This project makes a contribution to achieve the European Goals for Education and Training 2020. They highlight as a priority the “Promotion of groups of people of less favoured areas with less opportunities, aiming the equity and inclusion”, encouraging the development of skills in the following areas: writing, reading, maths and ICT, as well as the autonomous development of learning and teaching/learning resources.
To think Education and Training in an European context requires the understanding to where we want to go and what we want to achieve. However to “make” Education and Training within an educational organization context means to understand to whom are we working for and what they want to achieve in the future.
Inspired by the book “To Kill a Mockingbird“ a novel by Harper Lee, where the author thinks about “racial injustice and the destruction of innocence addressing issues of class courage, compassion, and gender roles, lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice”, we find the common thread of our project. We intend that education would be more inclusive, more comprehensive and more meaningful, so that it could be a real mean of social promotion, contributing to the decrease of early school leaving.
The social inclusion of young people we meet regularly in our schools proceeding from “minorities” such as different ethnic backgrounds, youngsters from less favoured areas or even abandoned by emigrant parents searching for better life conditions, can only occur when the community recognise them and in their turn they have the confidence to show themselves sharing with their peers their differences.
In this relationship of recognition and acceptance of the other there is a learning process in two ways formal and informal learning, inside and outside the classroom. Therefore it is urgent to enable the teachers aiming the use of new pedagogic methodologies to achieve their success.
The exchange of the youngsters with whom we will work will allow the sharing of their “worlds” with other young people from other communities, developing therefore, social, civic, intercultural skills.
This is a very important contribution to the acceptance of the difference and it will also develop an important role to avoid discrimination, segregation, racism, bullying and violence. These youngsters also develop skills that contribute to an “integration of belonging” in their communities.
Social Inclusion has been during the last few years a compelling challenge for the school, therefore teachers and educators need to have new approaches in what concerns learning and educational success. Sharing experiences and the cooperative work that will be enrolled during the project will allow the professional development of all participants.
Within this project we intend:
– To boost among the involved youngsters the experience of sharing their cultures, the challenges they face for being different. This will allow them to develop social, civic and intercultural skills.
– To foster the critical thinking and the literacy with the help of new technologies (ICT) developing, thus, the resilience to discrimination, to violence and to segregation.
– To enable that the different learnings will be real, sustainable and with mean, motivating them to new academic paths, contributing, this way, to the reduction of the rates of early school leaving and to the raise of the academic qualifications which will enable them to work better and in better conditions, qualifying them to the job market.
– To involve them in the English language, which not only will allow them to express themselves better in their communities (in the case where this is the second language) but also to raise their expectations in what concerns their integration in the job market and making easier their mobility in the European space.
– To raise awareness in the educational community of the involved schools to the addressing issue of “the different” and to the necessity of raising a pedagogic environment which benefit the sharing, the learning with the other, the cooperative work, the development of the critical thinking and the use of the new technologies as a privileged mean of access and share information.
In what respects the teachers involved in the project it is intended that in the various workshops that will take place along with the pears and with the involvement of the students, they exchange pedagogic instruments that highlights several learning processes and work methodologies which encourage the students to seek more knowledge.