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Cultural Learning through Greek Mythology
Start date: Apr 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project "Cultural Learning through Greek Mythology" is an innovative learning approach that was developed by a group of young people active in the field of youth work. The project provides the opportunity of drawing on the experiences of the first event of this kind and further developing the approach in an international setting. The basic idea is for different youth groups to choose a mythological background and meet in a country that is relevant for this mythology. In this project the hosting country will be Greece and the mythological background will be Greek mythology. Before the meeting the groups will research the mythological background and turn the results into a game setting which allows them to explore it through a role-playing approach. They will produce a handbook as a basis for the group leaders to create an adventure story for a game. The groups will experience the game elements in the surroundings of Greece. Large parts of the experience will be outside while wandering through the landscape that helped inspire Greek mythology. The importance of the mythology and experiencing the landscape is that they had a major influence on the development of modern culture. Going back to the roots of the culture will provide a good background for discussions about values and the modern way of life. The project foresees reflection and discussion phases on a regular basis. The participants will live together for 8 days. They will be divided into smaller mixed teams in which they play a hero that experiences an adventure in Greek mythology. Since different heroes have different skills and knowledge, cooperation is the key to overcoming the obstacles and successfully completing the game. Some of the participants (primarily the group leaders) will prepare the adventure in advance and take on the role of game master during the event. They will describe the adventure as a story in which the players, working in teams, can decide what their heroes do and say, so that they influence the direction of the storyline. The game will be played both inside and outside, making it possible for the teams to go on long walks and play while experiencing the landscape. Among the learning goals are developing teamwork, cooperation, and friendship in an international setting, improving soft skills and social competences, acquiring cultural understanding, raising awareness of other values and beliefs, acquiring knowledge of Greek mythology as a cultural background, and improving language and communication skills. In total there will be 50 participants. 7 or 8 of them will take on the role of game masters and moderators with the task of running the game and leading the discussion and reflection phases. The participants will be chosen from young people within the informal groups who are active in voluntary youth work. Other participants will be disadvantaged youth chosen with the help of youth centers. For them the project has the potential to orient themselves better in society and to open their minds in ways that would never be available to them otherwise. The project requires good preparation which consists of choosing the venues, organizing food, organizing travel arrangements, compiling the materials on Greek mythology, creating an adventure story and game rules, preparing discussion rounds and reflection phases, as well as choosing the members who get to participate. The project will be documented using pictures, videos, and written reports. Results will be published on websites in various form. The groups involved will use the opportunity of the event to create a European network in which the members can support each other better in their future activities. Giving young people the opportunity of cooperating, developing an understanding for each other, and building a lasting friendship will have a huge impact on society. The young people involved are actively involved in helping others, and thus they will have an influence on others and help create an open, tolerant, and united society in Europe.

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