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The idea of Nightingale


Over a period of about seven months, students should spend an afternoon (circa 2 to 3 hours) with an eight to twelve year old child which has a migration background and lives in a deprived area. They agree upon social and cultural activities, e.g. trips to the waterfront, going to the cinema or museum, cooking and eating together – there is practically no limit to the undertakings within the project. Both sides get to know each other and their different living environments, and can learn from each other.

The Origin of Nightingale

The Nightingale Mentoring Scheme began in 1997 as a joint enterprise involving the Department of Teacher Training at Malmö University and a number of schools in Malmö nightingale_malmoewhich have a large number of pupils from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The project got its name from Malmö city´s former symbol - Näktergalen (the Nightingale):

"The nightingale is a small bird that sings beautifully when it feels secure."

So far, around 1000 children and 1000 students have participated in the project. In the meantime the Nightingale Project has become an EU-Project and ist supported by funds of the European Union. In cooperation of Freie Universität Berlin and Otto-Wels-Grundschule a pilot cycle in Berlin took place in 2006. Two further 7 months perpetual project cycles have been carried out between 2006-2009. The third cycle has started in December 2009.

 Aims of the project


The main purpose of Nightingale is to contribute to cross-cultural understanding and intercultural learning. This implies imparting children with a migration background and poor living conditions with better knowledge of the German language and showing them new perspectives. On the other hand students who want to become a teacher get a concrete and actual insight into the living circumstances of a child with a migration background, and thus can add practical experience to their teacher-training.

Hence, all participants can broaden their horizon and decisively develop their social competences!



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