•• Empowerment of Minorities through Education for Creativity 2007

Empowerment of Minorities through the Education for Creativity – Patterns of Intercultural Performance in Transnational Space

International Center for Graduate Studies (ICGS) der Universität Hamburg in Kooperation mit dem Center of Multiculturalism and Educational Research der Universität Haifa/Israel, gefördert von der Zeit-Stiftung
In Zusammenarbeit mit Prof. Rosemarie Mielke

Funding period: November 1, 2006 – October 31, 2008
Overview of activities of the Hamburg group

1.    Pilot study on theatre production in a multiethnic class (October 31, 2006 – February 6, 2007)
2.   Workshop in Haifa  (November 26-27, 2007)
3.    Questionnaire study on cultural competence (April, 2008 – July, 2008)

Ad 1: Pilot study on theatre production in a multiethnic class

The purpose of the study was to find out which effects the planning and performing of a theatre production would have on empowerment of students from different ethnic backgrounds. We especially looked at feelings towards themselves (self-esteem, social and personal identity, values, and pride), relationships with others (empathic, understanding, accepting, interdependence and overall life (control over their personal lives, influence in decisions, and participation in class life).
Participants of the study were 21 students from seven different ethnic backgrounds, between 16 and 18 years. We observed them for four months during their class on theatre at a high school in Hamburg. The students worked in five groups about the overall topic: “A typical event which could happen to young people in Hamburg”. Videos and field notes were kept on eleven occasions. Interviews with eleven participants were conducted on topics covering their biographies, their experiences with playing theatre, their self-esteem and identity, experiences of powerlessness and taking influence during their private lives and during their theatre course. The final performance was filmed and a CD of all five productions was handed over to them at the end.
The videos and final production were subject to a literary analysis which explored issues of role and dramatic construction, audience and narrative identity. The individual and group interviews were analyzed by a computer aided system (MAXQDA).

Ad 2:  Workshop in Haifa

The workshop in Haifa was used to present the book “Cultural Diversity and the Empowerment of Minorities” to the contributors and an interested audience of the University of Haifa, to exchange experiences with different projects done so far in the scope of empowerment of minorities, and to work on a future common project.
The Hamburg group participated with three students (Sofie Olbers, Anna Wright who worked in the theatre project and Olga Visbal who presented her thesis on intercultural contact) and three project coordinators (Gordon Mitchell, Rosemarie Mielke, Nina Smidt).
The Haifa group included graduate and post graduate students (Dr. Kawthar Jabir; Ms. Sharon Fuind, Ms. Orit Fisher and Or Zihavi ); lecturers ( Prf. Marylin Sefer; Dr. Amalia Saar, Dr. Dalia Laurence and Dr. Badi Husseisi) and the Haifa coordinator of the project, Prof. Majid Al-Haj
We agreed on piloting instruments for measuring the effects of intercultural performance in different areas of creativity. According to the projects running in Hamburg and Haifa, further experiences should be gathered in different fields.

Ad 3:    Questionnaire study on cultural competence

A pre-post study was designed for teacher students of the University of Hamburg. As all of them have to visit courses in which creative learning is encouraged, questionnaires were tested which might be sensitive to changes of cultural competence. The constructs were:

·    self-esteem (individual and collective)
·    self-efficacy
·    self-concepts (general, academic, and course-specific creative self-concepts)
·    optimism

The study included about 150 students in different courses of arts, performance studies, and music; as control groups students from courses in religion, sports, and technical studies were administered the questionnaire. They had to answer the questions at the beginning of the semester and at the end (three months later).

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