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Montessori Method - Open Your European Mind
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project "Montessori Method - Open your European Mind" is an action which aims at enabling 15 experienced nursery school teachers to complete professional training programmes in foreign institutions. The organisation selected employees whose professional expertise, levels of foreign language command and experience are suitable to participate in a scheduled series of intensive international training workshops. The project includes participation of teachers in three mobility periods of professional training abroad. During these mobilities our employees specialising in working with children in pre-school age using the Montessori Method (MM) will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and confront experience with other teachers in Italy and Malta. The project emphasizes the conviction that the applications of method and the way teachers work with their teaching aids and educational materials are different in distinct social backgrounds and geographical locations. The Method functions and is used differently. The teaching aids are also a matter of discussion since the teachers in different countries tend to use other educational materials. In this respect experience of working in another cultural environment, preferably a foreign country, is an excellent opportunity to acquire new skills, improve professional workshop, compare techniques and exchange good practices for teachers, who work with the use of the MM on everyday basis. Furthermore, the mobility itself allows the employees to get some perspective, evaluate their everyday work, which in turn will improve its quality, and the employees will feel encouraged to continue their professional training and deepen the level of professional specialisation. Participation in the project is also an opportunity for the home organisation to appreciate the most committed and experienced staff, since undergoing intensive international professional training is a path to becoming the MM coaches. The coaches will be able to share their experiences with all those interested in the MM, participate actively in the training of other employees, give lectures during the conference planned to disseminate the project's outcomes, as well as communicate with other teachers using modern communication channels (such as the Internet, eTwinning). This will allow to extend the influence of the project not only to the entire organisation and the local community, but also on all those for whom exploration of knowledge about modern methods of aiding the development of children is interesting and important. The project is tailored to the needs of our employees, since a thorough analysis of the organisation's human resources and current/ future needs has been conducted before applying for the project's grant. The first stage will include the preparation of teachers for participatio in the programme. A full course of language lessons has been planned, which will be followed by professional methodological training. The second stage of the project includes the mobility to Chech Republic, where 8 of our staff members will participate in a certified training course conducted at Association Montessori Internacionale (AMI) accredited training centre. The training course will provide the participants with the most current and up-to-date knowledge on the Montessori methodology, as well as help perfect the techniques used by teachers in everyday work, deepen their knowledge on proper lesson planing and preparation of teaching aids and materials. Next, a group of 15 teachers will participate in two staff training mobilities, during which they will have the opportunity to practically use their new knowledge. Mobilities to Malta and Italy will allow the teacher to acquire experience of working in another cultural circle, in international environment. This stage of training will be highly beneficial, as the teachers will be able to compare the practices in different countries and enrich their curriculum. The last, yet very important step, is knowledge dissemination. In order to share the experience gained throughout the project the teachers will provide professional training for other staff members. They will also publish a set of 30 lesson plans, which shall be made available free of charge. The implementation of the project will significantly affect the vocational profile of our employees. They will gain valuable professional expertise,experience in working in an international environment. Participation in the project certified with "Europass" tools by the host and home institutions , will be a valuable element of their professional curriculum, which will contribute to the improvement of their value in the labour market. In addition, the planned dissemination of the results in a systemic and organised way is a guarantee of a multiplication and extension of the impact of this project for many months and years.

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