Parteneriariat multilateral Comenius

“European Journey through Legends”


The project “European Journey through Legends” is a non-formal and multidisciplinary learning activity, based on teamwork in the context of extracurricular activities (trips, didactic visits, cultural activities) through projects that were successfully tested new pedagogical approaches: learning through drama, ICT in the classroom, outdoor education. Our project’s activities promoted our common European identity by the benefit of lifetime experience through intercultural dialogue, international cooperation and discovering our national legends, myths and stories as European values. The project team was divided into five: “History Team”, “Bio-Geographical Team”, “Stories Tellers”, “ ICT&Media” and “Teachers Team” each of them having the task of doing researches and finding connections on the project theme. Students’ were challenged to relive the legends, myths and folklore stories and integrate into a European context their new knowledge about national/European culture, history and geography. Students, teachers and parents brought the school to the forefront of local community by using drama games, role play, improvisation, organizing recreation and socialization activities. We have done actives/online lessons where the new technologies have broken social and geographical barriers. Through outdoor activities it have been revised several points of view regarding the lifestyle by learning to bring a balance into the natural environment. The students have been aware of the problems regarding the amelioration of the polluted areas into clean places. The final performance from our partnership was an original form of assessment of our students’ knowledge. The optionally curricula is one of the important pieces of project’s Virtual  Documentation Center created by “Teachers Team”.

Our project has two aims: the first one is to promote our common European identity by the benefit of life time experience through an international cooperation and intercultural dialogue about the European legends stories and values. The second one is to create a virtual center of information and documentation regarding the new pedagogical approach used during the project implementation. These targets will be obtained through realizations of other 4 concrete objectives:

  • O1) Understanding cultural diversity from schools and living life (Tolerance for the cultural, historical, religion, linguistically diversity; Preservation of European historical heritage;  legends, myths and folk stories valorization)
  • O2) Developing the natural gifted/skills of pupils (Increasing of schools’ attractively between younger people; Decreasing insufficient implication of parents and local community in school’s life)
  • O3) Improving teaching methods and evaluation methods through ICT (Necessity of teaching process modernization; Broken communication barriers between teacher and student at the local level  but at the partnership level, too)
  • O4) Improving the pupils’ ability to preserve or enhance the natural environment (Improving pupils’ knowledge regarding the environment protection; Keeping and preservation of the natural’s resources).

By participating in a European partnership, our schools had a chance to introduce our countries to other five different countries from European Union, strengthened its ties and added a European dimension to our citizenship. Our participation in a EU project is very important and valuable for us since it has given us the chance of comparing cultural differences among 6 EU countries and proved that we can create a better world only by working together. Having the chance to work together, we discovered similarities and differences regarding what is good and what we could do for the European school.Thanks to our cooperation, we enriched our knowledge and creativity standards which are really important to create a real Europe and the union of the people living in it.

The cooperation and communication was developed both on horizontal and vertical levels: students-teachers in their schools,and students-students,teachers-teachers,students-teachers in the involved countries. Each school had 5 working teams: “The History Team”, “The Bio-Geographical Team”, “The Stories Tellers Team”, “The ICT&Media Team” and “The Teachers Team”. Each team had a teacher as a coordinator. Each of them had to realize certain specific attributions. The results and the products of each team became components of the Virtual Documentation Centre. We had several regular meetings during the partnership, both virtual and real, in all countries involved in the project. Our meetings were very carefully organized. The project had a management project committee (composed of each school’s contact person) which controlled all the work and ensured the cooperation between all the teams from this partnership.

English was the working language during our cooperation. Besides the planned meetings, the teachers involved in the partnership communicated at least once of month using another form of communication, such as the online diary of the project, where was monitored the project’s activities (http://six4europe.webs.com/activities.htm). In this way we could discuss the work schedule, the achieved results or make correct measurements if necessary. For the rest of the communication live, fax, chats or simple mail were enough.

The pupils communicated with each other using a chat soft as instant messenger or socialization networking (Facebook), so they could talk in real time. Moreover, students could share their ideas and tasks connected with the project using a discussion forum, the place where they had the first contact. The partners were always in touch through mail or cards that were sent to schools, they exchanged their opinions on the forum board (http://comenius2008.freeforums.org/) , or on the chat.

