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Promoting Tolerance: Media-Supported Lessons

To mark ARD’s “Tolerance“ theme week, the IZI developed and evaluated educational products on the themes of “Sexual Orientation“, “Life in Different Cultures“ and “Tolerance Towards Our Own Bodies“.  
The IZI’s educational and interactive online programme “Was hättest du getan?“ (“What Would You Have Done?“) was linked with the cross-media reportage project “Be True to Yourself“ by the education department of the BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk). Here, the protagonists Conny, Nicko and Kosrat face big decisions which require tolerance on the part of the people around them as well tolerance towards themselves. These decision situations served as a basis for filming short video clips with adolescents from a Berlin debating club and experts from the respective topic areas.   
Using video clips and additional material, e.g. statistics, worksheets and a diagram showing the diversity in Germany broken down to the size of a school class, the IZI put together a temporary website. This temporary web product was tested, using the case of “Kosrat“, as a digital lesson with 105 pupils aged 12 to 16 in years 7 and 8 at German “Mittelschule“ and “Gymnasium“ schools (the former for pupils of medium academic ability, the latter leading to the university entrance certificate).


The pretest shows that pupils are consistently positive about the online product. In their view, it conveys new knowledge, is clearly structured and is fun. The suggestions for improvement included further information on the topics as well as more interactivity and involvement on the part of the internet users. This led to an extension of the web product to include interactive elements (e.g. a survey, a quiz and a self-test) which make it possible for the users to join in the discussion themselves, and test and express their current knowledge of the protagonists‘ issues and their own attitudes towards these.   
The pretest also showed that the promotion of tolerance requires, above all, coherent and detailed information as well as the presentation of different and authentic points of view expressed by a range of people – experts and laypersons, people who are currently not being shown enough tolerance, and people who, for the time being, are not affected by this.  
In order to place further perspectives and arguments at the public’s disposal, with the aim of stimulating further discussion, the IZI filmed additional videos with young artists, bands and young presenters. In the videos these young people talk about the individual challenges facing Conny, Nicko and Kosrat in casual conversations and in a language that appeals to young people.   
These individual stages of development ultimately resulted in a multi-faceted, amusing and entertaining online product for young people which, because of its direct proximity to the everyday lives of young people, sets educational processes in motion almost incidentally, and promotes decision-making and responsibility.