Archive of European Projects

Preventing Early School Leaving Through Inclusive Strategies
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In Europe 5.5 million young people quit school before they have completed the upper secondary education. In Romania the rate of early school leaving (ESL) is 18% (2012) and in Turkey it is about 44%, the average rate in the EU is 12.4%. The risk of ESL is especially high for disadvantaged minorities, including Roma. 9% of the Roma in Romania (aged 18-30) complete high school (compared to 41% of other groups). Moreover young people from a migrant background often display a higher than average rate of ESL. In its conclusions on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’) the Council agreed that, by 2020, the share of early leavers from education and training should be less than 10 %. The PEARLS Project – Preventing Early School Leaving Through Inclusive Strategies – contributes to this objective. An improvement of the situation will be reached by two ways: 1. The project partners will develop a 10 months blended learning further training for teachers. The impact of this training type is especially sustainable: The learning outcomes from the phase of attendance can be applied in class during the several months lasting online phase. During this time the participants will be supported by the PEARLS partners. Teachers will deepen their key competences with regard to handling the diversity among pupils in their classes – in order to commit to the promotion of learning of all students. Units about collaborative teaching, like team teaching will be applied in this context (see Recommendations of the Council, June 2011, 2011/C 191/01). 2. By means of a comprehensive empirical needs analysis at the beginning of the project, it will be explored, which systemic support frameworks will be implemented in order to reduce the rate of ESL, i.e. mentor programmes, homework clubs, extra-curricular activities to enhance pupil’s self-esteem, parents cafés etc. Subsequently these activities will be implemented. The objective is, to develop schools into learning environments, viz. external stakeholders (parents, representatives of minorities, enterprises etc.) will be involved into the sphere of school in order to promote the intellectual and emotional development of pupils at risk of ESL. A working group on ESL, which comprised experts nominated by 31 European countries, recommends such measures, since they are considered to be very effective. The PEARLS blended learning further training also entails a module with regard to “school as learning environment”, so that participants will be enabled, to implement basic offers at their schools. They will be qualified as multipliers, in this way PEARLS outcomes will have a substantial impact in several European regions. After successfully taking part in the training, the participants will receive the EUROPASS certificate. The results and activities of the PEARLS project will be developed in transnational teams and after testing, the results will be evaluated extensively, and modified if necessary. Project partners are: Elementary schools in Budapest (Hungary), Iasi (Romania) and Edirne (Turkey) and six so called hot spot schools in Berlin, as associative partners. All schools comprise a disproportionate share of pupils who derive from weak socio-economic backgrounds. The Turkish school exclusively has Roma pupils. The Romanian NGO “Gipsy Eye” and the Hungarian Foundation “Artemisszio” have been engaged for years in the field of teacher training, i.e. antidiscriminatory pedagogy. Applicant is the unit “Didactics of Citizenship Education” of the Leibniz University in Hannover, which educates students to become teachers for civic education. It is responsible for the didactic-methodical implementation of the blended learning course. It will be supported by the Humanistic Association Germany. The Teacher Training Agency in Zagreb is responsible for the development of curricula in general education in Croatia, it will ensure, that the PEARLS results will be implemented in national curricula. The PEARLS project partnership comprises 9 partners from 5 countries. Results: - Blendend Learning Teacher Further Training of 10 months; EUROPASS certificate - PEARLS toolkit, OER and handbook in six languages; hands-on approaches, topics: children’s rights, diversity in class as a resource - PEARLS website in five language (hu, ru, turk, ger, en, cro) – all products as OER Impact: Extensive public relation activities, using diverse channels to reach the end-users: teachers, teacher trainees and pedagogues, educational authorities as well as the interested public. Thus the PEARLS results will be available for 10.000s of European teachers. Moreover it is envisaged, through national conferences with policy makers, to insert the PEARLS approaches into national curricula of teacher (further) trainings. As such structural changes will be initiated, more inclusive schools will be established and in the long run the ESL rate will decrease.
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