Beyond Apparent Stereotypes

  • Pàmies Rovira, Jordi (Principal Investigator)
  • Carrasco Pons, Silvia (Investigator)
  • Pérez Ramírez, Marta (Investigator)
  • Anya Diekmann (Investigator)
  • Dimokritos Kavadias (Investigator)
  • Ellen Pauwels (Investigator)
  • Georgia Fantaki (Investigator)
  • Marta del Campo Casals (Investigator)
  • Stela Baltova (Investigator)
  • Tzvetan Kostov (Investigator)

Project Details


School education plays an important part in the process of socialization, social inclusion and in the building of representation of others. Using informal education outside the school walls, such as schooltrips, is one of the main challenges of the educational system in Europe for the upcoming years. Indeed school trips are widely recognized as valuable educational tools increasing knowledge and providing higher levels of thinking strategies. Research has highlighted that students tend to be more attentive when learning “extra muros”, whereas from the educators’ perspective trips are also a significant contribution to the learning experience as they are unique educational experiences for the youngsters. Traveling, as a social force with a transformative capacity at societal level, appears to be an adequate tool to help preventing and reducing conflicts and deal in a constructive and peacebuilding manner with stereotyped representations. In that perspective educational school trips aiming at intercultural encounters contributing to reconsider negative stereotypes and reduce prejudices appear to be an innovative and adapted tool.

The objective of the project is to develop intercultural competences and skills among young people at secondary school level of grade 10 (age 15) by assessing cultural representations, preparing and realising schooltrips to a partner country. The age of the participating pupils has been chosen for various reasons; they have acquired sufficient language skills, but are still in the ‘impressionable phase’ or their development. The aim is to tackle and surpass the existing stereotypes and to lower prejudice by immersing the students in another cultural context. The project wishes to go beyond general cultural representations and provide students with a deeper insight on cultural characteristics, such as lifestyle, cultural heritage and social habits and understand the underlying reasons.
The project covers 4 academic partners (education, political sciences and tourism studies) and 4 education practitioners (teachers and principals) from 4 different regions from Europe (Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece and Spain).

Participants are the pupils of the partner schools. The selected classes in these schools will be in charge (with the support of their teachers and academic partners) to prepare the incoming trip. They will select the activities and material and/or immaterial cultural heritage sites they consider representative for their country/city and prepare the visits.
Each school has two partners (IN and OUT). Proceeding like this, the project provides each partner school with two intercultural experiences:
- Brussels’s school will travel to Sofia and host the pupils from Barcelona.
- Sofia’s school will travel to Athens and host pupils from Brussels
- Athens’s school will travel to Barcelona and host pupils from Sofia
- Barcelona’s school will travel to Brussels and host pupils from Athens
The core objective is directly related to the need for a transnational approach, as in addition to the positive and constructive cognitive experience, the mobility of youngsters contributes to the shaping of a sense of place and a European identity through the building of bridges encompassing geographical and cultural boundaries.

BAS wants to develop a structured tool for organizing educational intercultural school trips. Working with several groups from different countries offers the possibility to measure preconceptions about other cultures. Following these groups over time (before, during and after a trip) provides the opportunity to assess changes in conceptions and attitudes, due to the school trips. The project will use a combination of an online survey (measuring knowledge, attitudes and stereotypes) before and after the school trips, together with experience sampling measurements to measure perceptions and emotions on the spot during the school trips.

The outcomes of this project will be:
1. adjusting stereotypes of the participating students and building bridges between pupils from different communities;
2. an innovative methodological tool to collect data on perceptions and cultural representations;
3. scientific Insight in the most relevant variables influencing the effectiveness of educational school trips in curbing stereotypes;
4. a toolbox for organising educational school trips, including guidelines for organising intercultural encounters between pupils of that age;
5. dissemination through multiplier event and existing networks;
6. after the completion implementation of the tested intercultural school trips using the toolbox at European level .

The project can be extended to other schools from the region/countries. It provides a validated tool to organise effective educational school trips in adjusting prejudices and stereotypes and fostering European integration.
Effective start/end date1/09/1831/08/21

Collaborative partners

  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels - VUB) (lead)
  • Go_atheneum Unescoschool Koekelberg
  • 2nd General Lycium of Vrilissia
  • Institut Escola Sant Adrià de Besòs
  • International Business School
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)


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