During the project, the students participating in the program were asked to present skills of communication and organization within a team. They were also asked to present their own culture and try to understand others’. Sometimes they had to share their ideas in front of many people and this gave them oral speech abilities. Thanks to the project, they started to use their imagination, draw or write, make up stories, transform a text into images or sounds, and discover the things world is ready to serve them. Teachers also had the opportunity of improving themselves, discussing new methods with their colleagues from other countries. It is important to mention that during the program different aspects of modern teaching have been used. All of them combined can describe a modern way of teaching. Analytically , research for material, orientation of method, working in groups, parallel material enriched with everyday s elements, outdoor activities, audiovisual support of the lesson, dramatisation, personal work, usage of pupils personal skills were all included in activities of the program. As a conclusion, since teachers and pupils had many opportunities to work together and they did it really well, our meetings had full success in the field of intercultural contact. The answers of the participants revealed not only their enthusiasm to learn more about the world they live in, but also how much they appreciate the opportunity that Comenius programs offer for intercultural communication.

In each school we organised a competition for the best poster promoting the Comenius project “European Journey through legends” in schools and community. During the poster’s contest we launched 2 other sub-projects: the motto and the logo of the partnership.

moto-si-logo

The motto and the log of partnership

 

Communication was realised using different ways: email, instant messenger, disscussion forum.  This was the place were our student had the 1st contact. It was the place for the Icebreacking games, and for exchanging impressions. We were created guidance materials to new approaches and methodologies on the pedagogichal blog „Teachers’ corner”, http://euro-schools.blogspot.ro/.  The virtual place where the teachers published materials regarding the new approaches: online collaboration in the classroom , learning through drama and outdoor education. During our project we did studies on traditional methods and active methods of learning, especially developing research on the learning through drama, ICT in our lessons, and outdoor education fields.

We prepared many demonstratives lessons using the new pedagogical approaches on the topic as „Legends, Myths and Stories” and „Education for the natural environment”, and those lessons could be viewed on the pedagogical blog, http://euro-schools.blogspot.ro/search/label/Good%20Practice%20Examples. The Comenius Corner was a place in each school where is organized a photo exhibition, materials regarding the learning during the project’s activities, collages of pictures which were taken during the project’s activities. Students created the digital photo albums which contains photos tacked during the project’s activities. Students collected all their researches, impressions, photo-collages,articles, interviews etc in the digital portfolios.

One of the last activity of our partnership was a scenario for the final show; this the script created by the students for the final show. It can be used as a lesson with ICT and learning through drama approaches. Students created the costumes and scenography for their show. http://s1011.photobucket.com/albums/af231/glpecica/Costumes/?start=all.  All the 2 years of the project we collected materials for learning Europe. With the show „Traveling Europe Through Its Legends” we offered to our students the opportunity to evaluate their acknowledges regarding the issue of European folkstories, and what European identity could mean.

On each project meeting we had at least 1 learning through drama session, where our students presents legends, myth or stories.In our project meetings we had learning session for presentation of the legends, myths or stories using ICT. For some of our learning session we created posters of the presented legends, myths or stories.  We created the site where we present the project: idea, partners, activities, results, disseminations, evaluation. It is the „diary” of our project.http://six4europe.webs.com After each project meeting our students wrote the online newspaper where they present legends, myth, stories, impressions, photos from the meeting. We have 6 edition of the online newspapers.

An optionally curricula:”A Piece of European Treasure” were developed, an this is a proposal for a new curricula using the new pedagogical approaches implemented in our project. A digitally collection of legends, myths and stories is the digital textbook for our proposal for optionally curricula (http://comeniuslegends.blogspot.ro /).  Using the experience gained after our ecological session, we created the green pedagogical portfolio, where we described some outdoor lesson using the new pedagogical approaches: learning through drama and ICT.The outcome of this activity is the green pedagogical portfolio (http://www.anpcdefp.ro/EST/product_show.php?id_ project=2008-1-RO1-COM06-00016-1&id_ product=19).

The Virtual Documentation Center is a production of our project where we collected materials regarding the proposal for new optionally curricula using a multidisciplinary approach (http://six4europe.webs.com/vdc.htm). The digital image on DVD of the Virtual Documentation Center created in the purpose to be used in the offline mode or into a mobile learning environment.

