Archive of European Projects

Think Globally: European regions creatively meeting the challenges of our time
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Think Globally: European regions creatively meeting the challenges of our time" This project provides a quite exceptional background: 4 of the 6 participating schools have been working together on Comenius projects since 1996. The fifth partner joined in 2001, the sixth partner is new and was recommended by a neighbouring school that sadly had to leave the project due to staff shortage. The grown familiy-like relationship of the participating staff is the best-practise example of European work for the participating students. Traditionally, the group (consisting of coordinating staff from six schools from Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Poland) meets in autumn for a staff meeting and organises the project work for the year. The students are in touch via email, social networks and a blog. The students' conference (with 85-95 students) follows in April / May. It consists of three elements: the presentation of project results in an interactive market stall with student experts, the work on the topic in internationally mixed groups with local experts and organisations (companies, museums, artists, educational institutes), and finally the hosting country prepares a programme introducing the culture and region. The project focusses on acquiring the skills that enable students to become an active member of the democratic life in the EU. Most notably to mention here: foreign language skills, IT skills, social competence, cultural awareness, and learning competence. The students working on the project will be in touch for one school year. They work on sub-topics emerging from their personal interest. The exchange of intermediate results and the feedback on those results generates great synergies and requires and encourages the use of the above mentioned skills . The presentation at the students' conference also enhances the presentation skills as well as self-assured appearance since the students function as experts on their topic in an interactive market stall situation. In the course of the students' confererences creative approaches built the focus of the work in internationally mixed groups. In the three project years different creative outcomes are agreed on: the first year aims for role plays, the second for films, and the third for future city maps / models (of the cities of origins of the participating schools). The experience of the last project showed that creative work supports the different skills and the feeling of togetherness most. Additionally, this approach offers another result that will be proudly presented at the meeting. Guests are staff, parents of the hosting school but also local authorities and representatives of economy. In the course of these projects all participating students and organisations get the chance to widen their European horizon - students as well as teachers will experience an international learning atmosphere that promotes the use of foreign language skills as well as the use of all the different mother tongues, that requires team work skills, that enhances problem-management skills and improves their organisational skills. Working together over a long period of time, the students get the chance to improve their communication skills and overcome possible prejudices and therefore combat racism. Moreover, this international project gives them the opportunity to experience different cultures in a relatively short time. Each participant gets the possibility to develop his or her personality and gain self-confidence. The students' achievements will be pointed out in the "Youthpass". On institutional level, the participating staff and the schools get the chance to improve their teaching methods, IT-skills, organisational skills and develop intercultural competence which helps to improve international cooperation. In international groups each teacher gets the chance to learn new teaching methods by personal experiences in classroom visits, workshops and discussions. For headmasters this project provides the possiblity to get an insight into foreign school management and to dicuss best-practise and cross-border examples which will then lead to general improvements. Staff can make use of the "Europass" to attest their increase of knowledge and skills. The long term benefits are very difficult to be measured because they mostly are immaterial results: The long-lasting friendship of the schools and the participating staff should be even more strengthened than it already is. This friendship is a role model for the students and a good-practise example of European cooperation. The enhancement of the different skills will not only promote the personal development of the participants but also enable them to get the best possible education. The experience from former projects showed that participants most likely spend part of their further education in different EU countries - they become active EU citizens.
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