The award was presented on the evening of Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at the Bremen State Parliament. In addition to the university project, Radio Bremen also won the prize for its young program Bremen NEXT. The sponsorship award went to the association Inklusive WG Bremen e.V., and the entrepreneur Bülent Uzuner was honored as Diversity Personality 2021.
All award winners received a certificate, a seal, and a bronze sculpture by the artist Gisela Eufe. The main award winners also received a diversity image film. The sponsorship prizewinner received prize money of 5,000 euros.
Vice President: "The project supports young people in their search for identity"
"This particular award sparks great joy in me," says project leader Dr. Christoph Fantini from the Faculty of Pedagogy and Educational Sciences at the University of Bremen. He explains that he was moved by "the courage and wisdom" of the strong jury. "It recognizes that we are about diversity and equal opportunity with our trained contra-stereotypical role models," Fantini adds.
"The 'rent a teacherman' project supports young people in their search for an identity beyond traditional gender roles. I am very pleased that Dr. Christoph Fantini has now been awarded the Bremen Diversity Prize for his commitment, which is so important to society," says Eva-Maria Feichtner, Vice President International at the University of Bremen.
Bremen's Senator for Children and Education, Sascha Karolin Aulepp: "Children rarely experience male employees in daycare and elementary schools and therefore take with them that education and teaching jobs are not tasks for men. It is important to challenge this reproduction of gender roles. Male contacts at school are not only important for boys. There are however, issues that can be better discussed with a same-sex teacher. All of this is being implemented excellently in the 'rent a teacherman' project at more than 20 schools in Bremen. It's great that this valuable commitment is now being honored with the Bremen Diversity Award."
10 Years of "rent a teacherman": "I would never have expected it to have such an impact"
The University of Bremen's "rent a teacherman" project has been around for 10 years. It supports elementary schools in Bremen and Bremerhaven where there are too few male professionals. Since then, student teachers – of which there are currently 20 – have been working as pedagogical assistants in elementary schools. The "teachermen" receive a fee for their work. They are prepared and supported by courses in educational science at the University of Bremen and, from the coming school year, by professional supervision.
"The complete absence of men not only has an extremely stereotyping effect on boys and girls in terms of the diversity of gender role models that is actually desired," he says. "There is also a lack of male contact persons, especially for boys, in situations where they don't want to turn to a woman so readily or simply have the preference for a counterpart of the same sex." It has long been taken for granted that female contact persons should be available for girls, for example on school trips. "For boys, the situation is different."
The project has already made quite a difference: At the beginning, there were 19 elementary schools out of nearly 80 in the state of Bremen without a single male teacher, but today there are only 9. "A lot has happened in recent years," says Christoph Fantini. "I never expected it to have such an impact." Many of the former employees, he comments, are now working permanently as teachers after completing their vocational training in the schools where they worked for the project. His impression is that awareness has developed among school administrators to pay attention to adding diversity to their workforce. "Quasi as part of 'diversity pedagogy'," the project manager explains.
In 2015, the Council of Europe awarded the project the accolade of "good practice for gender equality in education in Germany." The project was extended to include secondary schools at the end of 2021 and could be expanded nationwide without any problems, according to Fantini.
About the Bremen Diversity Award
The award "The Colorful Key – Shaping Diversity!" is aimed at companies, public institutions, and projects that shape and promote diversity through targeted measures, stand up for equal opportunities as well as anti-discrimination, and communicate the positive impact of diversity to the outside world. Since 2010, the Diversity Award has been presented by the Center for Intercultural Management & Diversity at Bremen University of Applied Sciences (HSB) in close cooperation with the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen and eleven other sponsors. The patron is Bremen's mayor Dr. Andreas Bovenschulte.
The Diversity Award is unique in the German-speaking world and highlights how open, tolerant, and diverse the city of Bremen is. A jury of experts, best practice role models, and diversity supporters selected the 2021 award winners from seven applications.
On this website you can find a video about the project that was produced in celebration of the award: https://www.bildung.bremen.de/bremer-diversity-preis-f-r-rent-a-teacherman-366636 (in German only)
Dr. Christoph Fantini
“rent a teacherman” Project Leader
Faculty 12: Pedagogy and Educational Sciences
University of Bremen
Email: cfantiniprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de
Breme Diversity Award (press and public relations)
Phone: +49 179 1004080
Email: veranstaltungenprotect me ?!christel-fangmannprotect me ?!.eu