The activities from our partnership were:

  • A1. „Landing the project”:Students prepared posters and press releases to promote the project in school/community. Icebreaking games were organised on the project’s forum board. All teams prepared the legends to be presented in the 1st project meeting.
  • A2. „Modern and traditional into the teaching methods”: Start building the pedagogical blog; preliminary debates regarding the new approaches used in the project.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a02.docx)
  • A3. „Journey to Greece”-the first project meeting.There were 7 days of a complex learning activities:outdoor games,ecological and historical lessons,learning through drama lessons combined with ICT.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a03.docx)
  • A4. „Comenius Corner” – we prepared an exhibition with photos, photo collages and reports after our 1st project meeting.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a04.docx)
  • A5. e-Journalism: “Traveling Greece Through Its legends”. We collect all the materials from all partners; we created the template of the newspaper, and we produced also a printable version (http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a05.docx)
  • A6. „First gathering of materials”-We started to create the web-site of the project; students started to build their online portfolios. Teachers prepared their pedagogical articles. (http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a06.docx)
  • A7.”Journey to Italy” – the 2nd project meeting. There were 7 days of a complex learning activities:outdoor teaching of historical lessons, learning through drama lessons combined with ICT.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a07.docx)
  • A8. e-Journalism: “Traveling Italy Through Its legends”. We collect all the materials from all partners; we created the template of the newspaper,and we produced also a printable version (http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a08.docx)
  • A9.Comenius Corner & Online Portfolios: students added new information in the school’s Comenius Corner and in their online portfolios.(http://portofoliionline.webs.com/)
  • A10.”Journey to Poland”- the 3rd project meeting.There were 7 days of a complex learning activities:outdoor games, ecological and historical lessons, learning through drama lessons combined with ICT.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a10.docx)
  • A11. e-Journalism: “Traveling Poland Through Its legends”. We collect all the materials from all partners; we created the template of the newspaper, and we produced also a printable version (http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a11.docx)
  • A12. „Preparing the show”: -During the summer vacation the students finalized the Romanian contribution at the scenario which will be used to produce,in Romania, the final artistic moments on the theme “Journey through European Legends” .
  • A13.”How to make a green trip”: outdoor education;this was a 1 day field trip around Pecica. It was prepared with the help of our associated partners. This was a good practice example to be presented in the next project meeting from Turkey.
  • A14. Preparing the green pedagogical portfolio (http://six4europe.webs.com/Outdoor Good Practice .pdf)
  • A15. „Journey to Turkey”-the 4th project meeting. There were 7 days of acomplex learning activities:outdoor games, ecological and historical lessons, learning through drama lessons combined with ICT.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a14.docx)
  • A16. e-Journalism: “Traveling Turkey Through Its legends”. We collect all the materials from all partners; we created the template of the newspaper, and we produced also a printable version (http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a15.docx)
  • A17.”Learning through drama ” approach – collecting essays, good practice examples, e-books on the pedagogical blog http://euro-schools.blogspot.com/ .
  • A18. Virtual Neighbour – On-line collaboration in the classroom: Online lesson Romania-Greece on the topic „Romania into the Greek History Book” (http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Rapoarte a09.docx)
  • A19. „Journey to Spain”-the 5th project meeting. There were 7 days of a complex learning activities:outdoor games, ecological and historical
    lessons, learning through drama lessons combined with ICT.(http://six4europe.webs.com/Rapoarte/Raport Spania Simo)
  • A20. e-Journalism: “Traveling Spain Through Its legends”. We collect all the materials from all partners; we created the template of the newspaper, and we produced also a printable version (http://romenius.webs.com/Rapoarte a18.docx)
  • A21. Final preparation – On-line web rehearse: the coordinators were established the last detatils regarding the show (costumes, script, scenography, songs, dances, posters) which will be realised during the project meeting from Romania, in May 2010.
  • A22. „Journey to Romania”-the 6th project meeting. They were 7 days of a complex learning activities:outdoor games, ecological and historical lessons, learning through drama lessons combined with ICT.(http://romenius.webs.com/Rapoarte%20a20.pdf)
  • A23. The final show „Learning Europe Through Legends” was a good opportunity to evaluate all the knowledge gained during the 2 years of the project. It was also a good opportunity to disseminate the project into the local community.
  • A24. e-Journalism: “Traveling Romania Through Its legends”. We collect all the materials from all partners; we created the template of the newspaper,and we produced also a printable version (http://romenius.webs.com/Rapoarte%20a21.pdf)
  • A25. Optionally curricula: using the materials developed during this project, we create a proposal for an optionally curricula. (http://euro-schools.blogspot.com/2010/07/proposal-for-optional-curricullum.html)
  • A26.The textbook for the previous curricula is the digital brochure with the entire collection of our myths, stories and legends. (http://comenius-legends.blogspot.com/)
  • A27. The Virtual Documentation Center – this is a collection of links to each schools’ portfolio.(http://six4europe.webs.com/vdc.htm). It is an auxiliary material for the optionally curricula.

