Europe in Crisis
Start date: Sep 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2019
The “Europe in crisis” (e-Crisis) project is a three-year Strategic Partnership in the Field of Education aiming to produce an innovative solution for the teaching and learning of crucial 21st century skills relating to conflict resolution, creative thinking and reflective debate, so that Europe’s children and teenagers can develop into responsible citizens and creative solvers of the unprecedented everyday real-life problems arising in the context of multiple crises that Europe and its school communities are faced with: from the big picture of the unfolding refugee and immigrant crisis, through the divisions and tensions that have been challenging the European Union due to the economic crisis in recent years, to the close frame of everyday crises affecting pupils’ lives such as bullying in schools. To this end, the project builds on existing successful European research projects and initiatives, to produce a comprehensive pedagogical approach and methodology informing the development of teacher training curriculum and corresponding teacher training courses, learning and teaching methods and materials for activities with pupils, as well as corresponding ICT support tools enabling a game-based learning approach. Integral parts of the project are careful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the proposed innovation, including through teacher training and learning and teaching activities, as well as rich dissemination and exploitation-oriented initiatives. To this end, the project brings together five partners representing the worlds of game-based learning and learning technologies as well as the world of education including schools, pedagogy experts and teacher training institutions. They come from three European countries, Malta, Austria and Greece, which have been selected to reflect crucial aspects of today’s crisis landscape.More specifically, the project addresses these challenges by exploiting the strengths of game-based learning and teaching, proposing the use of gameful learning to foster the development of social, civic and intercultural competences such as conflict resolution, creative thinking, and reflective debate skills in primary and secondary education students. To achieve this, the project sets out by analyzing the current social inclusion framework in primary and secondary education in Malta, Greece and Austria, focusing on key social and civic competences such as cultural awareness and expression, and exploring how digitally enabled activities can help develop transversal competences such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and decision making. Within the defined framework, the project then implements an innovative game-based learning toolbox enabling teaching and learning that foster the development of conflict resolution, creative thinking and reflective debate skills. Subsequently, the project produces corresponding teacher training as well as classroom teaching and learning content and materials for the development of courses based on the use of the above game-based learning toolbox. What follows is the training of teachers in the use of the above defined toolbox, content, materials, and corresponding pedagogy, so that they can diversify and transform teaching and learning in their classrooms. The training will particularly empower them as effective users of the e-Crisis learning technologies, including the game authoring tools that will allow them to develop their own teaching scenarios involving the use of engaging, highly immersive gameful practices to teach students how to resolve conflicts and reflect creatively on current societal matters. Finally, the project involves students in gameful soft skills learning activities showing them the way to responsible citizenship in Europe and raising their awareness of societal matters at the school, local, regional, national and European level. Through the active involvement of teachers and students in all participating countries, the project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the tools and of the training and learning content, materials and courses developed. The exploitation capacity of the e-Crisis educational tools, games and methodologies will be investigated through wide dissemination of the e-Crisis outcomes.Overall, e-Crisis aims to promote the deep establishment of a sustainable action-oriented culture of social integration in Europe, based on the development of responsible citizenship, mutual respect and understanding in today’s young Europeans and their teachers. Further, a long-term aim of e-Crisis beyond the project's lifetime is to strengthen the profile of the teaching professions by supporting teachers’ work to deliver high quality teaching in social soft skills via innovative game-based learning approaches. Towards that aim the use of the e-Crisis outcomes will be promoted to the community of educational practitioners and policymakers throughout the lifetime and after the end of the project.
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