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Towards Shared European Identity
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/backgroud of the project The theme of this project was carefully planned with the headmaster and the coordinating teachers at our school. The aim was to motivate all the teachers to think more globally, to have an international approach in their teaching taking into account that although the youngsters of today are Finns, but first and foremost they are Europeans. The students should be taught in a way which enables them to think globally and treat everyone in the same way reagardless of the cultural backgrounds. The pupils should be taught in a way they become more independent, more responsible and more tolerant. The teachers need tools in order to be efficient in their work, thus it was necessary they could follow their fellow teachers' work abroad as well as participate in courses abroad. The carefully chosen courses with suitable programmes were an asset to the participants, but in addition the networking and the personal contacts the courses offered as a side-product were of utmost importance to the teachers. They learned as they engaged in shared activities and conversations with teachers from other countries. This reflective discourse and sharing built a platform they are now able to use in improving their teaching skills. All students learn most effectively when they have the opportunity to practise and transfer new learning. The same applies with teachers. In their normal teaching environments the teachers are occupied with various tasks, not having enough the time to reflect their ideas and adapt new effective pedagogy. Job shadowing offered a perfect possibility to broaden one's pedagogical skills, e.g. what strategies to leave out and what new ones to take in use. We also wanted - and we succeeded in this attempt - to export the good practices and skills of our school such as sustainable development, learning through sports and involvement of students. The objectives of job shadowing and participating in courses were reached: - to motivate new and internationally unexperienced teachers to broaden their views towards a Shared European Identity- meaning offering the possibility to reflect own ideas, get new ideas, obtain new pedagogical aspects and to network with European fellow teachers - to disseminate the knowledge and good practices of our school to other schools and vice versa - to get new ideas how to use ICT in teaching and to increase the use of ICT in traditional learning and networking situations as well as in nonformal and informal learning The teachers travelled in pairs, in order to facilitate the travelling of the unexperienced and insecure teachers who otherwise wouldn't have the courage to participate in Erasmus+ .This was a successful desicion. The number of the participants was 12. The participants were both nternationally experienced and i unexperienced teachers, who were willing to widen their vision of Europe. - six teachers participated in courses in Spain, Portugal and Germany - six teachers participated in job shadowing in Great Britain, Iceland and Cyprus. The gained focus on our methodology was learning by job shadowing and participating in courses. We created a network of European schools, teachers, students and trainers. After this two-year project we have now reached a long-term and close cooperation with them with the common interest Towards Shared European Identity. Our urge is to maintain the obtained network and gain future opportunities with Erasmus+.
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