Map made with Peter's projectionThis project proposes to better prepare college and university professors from Europe and the United States for teaching present and future educators to successfully communicate with students, families and communities and make connections to the required school curriculum (Schmidt & Finkbeiner, 2009).

In effect, this program proposes to assist teachers in becoming culturally responsive instructors with a method known as the ABC’s of Cultural Understanding and Communication. The method used to prepare professors of education will be the ABC’s of Cultural Understanding and Communication, a model for developing cultural competency (Schmidt & Finkbeiner, 2006; Schmidt,  1998; Finkbeiner, 2009; Finkbeiner & Koplin, 2002).

Professors from 6 universities in the United States and 5 universities in Europe will receive training in the model and learn how to incorporate the model in their teacher education programs. The project is conducted by Prof. Dr. Ruggiano Schmidt, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York as US director and by Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner, University of Kassel, Kassel Germany, as EU director. The directors have a long term cooperation in the field of culture, literacy and integration.

The ABC’s Model incorporates reading, writing, listening, and speaking to create consciousness-raising experiences that help teachers gain a knowledge of self and others through autobiographies, biographies, reflection on diversity issues, and cross-cultural analysis. The model links teachers’ self-knowledge to teachers’ implementation of home, school, and community connections for literacy instruction (Schmidt & Finkbeiner, 2006; Schmidt, 1998; Finkbeiner, 2009; Finkbeiner & Koplin, 2002).



Schmidt, Patricia Ruggiano & Finkbeiner, Claudia (eds.). (2006). The ABC’s of Cultural Understanding and Communication: National and International Adaptations. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Finkbeiner, C. (2009). Using 'Human Global Positioning System' as a Navigation Tool to the Hidden Dimension of Culture. In A. Feng / M. Byram & M. Fleming (eds.), Becoming Interculturally Competent Through Training and Education, p.151-173.

Finkbeiner, C. & Koplin, C. (2002). A cooperative approach for facilitating intercultural education. Reading Online, 6 (3), New Literacies. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Schmidt, P.R. (1998b).  The ABC’s of cultural understanding and communication. Equity And  Excellence in Education, 31(2), 28-38.