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Part D

D. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Please note that this section must be completed jointly by all institutions participating in the Partnership and must be identical in each copy submitted to each National Agency.

D.1. SUMMARY

Summary of the planned partnership in the communication language of the project. This description may be used by the European Commission and/or the National Agency when providing information on selected projects, so please be clear and precise .Nowadays, one of the most characteristic trends across Europe is urban growth both in terms of population and space. Moreover, some experts point out that urban areas in the future will eventually tend to fuse one another forming bigger entities such as mega-cities and metropolises. Our schools are situated in urban contexts in capital cities, big cities, cities with important historical and multicultural aspects. Our students are going to grow and live their lives within and also shape these contexts. Our aim is to explore a theme of Urbanism and European Citizenship in a fast changing Europe. We define cities as systems of interaction and interdependence between five elements: (Child - Nature - Buildings - Networks - Society). Therefore, our intention is to look at these elements through children’s eyes. Aspects of children’s everyday lives in big cities in relation with what constitutes their city, such as parks-rivers-climate, housing-schools-museums-monuments-public spaces- defined spaces to functions, communication-energy-transport networks, cultural institutions-works of art, who lives where and why, the traditional or historical life of the city as well as the newer multicultural additions will be explored locally and compared at a wider European level through the interaction with the other partner cities. We focus especially on the pedagogic process through which pupils will explore and gain knowledge on urban environments that form their own identities in the European context in order to be active citizens of Europe. Instead of sitting in a classroom and just talk about the city, we will use the city itself as a tool for learning. We’ll go out and ‘read’ it: listen, smell, feel, taste, and look at it. Our project will be realized through the development of a network between our urban schools that will offer all students the opportunity to interact with their partner-peers developing their sense of belonging to a Community of Learners and actually turning their cities into "Education Communities”.

D.2. RATIONALE

Please describe the motivation for this project and why this project is needed. This project has its roots in different European experiences of cooperation: a Comenius Multicultural Project some of us are involved and an eTwinning project called City twinning project based on cooperation among classes We consider highly important to continue giving our youngsters all the tools to better understand what living in a big city means, and the responsibility of taking good care a good decisions to create a positive scenario for their own, as next adult generation, and for others to come. The project will continue offering our students a positive impact as they learn how other children in nearby European countries develop their life. For children in disadvantaged situations meeting other cultures, comparing their own environment with others, can mean to improve their cultural identity in a wider context where stereotypes are reduced, reinforcing their self esteem and opening their life perspectives, in this framework, the project aims to fight social exclusion. From our previous experiences in European cooperation projects (Comenius, e-twinning,) we discover the educational need and value of cooperation among schools as a tool for teachers and parents and a basic skill for pupils to be developed in order to become future adult European citizens. Intercultural communication, in all its cognitive and affective aspects, improves in fact a positive attitude towards diversity and knowledge, opening minds and developing creativity.

D.3. PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY

  • What are the concrete objectives of the partnership?
  • Explain what subjects or problems you intend to address.
  • What approach will you take to achieve your objectives?
• To explore the place where they are born in order to start to understand how it forms the basis of their own self-image and identity, • To participate in outdoor activities as a regular part of the curriculum • To learn about the places where people live, comparing housing, environment and the things people do for different regions; . To explore the past of the city, using also testimonials of the past events: older generations in a common work of research and communications, sharing experinec between generations'

• to develop the use of observation, comparison, the recognition of similarity and difference and the development of understanding of the city that influence people living in differing regions and parts of the Europe today.

  • To help children to find out where the important decisions about their town are made: make them explore the rules of democracy applied to everyday life governance by the local authorities, i.e. participating to local meetings where decisions are taken, exploring the power of the public’s influence on politicians’ proposals, making comparisons and spotting differences in the various European countries.
• to participate in the co-construction of knowledge in a Community of Learners beyond the differences of culture and environment: interacting with peers and working in groups within the same school; interacting with students from partner schools • To develop learning strategies: how to research, select and gather relevant information; how to describe and analyze statistical information, including exporting information and using a spreadsheet; how to analyze and evaluate data, maps and diagrams; • to build a cooperative project , using different strategies to plan, discuss, share with the common objective to create/imagine an ideal city • to approach languages other than mother tongue not just as new subjects to be carried out but using them in meaningful contexts where communication is compelling • to value bi and multi lingualism already present among many pupils and celebrate the ability to speak more than one language • to develop and integrate verbal and nonverbal languages, using various media (visual,images, music, dance, body languages, …) • To understand the meaning of an educating community ( the school, the partnership, the city)

