The Danube knows no borders
Start date: Sep 1, 2014,
End date: Aug 31, 2016
The title of our project 'The Danube knows no borders' reflects the everyday experience of people living in the Danube region. Multicultural roots and a common historical background join the countries located in the Danube region, and our present life is also connected in several ways as a result of the opening of borders and the free movement of labour provided by EU citizenship. Despite the many benefits, this situation also poses challenges; both aspects are well worth analyzing and discussing, especially with young people. The project participants are four secondary schools: Obchodna akademia I. Karvasa Bratislava; Bundeshandelsakademie und Bundeshandelsschule Neusiedl/See; Schulen des bfi Wien; Haller János Általános Iskola, Szakközépiskola és Szakiskola Mosonmagyaróvár. Each project partner will delegate 10 students between the ages of 14-19 and 2-4 teachers in the project teams. Some of our objectives are: comparing the school systems, economic circumstances, life styles, and traditions of the multicultural Danube region in the form of a structured inter-regional and cross-border cooperation; combating stereotypes and prejudice, raising awareness of tolerance and acceptance; innovative learning; exchanging good practices; improving students' language skills; fostering the key competences that are vital on the European labour market; promoting learning methods adequate for disadvantaged students. The project aims to establish a long-term positive impact at personal, local and regional levels. Since the project takes place in a relatively small region, the project work might be more particular achieving a relevant outcome that can be transferred to our everyday life. When choosing the project partners, personal contacts played an important role. The partners will bring their know-how in bilingual education, their entrepreneurial thinking. The partnership was established during preparatory meetings (Bratislava, Mosonmagyaróvár, Neusiedl 2013-14) where we got acquainted with the partner schools, discussed the needs of the target groups and defined the framework of the project. Regarding project activities, four transnational project meetings are planned during the 24 months, one in each semester, where our project groups will meet in one of the partner schools. After each meeting the teachers will come together to evaluate the previous work and they report on their further plans. The participants will carry out several tasks and take part in different events: excursions, workshops, presentations, portfolios, flyers, interviews, visiting firms, carrying out evaluations, peer learning, individual and cooperative research work, field work, visiting minorities. Permanent contact will be kept via Emails, skype, facebook between the project meetings. There will be an end-presentation involving all participants and institutions, local and regional authorities, policy makers and business representatives. The project results are expected to promote innovative and creative teaching-learning approaches that are appropriate for personalized learning, which is adequate for those with low basic skills. Also, the project results are intended to highlight the positive aspects of a multicultural and multilingual region as a potential benefit for local and regional entrepreneurs and policy makers. These results are hoped to go beyond the duration of the project in terms of keeping further contact, the dissemination of project materials and documents and a possible future project based on the experience and know-how of this one. The participating students are expected to improve their language skills and communicative competence to become confident language users, will acquire know-how and develop skills during the different tasks, they will improve their digital competence, expand their views, get acquainted with the neighbouring countries. They will experience how to work effectively with people from other cultures and people with disadvantages. Teachers will have the opportunity to revise their teaching practice, to find out new, non-formal methods which can be integrated into their future pedagogical work. In order to maintain sustainability we intend to organize teacher training seminars, integrate results in the pedagogical framework of our schools, use the newly acquired good practices.
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