The project ‘Colourful Rays of Sun over a Globalized World’ celebrates the constituent cultures and identities which together make up the rich tapestry of our United Europe. We are simultaneously proud Europeans as well as heirs to our own rich traditions. The cultural strength and beauty of Europe rests in our diversity. Part One (2013-2014) unpacks the broad themes of Languages and the Nation. Languages examines linguistic traditions and the contributions made by dialects and minority languages, some of which face extinction. Preservation of linguistic identity is so important because if people lose their identity they lose the means to transmit their culture to their progeny. Cultures, after all, are not artifacts in a museum. Under the Nation, we include the subthemes of History, Economics & Politics, and Customs & Folkways. Part Two (2014-2015) examines ‘Arts and Lifestyles’. This includes Food & Drink, Art & Literature, Sport & Dancing and Clothing & Fashions. The project is interdisciplinary, student-centered and encourages flexibility. The project activates intercultural collaborative work between students and teachers because nations address the subthemes in tandem teams. Thus, the project exchanges pedagogical methods and best practices through the observation of partner teachers, school visits and the exchange of ideas and lessons. Materials will be consolidated on a central platform, i.e., the project website, where lessons can be adapted and applied by other teachers.
Subjects: Art, Cross Curricular, Environmental Education, European Studies, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, History of Culture, Language and Literature, Media Education, Music, Physical Education, Politics.
Pupil’s age: 6 – 16
Tools to be used: e-mail, Forum, Other software (Powerpoint, video, pictures and drawings), Project Diary, Video conference
Aims: Communication in foreign languages Social and civic competences Cultural awareness and expression Digital competence
The students involved in the partnership activities will gain a better understanding of the constituent cultural/national communities comprising the European Union. In terms of intercultural competence, they will gain empathy with their international peers in terms of similarities and how their personal development mirrors students from different countries in Europe. The ultimate end of this process is the cultivation of ‘perspective consciousness’-the ability to know what it is like to live in the other’s skin. In this way, the twin virtues of respect and understanding grow. The various activities and the mobilities will help students and the teachers to become more autonomous, self confident, tolerant and, of course, develop English speaking and writing skills. Intercultural awareness will be enhanced through the implementation and sharing of cross-national pedagogical methods and research-based innovations. Thus, participants’ management and collaborative work skills will be improved by working together to solve common problems. The schools policy can benefit from the new and improved teaching methods and evaluative strategies forged through the European collaboration. The local community will be encouraged to participate in project activities. Thereby, school-community partnerships will be strengthened. Finally, the prestige of the school will increase at the national and international levels since the institution acquires an international and European orientation. It is hoped the school environment will be enhanced in that it becomes a dynamic and open community to all students of all socio-economic and cultural strata. Indeed, the toleration fostered through participation in the program should prove hospitable to all forms of difference and human diversity.
Finally, the prestige of the school will increase at the national and international levels since the institution acquires an international and European orientation. It is hoped the school environment will be enhanced in that it becomes a dynamic and open community to all students of all socio-economic and cultural strata. Indeed, the toleration fostered through participation in the program should prove hospitable to all forms of difference and human diversity. Partner schools are responsible for publishing and respecting deadlines. In this way, all participants (especially students), can solicit and provide input during all stages of the project. Before each visit, teachers will prepare their students through educating them about the country they are visiting and a crash course in everyday vocabulary and social practices and procedures. Project-based learning will be reinforced through formative assessment strategies to improve teaching and learning. These assessments can be shared and modified through use of the central web-based platform.