KA2 Strategic Partnerships for School Education
Partners: Ireland (coordinating institution), Italy, Estonia, Germany, Portugal, Turkey
Project Title: EU-topia+
Project Start Date: 01/09/2014 (Duration: 36 months)
The project Eutopia + stems out of the cooperation of six secondary schools from six European countries actively involved in Erasmus + KA 2 projects. The partner schools have long-established relationships from previous Comenius projects of which this Erasmus + project is a natural development. It is a cross-curricular project whose main goal is to enhance the European dimension of education by promoting joint cooperation activities. Over the course of the project the participants will develop an understanding and appreciation for their role in their community ranging from that of a local one to a European one. They will be invited to propose advancements and developments in society as a means of directing towards a more productive and socially-aware Utopian environment. It is proposed that these will all be investigated and researched in a cross curricular fashion under the headings of Language, Social Media, Economics, Democracy and Environment.
Each of these headings will primarily be analysed under the the area of how it exists in our current society, the students and teachers will then engage in a series of actions and activities which are described as the process of development. An in-depth analysis of the outcomes of these actions will form the blueprints for a Utopian European society that has the values of social inclusion, multiculturalism, languages alongside technology, innovation and adaptability. This process will aid pupils and teachers to acquire and improve skills in the areas of geography, language, IT, history and social awareness/integration. The participation in the activities described will foster a sense of teamwork, socio-cultural relations, project management and the use of ICT. It is envisaged that there will be an increased multilingual capacity and an enhanced motivation towards language learning amongst staff, pupils and the wider school community.
The basic issues that the project will focus on are language, cultural awareness and diversity with the view to the advantages that can be gained from working in a European context. Partner schools will benefit through the outcomes of actions carried out and develop a better resourced skill base due to an understanding of the educational process and the common ethos in a common dimension. The project will integrate into all of the schools curriculum in a seamless fashion. The outline of the project has been designed with a number of student-based objectives in mind. These include to foster in students a comparative understanding of the lives and diversity of their European colleagues, to instill in students the ability to conduct independent research and study with respect to areas that are identified by the project. This will ensure they acquire the life skills and competences necessary for their personal development.
This project is innovative on a number of levels. It allocates the responsibility of the final outcome of the project to the student body, they will decide what are the values that should be paramount in a Utopian environment. The participants are encouraged to become reflective practitioners, they will learn from their actions and define what is best for society as a whole. This sense of empathy will evolve and develop over the course of their engagement making a significant impact as to the direction that they pursue after the project has concluded. While it may sound idealistic we hope to contribute towards students that are more in tune with their role and potential in society and are prepared to make choices that are beneficial to the community as a whole. The EU-Topia+ project will encourage students to become the architects of the future drawing on the knowledge base of the past and present.