We aim to have children directly engaged in building the activities, exploring their cities and actively participating in the knowledge construction process. Through the constant attention to creativity and collaborative learning, we aim to generate excitement and enthusiasm, to develop enquiring minds and to make learning and discovering enjoyable. Children will achieve this, firstly by exploring the place where they live as contemporary scouts, using all their senses and then discussing, writing, performing arts, video conferencing and using the internet to share and communicate their results to partners. Multi-language communication skills are in fact the key to success in the 21st century and they can be achieved not only through oral or written language (or English language) but using the whole range of media that human beings daily experience: art, music, maths, visual, video, body, computers. On the other side, the use of technology in the schools can enhance the learning processes, making possible to follow individual paces and cognitive styles and to involve students in the cobuilding of knowledge and expertise. Thus, we plan to organize cooperative e-learning settings, such as virtual classrooms, discussion forum and blogs, where students will discuss and share ideas, solutions and problems, exchange materials, videos, conferences, letters, drawings. The digital platform twinspace will be the base on which teachers and students cooperate and work together, being a safe place for students surfing the internet. Teachers will collaborate constantly exchanging feed backs and reports on activities, using all the tools offered by twinspace and etwinning platforms We are planning to focus on three main methodological aspects: class discussions, that help students to examine, evaluate and share knowledge; collecting data and finding tools and media to share them with partners; using and producing visual media as videos and movies to communicate. Twinned classes will prepare a common work timetable to be followed jointly. Twinned classes will also plan and organize exchanges of pupils among schools involved in the project.

D.4. RESULTS AND OUTCOMES

Please fill the following table with the expected results, including products if relevant.

TASK 1: INTRODUCTION – MY CLASS, MY SCHOOL • Greetings across miles (greetings in our language and translation in English) • Presentation of each class for twinning classes • My school - My class – My friends / photos-videos (info and ppt exchange about our schools - classes) • How do we go to school? Photos, drawings, texts: Waiting for the bus (what can you see?) - comparing differences among schools (means of transports, bikes, cars, traffic) -exploring the border between school and the city - contacting local authorities for explaining problems/ solutions for children going to school • Creating an ABCD book with children photos (classes) • Creating a City Twinners Passport for our friends abroad- exchanging letters • Videoconference TASK 2: MY NEIGHBOURHOOD • My place (info and ppt exchange about our neighborhood) • Exploring the neighborhood/ around the school • Taking photos/videos around the school • Photo safari (children with their own camera go out to take pictures of their neighborhood) • What’s outside the window? photos from my classroom-window • Sport venues in our area; Walking, cycling, rollerblading, swimming, ice-skating, etc. • Exploring the area in search of info about jobs, shops, markets (photos, interviews, data collecting) TASK 3: ME AND MY CITY • Info: population, resources (water, energy, food), climate, topography, etc. • Reasons to be in the city • Urban toolbox: navigating the city (maps, diagrams, signs, roads, addresses, transportations, places) • Found me! – map orientation and a schedule for one day studying maps (our neighborhood, our city, partner city), building own maps of the area around the school • Exploring our city (walkabout the city) • Big display – My town in my plastic vision (posters, puzzle, models, pictures etc.) • Creating a city guidebook for children • People in the city: communities, professions, cultures (research – presentation) • Our multicultural city: (exploring songs), learning different cultural aspects of migrants communities in our cities • Our lifestyle in the city- our hobbies: dance, music, movies, play, - dancing /singing/playing for you, street fashion TASK 4: PRESENT AND PAST • Myths and legends of foundations • The history of my town • Old people tell the story of the city (grandfathers or grandmothers of the students or others from the neighborhood) tell stories about what the city was when they where young or bring photos or teach and play together with the children old/traditional games or sing songs etc.) * • Where the streets have names: history in the streets. (What’s behind streets’ naming?) • How our cities were related in the past. TASK 5: ART IN THE CITY • Role of museums/visit to museums • A good place for graffiti- Street art • Urban/social architecture • Discover our city typical monuments and partners’ cities ones • Drawing, plastic models, photos • Books, films, art work. • Young people literature the City (search and read books about our cities, rewrite & illustrate the story for our partners) • Watch movies, find art works about the relation between the city and children (reflect on them, compare our impressions) TASK 6: GREEN CITY • Nature in the city (Parks, rivers, lakes - Plants, animals, birds) • Environmental workshops • Pollution issues (research on pollution) • Recycling (comparing ways of recycling) • Common products by twinned classes, common documents for local authorities TASK 7: OUR IDEAL CITY • I like/ I don't like : what is positive and what not in the city • Make a wish – what is that you want to change if it would be possible • Change the City: children take action in order to change their city (draw their school, research in their city, specific actions with the support of local authorities in order to intervene in the public space (through art projects or environmental activities such as planting trees…) • Building a plastic/ a book/ a final product of the ideal city • Sharing results - comparing with partners TASK 8: FINAL PRODUCT • DVD/Presentation with activities done during the 2 years project Twinspace as common product and place of interactions EXTRA-(COMMON ACTIVITIES) • Logo contest to choose a logo for the project (1st semester) • Finding a Mascot for each school that follows the children explorations (2nd semester) • Urban photo/video ‘artistic’ contest to choose three photos or one video per partner. Create a photo album/movie with all partner’s photos/videos (3rd semester).

