Our project

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In a context of urbanization, we want to give to the students the possibility to go through their stereotypes or « clichés ».
Therefore, we want the pupils to get the tools to look beyong the appearences, to be able to analyze and explain: urban landscapes, the mobility in the city, the cities energy supplies and its symbolical figures.
We want them to get the signification and the releavance of the different subjects they learn, to explore, understand and get involved in their city. That’s why we would like them to meet partners and be confronted to different cities and different ways to leave in the city and to define together new approaches.
Finally, they will be able to develop a critical eye on maping, to create new representations of their cities, including the neglected aspects that the contemporary cities need to develop sustainability: links between the past and the future of the cultural dynamics(litterature, legends, myths, proverbes,…),architecture and urbanism, food (process of production, distribution and recycling of the various energies and how to optimize it),human science (population, religion, age, poverty/ wealth) and infrastructure (flow in the city, transports, mobile and acommunication networks). We focus especially on the pedagogical processes through which pupils will explore and gain knowledges on urban environnment, that form their own identities in the european context in order to be active citizens of Europe. The city will be used as field of investigation, and they shall finally be able to build their own representation of it to find new ways to involve in the city and transform it. That’s how our project enable them to make the invisible parts of the city visible.

Rationale

This project was born because of different pedagogical needs.
In a always more complexe world, in which pupils have difficulties to think about the reality by using their knowledges and competences: we want to build coherence and harmony to enable the pupils to read a world was gonna be always more complexe, and with a mutliplicity of references (social, linguistical, sources of knowledges, informations, etc.).
The need to develop intercultural skills to the pupils, by increase their skill to think about the links between the singularity and the common, the specifical way of thinking and living, and the universal values.
By recognizing the others, their existence, their needs, we have to think how we live together in the our cities: whether they are nearby or far away, not only users of the buildings or spaces to develop, not only our neighbours, or stangers in our different life spaces, whether they are are contemporaries or the future generations.
The need to think how our subjects and their knowledges give us responsabilities. That is why we want to develop the comprehension of the word « involvement » to give concrete ideas to the children, so that they can appropriate it themselves.
To develop involvement is a goal for our society, and to begin in this project, for every teacher and pupil. The concept of sustainability is transforming the mentalities and go counter a lot of interests. Moreover it is difficult to make understand to everyone that he has to be an actor and that approach will be in the shorter or longer term positive for himself.
A pedagogical line is really necessary because not only the intellectual or economical elite do have the key of this change of mentalities, but everyone of us.
And finally, a Comenius project give us the important advantage to have time to think about one reality and to each pupil, to each teacher, and finally give us the possibility to look for the best place to give to the SEN assistent, who will help us to reflect to our praticies. Our goal is to give time to the pupils to build their own representation(s) and to the one who have specifical pedagogical needs, as the SEN pupils.
That’s why we would like to have in each school team a SEN assistent, to help this kind of pupills to find their place in the different group activities to socialize ans work with the others.
That’s why we want to build a project with several ethical goals, that will have pedagogical, didactical and pedagogical issues, in a way of a sustainable pedagogy.


Project objectives and strategies

During the partnership, every school will work on its own city and compare it to the cities of the others. The title « Cities for us – Make us visible ! » shows our will to encourage their commitment to involve their creativity in the realisation of a more sustainable city. The whole project will follow a methodology, in 5 steps, from the idea about their representations (on their own city / on the cities of the others), to their common european action : Step 1 : What is your ideal city ? – Step 2 : How well do you know your own city ? – Step 3 : Compare your city with the ideal one ! – Step 4 : We make us visible ! – Step 5 : Transform the cities !
The general project aims to different productions organised in 5 topics: cultural dynamics, architecture and urbanism, food, human science and infrastructure. These topics will be worked by the different twinning-teams: in our 5 schools, there are 16 groups, and so there are 8 twinning groups. Each « Twinning team » will work on one or two topics during these two school years.
They will realize gradually a New city Map , that will show a new face to the city, and give new orientations. Each topic will be a new line on the City Map, that will be printed and proposed to all the invited persons for the Sustainable Rally. This rally will be a public action in which the pupils will be the animators of workshops, experiments, flash mob or action theater, etc. the citizens will be invited to discover the city with a new point of view, and will discover it, guided by the pupils.
Three special areas will be developed especially during the mobilities: the Photo / Postcards, the city Map and the Babel Tower. Those productions aim to the confrontation of the points of view and the education against the prejudiced, the common action beyond the linguistic, national, socio-economical borders. Each production will grow during the mobilities. The blog « our points of view » will collect the pictures maid by all the pupils, be builded up gradually and will show the evolution of their point of view : from the first point of view, the window to other possible points of view. The pupils will be invited to think about the possible points of view to see and know the city. At the end the pupils will create photo series, which will show new points of view on the european cities involved. The Babel tower will be a way for the pupils to create a symbol of their commitment in this project.

