Bulgaria – Kalina Vlaycheva, Emil Berov
Our school is a secondary school with a strong specialization in foreign languages – English, French and German. All students study two languages – a primary, based on their choice from the three languages, and a secondary which again they choose from the three. The curriculum is very competitive. There are about 1200 students enrolled. The city of Stara Zagora is centrally located and is traditionally a business and trade centre with hundreds of different companies, many of which deal with foreign partners. Since the fall of communism industry has changed significantly but the need for qualified young professionals has been growing every year since most of our students find work in the capital or abroad. Understanding the need to build our local community and motivate our students to return to work in Stara Zagora, we see this project as a way to do this through their focusing on the local problems. It is a common goal for our school’s community – teachers, students and parents – to be able to receive education that is adequate to the current requirements of both the academic and professional worlds. Therefore our students seek to get advanced language training and also solid basis in other subjects such as mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, history. This preparation is further developed by international programmes such as student exchanges as this provides the chance for becoming aware of culture and mutual understanding and in turn this helps young people be enthusiastic about studying/ working in an international environment in the future. The key people in charge of the project will be a key group of teachers (assisted by their students), which will have one coordinator. In case persons leave their post in the future, this system provides that one of the other teachers in the key group can overtake the position as the coordinator of the project. The group will consist of 4 teachers, and 4 other teachers will also have tasks so that they are able to jump in the key group when the situation asks for it. Due to the change in Bulgaria’s laws in school education, namely dividing high school education in two parts – grades 8-10 and grades 11-12, our school, among others, has the goal to search for new specialized programmes for the second stage. Participating in this project will provide us with both practical knowledge and ideas from our foreign partners in what we can offer to our future students. Furthermore, the new approach to learning that the project methodology involves will serve as a starting point to developing an innovative programme, which will be in accordance with both the new law and the European directives in terms of methodology, knowledge and skills.
Sweden – Jannice Larsson, Anna Magnusson
Our school (Sundsvalls Gymnasium) is situated in the heart of Sundsvall. It is a secondary school and divided in different units, in total almost 2300 students attending. Hedbergska is one unit and around 1000 students are attending to six different programs. There are around 120 members in staff, all with different roles, like teachers, nurses, social workers, administrators and so forth. The staff and students attending to this project are all members of the social science program. In our school we believe in the words: It is important when it is for real. The meaning is that when the students get to do something that makes a difference for real not just in theory, the learning increases. This type of project is an excellent example in our pursuit of meeting this goal. Since our school has participated in this type of project earlier, we have also observed the good effects it has had for our students, both in terms of motivation and knowledge as well as development, and to collaborate with others. School will form a key-group in which one person will be in charge. The person in charge isdoing her first project, however in the key-group there will be three teachers with great experience in those kind of projects. Furthermore the principal has been involved in the work of this project from the very beginning, so he are fully aware of the content, and what is expected from all. All staff members are also positive over projects like these and always helps out in any way they can. If the key-person of some reason leave her post, there are at least three other teachers in key-group who can and will take over her role. The theme of this project involve issues as sustainable environment and one teacher in our program is an expert in this field, from a natural science perspective. In addition, we have experts in this area from a social science perspective. Furthermore, school has good connections with the local university, and will involve them. There are also many members of the staff that will contribute with their special fields during exchange, like receiving students in their classes, or helping out with practical things. All of us also have a broad net of contacts which helps us to disseminate the results of the project.
Netherlands – Juanita van Montfort, Diana Heemels
Bisschoppelijk College Broekhin is a school in which the welfare of the pupil comes first. Situated in rural Limburg, a province in the south-east of the Netherlands, renowned for its picturesque landscape and friendly people, B.C. Broekhin provides secondary education to pupils over three locations: Roermond, Swalmen and Reuver. In Roermond, our main location, 1650 pupils in the 1119 age group are educated according to their aptitude. Here we have four educational departments, ranging from pre-vocational education to pre-university Atheneum/Gymnasium /TTO (second language education) level. Apart from offering quality education, one of our highest priorities lies in communicating the norms and values necessary in a modern society. Our school has many international contacts, each year around 300 pupils take part in international exchanges, study visits or projects. We believe that values such as self-discipline, compassion and respect for other people’s ideas are all central to the healthy development of children and young adults. The Netherlands is of course a small country. However, it has always been able to adapt to the demands made on it, particularly by a changing Europe. The key people in charge of the project will be a key group of teachers ( assisted by their students), which will have one coordinator. Furthermore the coordinator of internationalization will have the overview. In case persons leave their post in the future, this system provides that one of the other teachers in the key group can overtake the position as the coordinator of the project. The group will exist of 5 teachers, and 5 other teachers will also have tasks so that they are able to jump in the key group when the situation asks for it. Our school has implemented elements of personalized learning and problem based learning in the curriculum. Therefor, we have experts in our organization who can contribute to this project and its way of working. Furthermore, we have many contacts that we can use for their experience and to disseminate this project, such as organizations, experts, companies and universities.
7th Lyceum of Heraklion, Crete Island, Greece – Maria Schoinaraki
Our school is a secondary high school which is located in Giofyros, a working suburb of Heraklion. The school mostly provides a general education to pupils from 15-18 years. Since the age of sixteen our students follow a more specific and intense specialization in three different subjects/faculties, literature and social sciences, economy and new technologies, mathematics and science. The preferred faculty is being decided by the students alongside their parents. There are about 400 students enrolled. The city of Heraklion is the biggest of Crete, a business and trade centre and a tourist destination for people from all over the world. Also, there is a significant agricultural production in the rural areas of the city. Products, such as raisins, grapes, wines, olives, vegetables and olive oil are produced and contribute on the income. The goal of our school community is to provide a solid education to our students in order to make them capable for academic studies. At the same time our school community seeks to give to our students the proper equipment for professions. In order to succeed these goals our school community is looking forward to collaborate on a stable basis with schools of the vaster European continent and EU. The people in charge of the project will be a key group of ten teachers, which will have one coordinator. In case persons leave their post in the future, one of the other teachers in the key group will take over as the coordinator of the project. Five teachers will be the heart of the group and theother five teachers will also have tasks and gain experience in order to be able to take responsibilities in case it is asked. During the last years Greek society is facing a tremendous and severe crisis. Alongside our local community is facing the impact of this crisis and is trying to recover and heal its wounds. The demand of social and economic change of Greece passes through the modernization of our educational system, the collaboration with European partners, the fully personalized learning, the adoption of modern educational methods and tools for the increase of the opportunities and the overpass of the crisis. In order to supply our students with the proper equipment it is absolutely necessary to participate actively in such projects, as the recommended. In addition, our school community is dealing also with the situation of the presence of newcomers and immigrants who absolutely should receive our help and find ways to incorporate them in our society. This is information and experience that other schools can use. We can show directly one of the biggest local problems in nowadays society. By participating in a European project we hope that we will deliver successfully our goals and we will achieve the minimum social consensus.