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Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 May 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Objectives of project: The projects name is “Developing thinking skills through cultural traditions” As its name implies the main objective of the project is to enter into the curriculum the use of thinking skills strategies. During the course the participants will be learning about these strategies while putting them in practice when learning about cultural traditions. The teachers will adopt these methods when teaching their own subject. Therefore, the principal objective of the project is to achieve the Europe 2020 strategy, including the educational target of reducing early school leaving. This is done by enabling teachers to develop new methodological skills that contribute to students in having new tools to be successful in school and in life. The project will also give the opportunity to teachers to get in touch with other teachers from different European countries and they will exchange ideas, giving a more European dimension to school education. Number and profile of participants The teaching staff that will be travelling to Spain for the course will be 4 in number (one of which will be the coordinator) and are all somewhat involved in cultural activities either in Malta (teaching either social studies, civics or history) and even abroad, when they took part in other European projects. Activities and methodology: Firstly the teachers were given information about the Erasmus plus programme which was found interesting in developing an increase in success of the students in school. Early school leaving was identified as one of the problems and searched for an appropriate training to follow. Etwinning was one of the new educational tools that have been used. A pre-registration form was compiled and sent to the provider. Upon acceptance the school will inform the provider and a reservation fee will be paid. Preparation for the mobility project included practical arrangements with the course provider. Transfers from airport to hotel and back, accommodation and insurance will be provided by the course provider. A separate insurance covering travel insurance, third party liability, accident, serious illness and death will be provided by the participants. Every participant should bring the European Health Insurance Card. A fair and transparent selection of those taking part will follow. The criteria included, teachers involved in innovation projects in school, teachers that were involved in other European projects in the past and teachers that are involved or teach cultural subjects. A short course in Spanish language will also be organized. It is important that active part is taken to fully understand what is taking place and to be part of the activity themselves. They will also be involved in discussions with other European participants on the topic being explained. Giving their perspective on the subject matter the participants will make the activity more lively and interesting.Dissemination of project results: The Mass Media, school magazine, local paper and local TV will be instruments used. The scope is that we give as much exposure to the project and to the European Union programmes as much as possible. A conference and workshops will be held at school to explain and inform the teachers the outcomes of the course and to motivate them to start implementing the newly acquired teaching and learning techniques. Using eTwinning space, new thinking skills will be shared to other European teachers.Follow-up: The short term impact to the participants attending the course will be the most valuable aspect as regards to the development of the teacher. ET 2020 has a target to increase nobilities for vocational and University students, up to a minimum of 2 weeks stay abroad vocational and 3 months for University students. The medium term benefit is linked with the success of the implementation of knowledge acquired, that will increase motivation of teaching. The different subjects of the curriculum will develop in a common way of thinking strategies that teachers will share with each other and with other schools in the region. The long term impact will be: teachers will have to disseminate their information to other teachers and they will establish new approaches to learning and Teaching. The school will develop a specific way to Teaching and learning that allows pupils to succeed in life and school. Evaluation: This will indicate the level of success of the project itself. The short term evaluation is whether the students are more motivated when using the newly acquired strategies. But most importantly are the medium to long term results. These include a comparison of the results that are achieved during the following years. This will eventually decrease the early school leaving number of students. With this progress the teacher will be motivated to use other innovative teaching methodologies, which will in the long run enhance the students’ learning experience.
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