Under the project title “Social Challenges for Schools today”, each participant school has chosen a specific challenge to deal with. All of the challenges have a common trait, that is, they are of social character and belong to civic education. These are the six topics:
C1. Integration of national minorities. Santaros Gimnazija, (Vilnius, Lithuania)
The Erasmus + team at Santaros school is focused for this project on the challenging situation of national minorities with the intention to compare it to other partner schools or to learn from their experience or to give them new ideas how to approach the same problems at their schools. Pupils explore their national identity, become aware of different nations that build their country community and develop the sense of belonging to the European community as a whole. They learn to appreciate the diversity of life in their own country and in Europe. They understand and respect the fact that life is culturally diverse and that different people bring different values to the community thus making it stronger. They learn about commitments and come up with ideas on how they and their country can contribute to making the European community a better place to live for all the Europeans.
C2. Respect matters – prevention strategies against cyberbullying and other conflicts/learning from team work Escola Básica dos 2º e 3º Ciclos da Torre (Câmara de Lobos, Madeira, Portugal)
Torre Middle School challenge highlights how unsafe an online communication environment or social network could become in certain situations. This is somewhere they wish to go deep into, as they acknowledge as a growing problem of cyberbullying amongst our youth. To address this predicament, the earasmus+ team are preparing a number of activities based on and learnt from a European (CoE funded) workshop on finding strategies to prevent hate speech online, and they are gathering the experts from different sources and associations in the island, from psychologists to the police and other facilitators that share good practices. They aim at reaching not only the youth, but also the parents, the community, the school staff and any active or passive intervenients in cases of abuse of this kind. As a corollary, they plan to explore, with the proper guidance of local experts in the field, conflict mediation at school, on the one hand, and team-building, team-motivation and team-work on the other, as a way to enhance the awareness of the collective goals in society and/or at school, the integration of social and human values, and the consciousness of the advantages of choosing respect, non-violent communication, non-reactiveness and collaboration/cooperation.
C3. Virtual life taking over real one Grosicssuli (Budapest, Hungary)
One of the most global challenges schools must face today is the growing number of teenagers who spend most of their free time online, a lot of them living in a virtual world. We know that it is also the teachers’ responsibility to both educate children about what computers and smartphones are for to be computer literate and to give them attractive alternatives for free time activities. Being a sports school Grosicssuli is offering a wide range of sports activities for its students not only on the lessons but in break time and after school too. With the help of our school model we are willing to share these good practices with the partner organisations on the one hand and are looking forward to knowing about their alternatives and solutions on the other.
Grosics school innovative approach is going to be used to invite both students and teachers to come up with their ideas and communicate with each other in English, thus strengthening their language and creative skills.
C4. Inclusion of pupils from other islands with different linguistic and cultural background. Lycée Lislet Geoffroy (Sainte Clotilde, Ile de la Réunion, France)
The Erasmus+ comittee at Lycée Lislet Geoffroy, composed of professional teachers and administrative staff with different expertises (culture, language, technology, project management, accountancy) with the support of all the staff, is ready to face the challenge “Indian Ocean communities and school integration”. How can we share and improve the integration of this multicultural community with Malagasy, Mauritians, Comorians, Mahorais to better adapt and integrate the French school system?
During the meeting, similarities or differences with the situations faced by the European partners will be searched and we will explore to what extent our peers can benefit from our solutions and experience in the field of multiculturalism and how can we benefit from theirs. The objective is to establich pedagogical and educational exchanges and bridges with our European partners as they seem to us to be the perfect keys to this problematic.
C5. Awareness and intervention on violence because of gender. Institut Quatre Cantons (Barcelona, Spain)
Violence because of gender is an everyday issue commonly present in our society and how to make students aware and intervene in this type of social problems clearly fits in the way Institut Quatre Cantons understands school and education. Thus, the school aims at approaching subjects to the everyday reality of students and their social context, in order to highlight the relationship between curricula and the world outside school.
Having this in mind, the Erasmus+ team at Institut Quatre Cantons has designed a series of activities using the same methodological approaches as in the school like research, case studies, debates among other with the objective to sensibilise students towars this social challege, to make them acquiring criteria and act positively as well as to offer strategies and paths that can provide students with alternative viewpoints and attitudes to cope with this social problem.
C6. Inclusion in the classroom. KAE (Eupen,Belgium)
The increasing heterogeneity in learning abilities is becoming more and more present in KAE classrooms . More and more students have a different – and special – background; at least, different needs that we, educators, shouldn’t ignore. KAE has a specific team of teachers and headmasters working on and investigating inclusion and heterogeneity. Moreover, the Ministry of Education instored trainings and new rules applied to the teaching process of people with special needs and difficulties at school.
Therefore, the Erasmus+ group at KAE school has been focusing on these challenging situations, and wish to compare it to other partner schools, learn from their experience and give them new ideas to approach the same problems of inclusion. They aim at providing, by the end of the project implementation, a written and visual support so that the school, the partners and anyone involved or interested in our quest, be able to address situations of mixed learning abilities at school in a more effective way.