The outcomes of the project can be used in the future to teach:

  • geography of partners’ countries
  • history of the partners’ countries
  • culture of different countries
  • stereotypes of different countries
  • linguistic expressions
  • legends and stories from different countries
  • connection between different legends
  • music and dances from different countries

We created a proposal for an optionally curricula, where we offered where both pedagogical and methodological support. During our partnership, we put everything we prepared on our web-site. It contains almost everything we did during the project. If someone needs some ideas on new teaching methods, he can easily find our articles in our pedagogical blog under the name of Teacher’s Corner. If they are interested in legends they can find many of them in our site, besides they can learn many things about other countries and their culture. Furthermore, people who starts a new partnership can find answers to their questions by looking over our web-site. It can give them some clues on which way to follow.

Details about the number of participants from your institution involved in partnership activities and mobilities.

detalii statistice

We notice an increase of students’ willing of implication in realization of extracurricular activities, especially when those activities where Comenius project’s activities. The two years of the project has passed quickly. Meanwhile together with other teachers from our school and of course dozens of students we have made many fine presentations, posters, films, exhibitions and displays. It gave to our students a lot of pleasure to cooperate with so many people at the same time and cope with some problems. In the beginning, students did not know what the project activities would exactly consist of; because of this, they only expected to make some Power Point presentations. They did not expect to learn many things of the new technologies of information and communication (ICT). As the project developed and we started to work on it and we enjoyed our meetings in the different countries, all of us agreed in the fact that this kind of activity really promotes what we were looking for. Students became more aware of their linguistic abilities. They managed to communicate with partners from other countries. They made friends with their partners. It helped them to realize that we are from different cultures, so they could notice differences but also similarities between themselves. They often communicated online, so they improved their IT skills. We also noticed a significant increase of the willing of implication in realization of extracurricular activities, and an enhance of the pupils’interest to keep the national and the local traditional values as European values.

The staff from our school is highly interested to manage to find new opportunities to develop cultural and social exchanges at national level but also with other European countries. More teachers were involved into a project, so we started cooperating with ourselves. We organized special extra classes to realize the tasks of the project. We became more aware of differences between schools all over the Europe. Thanks to the project, we had a chance to experience new teaching methods and saw that they are really effective, especially outdoor method. At the end of our project we can proudly say that we managed to increase our language skills, ICT skills, social skills, motivation to learn new things and creativeness, self-confidence, and knowledge about partner countries and cultures. We could improve our historical, geographical and cultural knowledge just by having fun thanks to our activities and managed to develop the national and European affiliation. We notices a significant change at the school’s level, change made through the activation of the new teaching and evaluation method in the teaching process.

We noticed a change in our schools’ images. The management board of each school offered a real emotional support and encouraged the Comenius project development. Now, we have new experiences to share in our school, and we are ready to promote the benefits of „sharing a lifetime experience” into a European context. And, off course, we are ready for new future European LLP experiences.During the project’s activities we notice a better communication between school and parents, a consolidation of relationship between parents and school. We notice also an engaging of the positive relationships between local community and people from other European cultures.Parents became more interested in the school life. They were active involved in some certain activities from our project. During our project meeting abroad, they had the chance to adopt for a short while students with different cultures and mentalities. Now, each students who has made a mobility is convinced that he has a family abroad. The local administrative board hosted for a while the Comenius family in an official frame; in this way, our schools became the forefront of our local communities, and we, as organisation noticed an increasement of the implication of local authorities to support the school life. During the project, we sometimes needed some materials like posters, maps, brochures, booklets, videos, etc. to introduce our city and country better. In this context, we got help from our municipality, museum and tourism agencies. It’s a very good idea of introducing such projects into a school life. It changes the school totally. It involves more work, however results are great. Students are more willing to learn a language. Teachers can meet new pedagogical methods, school systems, school documentation.

We realised the dissemination at school level by building the Comenius Corner, and at local level by publishing article into the local newspapers, and television. At national level we consider as excellent the idea of Romanian NA to build the mailing list, in this way we had the chance to disseminate our project into other schools. In 2009 we organised Comenius Week in our school where we presented the activities and the result of our Comenius project. Creating the online-diary of the project (http://six4europe.webs.com) this was also an opportunity to disseminate our Comenius activities. Besides their online portfolios, students disseminate the project by creating events, uploading photos and chatting about the „European Journey Through Legends” on their Facebook pages (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=67389725125) .

We wish to thank N.A. for the professional and prompt advice that has given us in the period of writing the application form and during project implementation. The information meetings (Cluj Napoca 2008, and Bucharest 2010) that we attended provided useful information for us and our partners. This fact is very encouraging for us to try to gain new European grants for our school.


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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