INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCES - THE PERSPECTIVE AND APPROACH EXEMPLIFED BY GREAT BRITAIN, THE USA, FRANCE, ITALY AND POLAND (Kompetencje miedzykulturowe - perspektywa i podejscie na przykladzie Wielkiej Brytanii, USA, Francji, Wloch oraz Polski)
The contemporary world, which recently seems to be characterized by increasing unrest at both individual and societal level requires the revision of opinions voiced so far and specification of goals to be accomplished. In the globalization era, strong polarization has taken place: on the one hand, propagation of a homogeneous lifestyle, economic and political activities can be observed, with parallel narrowing of individual groups of reference being the source of our identity. Such a situation requires a revised approach to tasks of contemporary education and goals to be achieved. It seems that the report to UNESCO, entitled: Learning: Te Treasure Within defines, anew and adequately, the tasks of contemporary education. Acquiring adequate cultural competences seems to lie at the foundation of personal and professional success. Despite the fact that in five considered cultures different types of cultural competences are named similarly, it seems common knowledge that motivation for acquiring them or emphasizing their most crucial elements is different. Each of the cultures mentioned represents a different type with reference to cultural dimensions and highlights different skills. In the chaos of the contemporary world, the only fixed point of reference is ourselves. In this perspective, the most important seems to be understanding of the self, our own reactions and thoughts, defining our own identity. This task seems to be particularly important in Poland and is a challenge to the Polish system of education. Not only has the whole world been undergoing transformation but the social, political and economic systems have also been strongly influenced, following the transformations of 1989.
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