International collaboration in scientific research: pitfalls and opportunities

Context and aim

This module, for secondary school students, is centred on the importance of intercultural dialogue in scientific research and innovation for the progress of humanity in general.
With this module we intend to promote an active, participatory, creative, responsible, conscious, critical and autonomous citizenship, based on human principles, such as care and respect for oneself and others, with tolerance, mutual acceptance, and cooperation.


With this module we expect that students:
• reflect and develop critical thinking about scientific research
• reflect on the importance of scientific research for the progress of humanity in general, and for the advancement of science and technology
• discuss the role of the intercultural dialogue in scientific research
• critically and axiologically reflect on different cultural realities
• identify behaviours that facilitate or hinder teamwork
• develop the competence of cooperation and teamwork
• develop active and responsible participation
• mobilize or develop the skills of oral and written expression, exposition, and argumentation
• develop research skills, collecting and organization reliable information


• Mathematics
• Sciences
• Philosophy
• English

Controversial questions to trigger the work

• The use of the English language in intercultural work prevents everyone from participating. Should it be spoken in several languages?
• Poor countries are always left out of scientific research. How can they benefit from it?
• How to work in a research team where there are cultural differences and/or social inequalities?
• Other…

Suggested working methods

• Raising awareness of the topic through a lecture
• Watching videos with consequent discussion and reflection on the themes of globalization, multiculturalism and interculturality
• Presentation of work proposals (below) and individual choice, followed by the definition of small work groups according to areas of interest:
• Selecting a film about one of the contents under study and organizing its discussion
• Reading and analysing texts on one of the contents with discussion of the most striking ideas
• Producing Didactic Games
• Debating through role-play – students define the content under discussion, prepare a script, think of personalities to be involved in role-play, assume and defend a role, and organize the debate
• Conducting a survey on intercultural experiences, using a technological application: Mentimeter, Kahoot, Google Forms, or other; analysis of results and organized presentation of information using graphics
• Developing a guide for intercultural relationships
• Preparing flyers or posters to raise awareness of intercultural dialogue
• Dissemination/Presentation/Exhibition of activities


Here are some sources of information that may be suggested to support students’ work:


• Close monitorization of students’ work with regular feedback
• Self and peer assessment
• Adopting a set of rubrics
Below you will find the rubrics to be used by you and your students at different moments of the modul

Indicate your level of involvement and that of each peer in work, from 3 (High) to 1 (Low).

interest, initiative (contributes new ideas to the process/solutions, researches and selects information on your own initiative)
creativity (brings new ideas)
organization (shows that you manage work and time well).
tolerance (realize that there are differences between people and that none is imposed)
acceptance (is able to experience the routines of others)
respect for others’ ideas/perspectives (aware that people are different socially and culturally)
negotiation (able to give in/get others to give in to their opinions)
adaptability (can adapt to different rhythms and new situations)
assertiveness (can speak his mind, defends his/her ideas politely)
civility (behaves well in society)
sharing (his/her materials and his/her ideas)
solidarity (helps and understands the interests and needs of others)
care for the other (concerns about the well-being of the other)
discernment (knows how to act in different situations)
kindness (treats others with politeness and sympathy)
honesty (does not lie, does not deceive others)
motivation (reveals commitment to tasks)
reflection (thinks about issues for a long time)
curiosity (likes to learn)
persistence (does not give up in the face of challenges and difficulties)
leadership (can take charge of a group)
responsibility (aware of what they should do and do)