European added value

The general project aims to generate a community of learners and teachers who work together beyond national borders, thus imagining a common future to the next generations of EU citizens. This project will help the future citizens of Europe to became more aware from their cultural and multicultural, multilinguistical, social and economical diversity of the European cities. The project will eneable them, teachers and pupils, to link the subjects to the reality by using all the communication tools theay can use and a specifical methology (observation, explanations, interviews of the social, cultural and economical actors, actions / productions) to find a common way to involved their knowledges and competences in the european society. The pupils and teachers will improve the tolerance and respect of the differences between the cultures and socio-economical situations, and in the same time we will learn that there are more similarities than differences.

Impact

The impact we expect on the pupils is to help them to understand and find the way to be active learners and to encourage them to learn how to see the reality beyond the appearances, to find a way to be informed and to inform the others, to propose a way to transform the actual society in a better one, in a more sustainable city.
That explains why we also want to develop constructive relationships between the teachers who will be responsible for a more sustainable pedagogy, which offers a place to all the pupils, even the one who usually have specific difficulties to learn, and to learn to learn. We are sure that this kind of project will help them to feel part of a community who can help them for their academical and personal development.
That’s why the project is based on multidisciplinary teachers teams, involved on global topics, that can give time to the learners to conceptualize a notion like the city where they use to live. The relationship between school and reality, but also between the mother tongue and the foreign modern languages, and finally between the literacy, art and sciences will be encouraged to help them to improve their conceptualization of the city and hte knowledges they learn during this two years.
Finally, the exchanges with the partner schools will be reich its heigh of this intercultural and multilingual education, by sharing with the other pupils the knowledges, methodology but also their representation of each other as kids in their respective families, learners in different schools and also as citizens of a city.
The global impact will be for all the social communities in the schools and outside the schools, event the pupils and teachers not involved in the project, create a more tolerant and respectful context to learn and to grow as european learner or teacher, as parent or responsible of the school community (even schools responsibles or actors of the different cities).

Project main focus

To improve the quality and to increase the volume of mobility involving pupils and educational staff in different Member
To improve the quality and to increase the volume of partnerships between schools in different Member States
involve at least 3 million pupils in joint educational activities during the period of the programme
To encourage the learning of modern foreign languages
To support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practice for lifelong learning
To enhance the quality and European dimension of teacher training
To support improvements in pedagogical approaches and school management

We want our students to be able to look at their city in a different way, but also to look at other cities in a different way when they travel- that’s why sharing their impressions with pupils from other countries on their respective cities is important for us:
Working in interdisciplinarity and pluridisciplinarity shall enable them to understand the complexity of cities environment. coming from different countries, our students share a common city experience –
Sharing on their perception of their city with pupils from different schools shall lead them to experiment plurilinguism and multiculturalism in a different way as in school.
Comparing other cities with their own shall give them a sense of both diversity and universality of cities.
Elaborating their ideal city shall help them to question the city as it really looks and works, and encourage further commitment in its evolution.
In the same time, the teachers will have to work on real cities and pay attention to the economical, social, cultural and linguistical variety of the public involved in the project and involved in the mobilities. That will help them to find the balance between the official national or european programm and the realities they want their pupils to be abble to « read ». By working on the same topics with same final productions will help the teachers to be awear to the didactic diversity in Europe and to find a common way to build the project respecting the local and the european strategies. Every teacher will improve is pedagogical approach by sharing with teachers of other countries material, pedagogical propositions and the pupil productions.

