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Together towards better understanding with and without words
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Jun 1, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The impact on the participants is the increased awareness of teaching multilingual and multicultural pupils in hospital school, better understanding of other cultures and different kind of solutions of good learning environment of sick child or adolescent. There are many ways to do things well. The aim of the project of Koivikkopuisto school in Tampere in Finland was to take part in the international congress of HOPE (Hospital Organization of Pedagogues in Europe). The congress took place in Vienna in Austria 10.-13.5.2016. The congress brought together 220 hospital teachers, principals and researchers from several countries of Europe and also from the outside of Europe. There were three participants of Koivikkopuisto school in the congress, the special needs teacher, the subject teacher (foreign languages) and the principal. Koivikkopuisto school has taken part in HOPE activities and teacher exchange within Comenius project. In 2008 Koivikkopuisto school organized the international congress of HOPE in Tampere. The principal is also the committee member of Finland in HOPE committee. The main topic of the congress in Vienna was Migration, Multilingualism and Medical needs - Pedagogics for the 21st century. The participants of Koivikkopuisto school had the workshop Together towards a better understanding with and without words - Photography as a means of expression, the short presentation Photography as a means of communication and expression and the exhibition Photos as a Path to Experience the World around us. The photos were made by the pupils at Koivikkopuisto school. Photography has been seen as an important tool of communication and expression with a sick child as well as the other kind of expression in order to understand each other and the world around us. The preparation of the workshop, exhibition and short presentation was made together. The workshop was creative. The participants took photos and made their own stories in small groups or by their own as the pupils worked when they had the project on photography at Koivikkopuisto school. The participants got to know each other and had a good discussion after performing their stories by photos. Koivikkopuisto school is a hospital school for the pediatric and psychiatric children and adolescents in Tampere university hospital. All subjects of comprehensive school (grades 0-9) are taught at Koivikkopuisto school. The programme of the congress was very interesting with high standard presentations and workshops. It was very well organized. The athmosphere was very friendly and warm. It was easy to make new contacts and meet old colleagues as well. We could also face to the reality of Europe - the present situation of migration, multilingual and medical needs which had suddenly become so actual within a year. We got a lot of information and new perspective from the point of the child about the importance of the language learning, communication, working with parents and understanding other cultures. The new ideas and good practices were very welcome for the future hospital school because of the new hospital building for children and adolescents which is under construction in Tampere university hospital and because of the Finnish national curriculum which starts in August 2016. The participation of the congress developed professional skills and strengthens and creates longer-term cooperation with other hospital schools in other countries. The common aim is to help every child´s education while sick. It is important to learn from each other on European level - from face to face.

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