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Ενεργοποιούμε τους μαθητές, δουλεύουμε με τη διαφορετικότητα – Μαθαίνουμε από την Ευρώπη.
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The basic goals of “Motivating students, exploiting diversity - Learning from Europe” mobility project were, in one hand, to transfer knowledge and good practices from Europe to the 2nd Laboratory Center of Piraeus (2 EK Peiraia) on how to motivate VET students and use diversity (sexual, religious etc.) to improve the school life and the learning process, and, on the other hand, to strengthen the European identity of the school. The 2nd Laboratory Center of Piraeus belongs to the secondary and post-secondary Vocational Education in Greece. The employed teachers come across various problems not only because of the location of the school in a marked by poverty neighborhood of Piraeus (Kaminia), but also due to the large proportion of immigrants in the school population, the depreciation of the educational process (by a significant number of students, who consider the school is not offering a proper way out to the labor market), the disdain of Greek society for vocational education, in general, and the quite widespread idea that the European Union is guilty for all wrongdoing and injustice. According to our plan, teachers from our school attended two five-day seminars, abroad. Four teachers (two men and two women), from different specialties, attended a seminar regarding diversity in Lisbon, Portugal, and four (three men and a woman), who also represented different specialties, attended a seminar regarding students’ motivation in Bruges, Belgium. Amongst the criteria for their selection were their enthusiasm and team spirit, their experience in adult education and their participation in previous school quality improvement initiatives. The seminars offered to the participants knowledge and good practices on how to deal with gender, religion, language, pedagogy, learning objectives, and other matters, in order to effectively address the school’s problems, namely: • Phenomena of violence and racism • Difficulty in integrating students with disabilities, learning difficulties, psychological or social problems • Weak link with the labor market • Disinterest for the learning process After the completion of the seminars, information meetings were held, at sectoral level. Information days were organized for teachers and students of our school and the co-located schools, on effective education through active participation, personalized education, the gendered nature of language, etc. We also planned for next school year Informative events, at regional level, and workshops (on tolerance evaluation methods and ways to improve the situation). The set of training material (essays, assessment tools, examples troubleshoot problems etc) is uploaded in a free access website on the internet. With the guidance of the teachers who attended the seminars, many actions and interventions of high symbolic value took place, such as the participation in a contest of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality, the creation of a multilingual welcome at the school entrance, creation of a poster with the motto, "all different, all equal, all together" depicting students of different specialties, different sex, origin, religion, etc., the creation of a school logo depicting the god Hephaestus (disabled craftsman), the collection of goods for refugees and migrants, etc. All these actions and initiatives have had a very positive impact on teachers, parents, and especially students of our school, as everyone participated with great enthusiasm. The students’ implication in these actions for a purpose they consider to be important (fighting racism, showing solidarity to the weak, etc.), improved the climate in school life. The interest shown by the administration and the school teachers for students' problems, reciprocated with the substantial involvement of the latter in the learning process. Benefits, today, are multiple to the smooth and efficient operation of the school, and hopefully will allow us, in the future, to focus on finding ways to integrate our male and female students' into the labor market. Furthermore, this mobility project has certainly contributed to our European path, and to the recognition of the 2nd Laboratory Center of Piraeus European identity. This is also proved by the approval of two new Erasmus+ projects for the year 2016-17, and the interest showed by both students and teachers for the European programs.
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