Schule and Schuldorf Bergstraße provides practical teaching opportunities for future teachers and educators by making students and teachers aware of and reflect upon the key concerns of this project. This way, hidden and unintentional developments of discrimination at one’s own institutions (such as schools or universities) can be brought to light and opportunities for change can be identified and shown.

The purpose of the project is to organise and structure opportunities for pedagogy regarding a critical reflection of racism inside and outside of these opportunities at university together with the other collaborative partners, to open universities to these civic players and to widen the scope for action of universities within society by providing different concepts and formats. This is done with the aim to diminish racist structures within society as a whole and within educational and non-university educational institutions in particular.

Multipliers in pedagogical practice working with children, teenagers and/or adults contribute considerably to maintaining dominant knowledge-based assets in major educational and non-university institutions. Racist and also heteronormative structures are fixtures of existing knowledge systems with regard to including or not including certain people and significantly shape both educational institutions such as schools and extracurricular educational institutions. In doing so, implicit knowledge of “others” both in curricular educational contents and in everyday workflows and routines of educational and extracurricluar institutions (compare Broden/Mecheril 2010; Gomolla/Radtke 2007) has a tremendous effect particularly due to these institutions’ function as “broadcasters of knowledge”. Current research results on pedagogues views regarding migration clearly demonstrate that reflected and discrimination-critical dealings with and the required debate on this subject are far from being the norm or from being an integral part of both the profession and (university) education (compare Doğmuş/Karakaşoğlu/Mecheril 2016; Leiprecht/Steinbach 2015).

In schools, in particular, there is still a predominant view of deficiency regarding migration which has a significant influence both on the teachers’ expectations of pupils and their parents and on the teachers’ judgement. At the same time, it becomes obvious that university teaching is not free of (unwitting) racist differentiating patterns which can additionally contribute to an unequal distribution of educational opportunities between students. Attributions to learners based on their skin colour, religious and cultural background, national origin and similar many times go hand in hand with derogatory conceptions and insinuations in addition to biased assessments of the learners’ social behaviour, achievement potential and general predictions about their “abilities and skills” and potentials.

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Dr. Olga Zitzelsberger
+49 6151 16-23970
S1|13 105
Tatjana Kasatschenko M. A.
+49 6151 16-23973
S1|13 105a
Ewelina Pepiak M.A.
Z. Ece Kaya Dr.
S1|13 206
Aline Fruhauf-Zubi
Sara Samir

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