Project implementation

Distribution of tasks

All schools have played an important part in the realization of our project, through the preparatory meeting in Luxemburg, through all the sharing of information and data. The activities, their planning and schedule were the result of a joined effort of all the members of the project. Every school made the contacts that were essential to the birth of the project and to its concretization (contacts with their national Agencies, with the Boards, with the teachers and students that will be part of the project…).
During the whole project, each school will lead a general aspect of the project (coordination and official website, evaluation, e-Twinning, dissemination and mobilities).
Teachers of the schools involved in the project will have to meet twice a year. In those meetings they will assess the evolution of the project and the development of the tasks chosen by each partner, decide the next steps. Another aspect that will be analyzing and assessing the different forms elected will be to carry information from one school to the others. The project meetings will involve mainly teachers, some of the students will be present in the final presentation of the project while others will visit one of the other schools to share their work with the other students.
The evolution of our project depends on the constant sharing of information, ideas and experiences between students and teachers. Thus, every member will have to maintain regular contacts with all the others through e-mails, our blog, the E-Twinning platform , Skype… Progress reports will have to be done on a regular basis.
Each school and partner team has a project coordinator that will be responsible for the contacts with the other coordinators and will inform the teachers and the students of every decision taken and of each step that will have to be followed. A class of each country will be paired with another and students will then be able to work together on one or two topics they have chosen, sharing ideas, suggestions and materials. Later in the execution of the project these pair works will be shared with other schools so they can be confronted, discussed and completed.

Cooperation and communication

A great deal of the communication between schools will be done through internet: e-mails, skype, our blog, forums and through the E-Twinning platform. The teachers/students mobilities will be another important way of communication between the project members. Videoconferences are another way, whenever possible. Through those internet tools, teachers and students of all countries will discuss ideas, strategies, solve problems.
Part of the results of each school’s work (postcards, photos and analyses, documents, drawings, videos…) could be sent to the other schools through e-mail, our photo-blog « ourpointsofview » or mail. This way every school could follow the work of the others. Those works will be part of an exhibition in progress in each school so that all the school community will be aware of the progress of the project.
Gradualy, the official website of the project hosted by the website of the European School in Luxemburg will present the most representative productions done by every school during the project. A web designer will make it possible. Of course, every website of each school will keep the community informed of the products of the local project members. This will enable a valorization of the project to the local, regional and national authorities and to all school communities.
The cooperation of the local authorities will be fundamental for spreading the results of the project among the local communities.Each school will have to contact with local cultural entities (museums, tourism agencies, town councils, theaters…) that will enable us to promote the project and to bring it closer to each community.

Participant’s involvement

Our aim is to create a students-centred learning environment. Therefore, children will actively work in all the phases of the project. Students in all partner schools will explore their cities as urban scouts and share their discoveries with other urban tribes. In particular they will:

• Cooperate in setting the e-Twinning
• Participate in exchanges
• Be linked to other pupils in partner schools to participate in the co-construction of knowledge in a Community of Learners beyond the differences of culture and environment;

• Interact with peers and work in groups within the same school;
• Interact with students from partner schools, with teachers and other representatives from a town;
• Plan and realize some concrete products, such as photos series, new maps of their cities and the city of their partners, new babel towers, drawings and maps of their town and of the « invisible towns » they contribute to discover in their own cities and most of all in the city of their partner.
• Pupils will be constantly involved with a problem solving approach, driving them to the possibility of explore and experiment all the forms of cooperation and communication with other peers in different countries, using different media and languages and developing their creativity.
• We will involve pupils in evaluation process, with questionnaires, focus groups, feedbacks on activities carried on.
• In each school there is the support of management and colleagues, even those not directly involved in the project.
We aim to involve as many as possible and to make them regard project involvement as something positive. We also will involve parents and local authorities by keeping everybody continually informed of the progress of the project.
• All the activities will be assessed and disseminated, the ongoing work being developed on feed-back received from students by questionnaires.

