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Ovet auki Eurooppaan
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The objective of our KA1-project is to send the head master, 11 teachers and one assistant teacher to a course the theme of which being either ICT-skills or cooperative learning. The participants are class teachers and subject teachers, thus both the lower level and the upper level of our comprehensive school are involved in our project. The school assistant works at both levels of our school as well as in the sector providing the pupils with morning and evening activities. It means that we have got the entire organization interested in developing our school and educating the pupils of a small rural school like ours into European citizens. The themes of our project, ICT-skills and cooperative learning, were decided together. Each participant has chosen the theme which responds to his current need of further training. The Finnish National Core Curriculum will be updated by the year 2016. We have familiarized ourselves with the amendments and the new requirements and decided to highlight ICT-skills and cooperative learning in our school. In their general debates on values in relation to the local curriculum also the local education committee has emphasized better skills in technology and ICT as well as the increasing use of cooperative learning. It has also been agreed that growing into a European and world citizen is a very important issue which should be paid more and more attention to. In view of our themes of development four different courses were chosen. The courses are held in Spain, Malta and Portugal. The participants divided into groups of three according to the personal needs of training and the contents of the course. The courses provide the teachers and the school assistant with a great opportunity to practice their language skills, meet their European colleagues, and get acquainted with new European culture and to acquire knowledge, skills and competences that are essential in developing our school into increasing internationalization. With the aid of the courses the teachers get to know different ways of doing and thinking, gain skills and confidence to confront the new challenges of teaching and learning. The teachers also get an opportunity to feel that they are not only teachers of Finland but also teachers of Europe. Our school has not had any corresponding international projects involving the whole school. We have got funding for two teachers for a one-week Job Shadowing-project in 2014. In addition to this KA1-project we are also keen on starting a KA2-project in 2015. Our prospective KA2-project deals with developing pupils’ emotional intelligence. One element of emotional intelligence is motivation and that, for its part, is an essential part of cooperative learning. A few of our teachers have participated in a project supported by Finnish National Board of Education on cooperative learning. The teachers have shared the things they have learnt with the other teachers and it was decided jointly that cooperative learning will be put a lot of emphasis on in the future. Good ICT-skills among the teachers are also really necessary since there are 32 new iPad tablets in our school waiting to be utilized. With the KA1-funding the teachers would have an opportunity to broaden their views of teaching and learning and to discuss and share good teaching practices with other European teachers. The new National Core Curriculum emphasizes pupils’ equal rights to feel being part of Europe and the world. Attending the courses abroad also help the teachers to tackle that challenge. There will be a great new opportunity for our pupils to travel to different European countries in case we get the funding for our KA2-project. The courses of our KA1-project would not only provide the teachers with opportunities to update their teaching methods and practices but also gives them skills to cope with the future challenges, e.g. the KA2-project. Thus the pupils would benefit in many ways if their teachers were given a chance to further train themselves.
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