D.5. EUROPEAN ADDED VALUE

What is the added value of your project towards a more intensive European cooperation? The project aims to generate a community of learners who work together beyond the borders, imaging a common future for the next Europeans. The project aims to help future citizens of Europe to become more aware of their cultural and multicultural environment in European cities. The advantage of such project will be awakening of tolerance and respect for differences between peoples of Europe and at the same time we will learn that there are more similarities than discrepancies. Just as every co-operation to be successful it must be based on solidarity and unity. Having children cooperating beyond the borders will be a way to introduce European values in all the families and in the local communities . Having children working cooperatively with other children in other schools will increase in children, families, teachers the meanng of belonging to a wider community. Hosting and sending groups of children will help schools and families in building effective cooperation. It will help to fight stereotypes and will increase confidence in other people. Another priority in our project is to give value to bilingualism and to the learning of European languages, English along with minority languages as Italian, Spanish, Greek or Finnish.. In our project we aim to have a great number of mobilities, including children meetings in which twinned classes will visit their partners to finalize the common job done .To improve the quality and to increase the volume of mobility involving pupils in different Member States is an objective of all the cooperation projects. In our project we aim to have at least one group of learners from some schools visiting another partner during the length of the project

D.6. IMPACT

What impact do you expect partnership activities to have on persons (pupils/learners/trainees and staff) and on the participating institutions Actively participating in the knowledge construction process, children will build awareness of their own learning, feel more engaged in their education and be less likely to drop out of secondary school. We aim to focus on media, ICT and languages that European children need in order to communicate with other cultures, ways of thinking and living. As an outcome children will learn languages other than their own in a meaningful communicative context and how to use image, movies, music, dance to sommunicate with other children. Children, from the time they are very young, are able to interpret and express their own needs and to contribute to the changes in their city. Their needs coincide with those of a large number of citizens, especially those that are the most vulnerable. Therefore, it is worthwhile to let them have their say and ask them to participate, because perhaps, in their name and for their good, it is possible to ask the adult citizens for those changes that they are quite unlikely to accept and promote for other reasons. A city suitable for children is a city where everyone lives well. Comenius projects and the associated activities and contacts both within their own school and with pupils and teachers from the foreign partner school are expected to have an impact in many areas: developing intercultural competence, including interest towards foreign languages; develop an understanding for how we can use the city itself as an aid in teaching and learning and look at practical examples of the city as a theme in education We aim to forge links with schools in other countries in order to teach children, and to reinforce in teachers and staff members, the significance of being European citizens alongside promoting a better understanding of the multi cultural reality of our schools; moreover we hope to help them to recognize the richness of beliefs, traditions and cultures of our diverse school communities. Through working on the project thematic we expect our children to become aware of how children in different European nation live, enriching their understanding of a country other than their own and, through comparison, providing them with opportunities to become more and more conscious of their own cultural identity. At institution level, we expect that in each partner schools we can obtain: • Staff meetings related to the project and agreement of the various departments • Agreement of the school board • A school policy statement which includes European projects and activities • Provision of extra time for teachers involved in European activities • The European dimension reflected in the general objectives of the school • Pupils exchanges • Families involvement • Teachers in service training courses for languages also within the frame of LLP in service training course We also expect an impact on the specific topics of the project in the whole school communities and in the local area ( local authorities, neighborhood associations, local and city museums and cultural associations) with a greater attention to young people needs, with more links with educational activities, with developing common strategies for educating future ceuropean citizens
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