Integration into ongoing activities

Each school partner – depending on their degree of curriculum flexibility and on the level of involvement of the different grades – will decide upon the level of incorporation of the project related activities. As one of the main focuses of the project is multidisciplinarity, a lot of activities and objectives are related to almost all areas of the curriculum (Foreign Language, Literacy, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Arts and Handcraft, Geography, History, Biology, Informatics,…). Some of the activities will be integrated in the curriculum, while others will be cross-curricular. Each Partner Team will chose one or two main topics to focus on during the two years of the project.
Activities focused on the topic “cultural dynamics” will affect learning areas such as History, Literacy, Arts, Geography, Foreign languages; activities focused on the topic « infrastructure » will affect learning areas such as Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, History, Biology, Arts; activities focused on the topic “Food” and « Human Science » will affect learning areas such as Biology, Economy, Geography, Arts and Handcraft; activities focused on the topic “Architecture and Urbanism” will affect learning areas such as History, Arts, Geography, Literacy.
Especially the learning areas Literacy (writing reports, creating stories, documentation of process), Foreign Languages (English, French, German – translation of texts) and Informatics (using Blogs, Forums, Presentation skills) can be easily connected to the curriculum. The activities previsted during the period of the mobilities will develop the skills prepared by the topics in special fields: learn to see and to compare the points of view and give form to the cultural and linguistical duversity. The photo-project for example will be a special activity to discuss and cross the point of views of the students who will meet during the mobilities or online, using the photo-blog and the -Twinning. The final production, the photos series builded with selected points of view on the different european cities, will give a multicultural form to that cross-curriculum activity.
In terms of learning strategies, group work, meta-conceptual awareness and meta-linguistic approaches all activities can be linked to the project.
Pupils involved in the project will learn to build project elements into various school events, presentations in assembly and celebrations. They also will teach selected items to visitors.

Evaluation

The common monitoring and measuring of the progress and ultimate efficacy of the project will be decided with all partners. The assessment of the results and the level of satisfaction amongst all involved participants –either directly or indirectly – involved will be integrated in the evaluation.
The project will be constantly evaluated (twice a year) via different tools: quality and quantity methods of evaluation.
The teachers will meet on a regular basis (via Skype, Blog, etc. or face to face) to evaluate their methods, the process and the outcome of activities. Therefore we will use group discussions and observation as a quality and questionnaires and interviews as a quantity measure method. The results and outcomes will be presented in conferences on a regular basis.
The pupils will write diaries during the process, which will be published on the blog. After a twinning/mobility/activity the pupils will write short reports about activities, results and achievements and will also hand in their feedback in form of questionnaires. These questionnaires will be statistically adapted.
The integration of the parents in terms of evaluation will focus on questionnaires and on group discussions as well.
We will prepare observation protocols to evaluate and understand pupils involvement in terms of cooperation, creative use of technology, development of communicative skills.

Our main objective, namely to create new sustainable maps of our cities and our common event will be at the end of the project will be evaluated among all involved partners and also from people who take part in the closing event.

Dissemination and use of the results

We will to develop a common strategy of communication. This will include: common press release, abstracts, reports, posters, etc. The Twinspace will be the place were we share te results between pupils and teachers. The blog « Point of view » will be a window on the evolution of the point of view of the pupils, from the stereotype about their city / the cities of the partners to the transfiguration (poetical…) of this point of view. That will be one product in progress. The general website of the project will be the official one: it will be hosted by the IT-team of the European School in Luxembourg. We will organize at the beginning of the project the first presentation of the project using this official website: in directions to all the school actors (parents, other teachers, administrators, ICT ingeniers), to the actors in the city (political responsible, pedagogical services of the city, of the museums, cultural and social associations, etc), and finally to the local, national and regional press.
During the project, informations and any productions will be regularly communicated to staff, parents, pupils, local authorities etc, through staff meetings, school newsletters, assemblies, parents evenings, etc.
The mobilities of the pupils will be an occasion to involve the whole hosting community in organising welcome, activities, technical aspects ant to explain the goals and the activities in such a transnational experience and cooperation. At the end of the project, each school will present the results in the school neighbourhood, in the local community, in the net of teachers off the area and local educational authorities in a final celebrating event with local media. In the same period, they will organize the final action, the Sustainable Rally. The pupils will invite all the partners, social, economical, political and cultural actors they met during the project to discover the trail they will have prepare in the city. Following the New Map that will show the different possible routes in the city, the citizens will be invited to discover the uselly invisible parts of the city and the propositions of the pupills to transform it in a more sustainale city and to think about the common possible actions in our european cities, for a common urban life. As teachers, we believe that our project can be sustainable also, and that the results of this project will help us to develop others in the same direction, maybe with new partners (schools, city actors, artists…).

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