Active Citizenship for Sustainable Learning is a three-year ERASMUS+ strategic school partnership. It involves eight secondary schools from Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain. The latter cater for pupils of diverse ethnic and cultural origins. Most of these learners come from underprivileged families with low opportunities for learning, travelling and self-educating. They often lack motivation, ignore the importance of foreign languages and ICT in the labour market. Many of these learners usually give up when they face difficulties and often leave school early without any qualification. Therefore, our partnership will primarily focus on these learners.
On the one hand, we first intend to enhance our learners’ motivation and investment in learning thanks to ICT, offer them an opportunity to acquire oral communication skills in foreign languages and to develop entrepreneurial skills. On the other hand, we want to offer them an opportunity to meet their European neighbours, to discover European cultures in native place and to put forward their own culture, to develop intercultural skills, and thus, to build their European citizenship.
To implement our partnership and hit our objectives we have shared tasks amongst us according to each other’s experience and expertise. We agreed to compare our teaching methods, exchange our practices and combine our know-how. Besides, a five-day ICT workshop will be organized for teachers as early as October 2015. They will learn how to use a variety of ICT tools (eg Evernote, Blendspace) and two digital skills training approaches: the creation of digital stories (Storybird, Storyjumper). They will also learn how to use pictures, videos, flash animation, smart phones and tablets, implement a flipped classroom model and place and share all created materials on a dynamic project website. Moreover, four transnational project meetings will be organized. These meetings will offer teachers the possibility to observe classes abroad and be able to compare. Finally, they will practice foreign languages and get familiar with European cultural diversity.
As regards to our learners, we will first make preliminary assessments and rate pupils’ comfort/ability level on a number of skills. Based on the results we will purposefully create small groups that blend abilities and backgrounds, and incorporate team-building activities carefully adapted to their abilities and possibilities. Besides, we will have them complete tasks that involve using and developing ICT and oral communication skills that they will likely use in their future professional life. Moreover, we will choose assignment topics or tasks that are related to the real world, and can be connected to our learners’ lives and environment. Finally, they will participate in three ten-day active citizenship language camps which will be organized in three different partner countries. These meetings will put them in authentic communication situations amongst other European learners of their age, offer them good opportunities to develop team spirit, to gain sense of responsibility, to high up their self-confidence and self-esteem, to enlarge their cultural horizons, to make new friends and to foster tolerance.
To ensure the efficiency of our strategy, various evaluation tools will be developed and used. Communication between partners via Skype will be frequent to ensure the best follow up of the partnership activities. To disseminate our results we will create a Facebook page, a Yahoo group and publish articles in the local and regional press. All results and outputs will be shared freely on the project website so that learners and teachers in Europe and around the world can get inspired by them and leave us their feedbacks. An international conference will also be held in Paris to officially disseminate our outputs. To sustain our partnership and its results we have agreed to continue our cooperation beyond the three years of the project via the E-twinning portal and construct a sustainable development module to incorporate into the schools’ curriculum.
As a result, this partnership will not only help our learners, about six hundred, to acquire new skills in ICT, foreign languages, entrepreneurial and intercultural skills and to build their European citizenship, but will raise their future social inclusion opportunities as well. Teachers involved, around sixty-five, will be given the opportunity to develop their language and intercultural skills and learn how to incorporate innovative digital teaching tools in their practices and make their classes more engaging and more challenging for their pupils.
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Last Edit: December 2015