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Ανοικτοί ορίζοντες στην εκπαίδευση
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The above proposed plan is based upon the characteristics of our school, the 2nd Junior High School in Messini, a provincial school with a manpower of 20 teachers and 140 students. The students come from both Greece and the neighbouring Balkan countries, residing in suburban and rural areas of the county. The participation of our school in the KA1 action arose from the need to meet the school’s needs and to address key issues, as these were recorded after a thorough discussion in the teachers board. The key objectives of our plan was το train the teachers so that they adopt experiential methods and teaching techniques and to subsequently integrate these into the teaching procedure, aiming towards a less teacher-centred and more student-centred learning environment, where all students can develop cognitively, emotionally and socially, and to face early school leaving, mostly by Roma and foreign students. What is more, it was urgent to address issues which arise due to the multicultural composition of the students, with the ultimate aim to face incidents of racism and xenophobia, as well as to eradicate stereotypes. Finally, the prospect of opening our school to the European community, reinforcing its European dimension, sensitizing our teachers on issues of multiculturalism within the European Union, and further strengthening their European identity were issues we deem significant. We submitted the participation of seven teachers of various disciplines, who have a teaching experience ranging from 7 to 30 years and the necessary language proficiency to meet the needs of an activity abroad. Τhe proposed activities were selected with the aim to obtain knowledge and skills relevant to the aims stated above, and to subsequently apply these new methods and practices in our school, functioning at the same time as propagators for the rest of the teachers.This much needed training was centered around the use of new teaching techniques and innovative teaching methodologies, especially in mixed ability classes with students of various cognitive levels and learning styles, the prevention of early school leaving, the enhancement of teachers’ crosscultural abilities, and the integration of diversity within the European Union in teaching. As for the implementation methodology of the plan, this included assigning one of the participant teachers as the organizer of the activities. Before each activity there was proper preparation of the participant teacher,under the instructions of the organiser, while upon return the teacher informed the teacher board about the knowledge and practices acquired. In all stages communication held a vital role, primarily through email, and the use of the internet for information and updating. The outcomes from the implementation of the plan were the modernization of the educational methods and the extensive use of novel teaching practices, the effective handling of problems that occur due to the multicultural character of our school, the integration of the local and international cultural heritage in teaching practices, as well as the prevention of early school leaving especially by students belonging to specific social groups. In essence, the students of the 2nd Junior High School are the immediate recipients of this effort. Through the training of teachers and the application of new teaching practices, the lesson has become in tune with european teaching methodologies, engaging students in experiential learning. At the same time, through the multicultural teaching approach, the students have gained self confidence and respect towards diversity. Our primary goal was for the school to become once again an attractive and live body of both knowledge and education. As a result of such practices students are expected to remain in school, preventing in this way their involvement in juvenile delinquency. The local community will also benefit longterm due to the expected decrease of racism and of xenophobia. Last but not least, the teachers through their participation have gained experiences and have become better prepared for future participation in programmes, contributing in this way to the reinforcement of the school’s european dimension.

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