Experimental Senior High School of University of Macedonia
Address: Proin Stratopedo StrempeniotI, 56701 Neapoli, Thessaloniki
Project: Our voice is our power!
Working language during the project:
Themes of the Council of Europe campaign “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:
- Making children’s and students’ voices heard
- Addressing controversial issues
- Preventing violence and bullying
- Tackling discrimination
- Improving well-being at school
Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:
- Co-operation skills
Activities and creation of educational material.
Activities and creation of educational material [eg a radio show that was broadcast by a Greek national radio station (ERT3]) .
- Knowledge and critical understanding of the world:politics, law, human rights, culture, cultures, religions, history, media, economies, environment, sustainability
Activities and creation of videos and other educational material about human rights (anti-bullying), culture, cultures and history (Europe and other countries), environment.
Target group age range:
Level of education:
- Upper secondary education
Short description of the project:
This project focuses on the idea of active citizens in the European Union which was implemented in a Senior High School during the school year 2017-2018, within the framework of the "Ambassador School Programme", "Teachers 4 Europe" and eTwinning programmes. Two teachers of different specializations collaborated with students from all grades in order to foster their competences for democratic culture and become active citizens on themes such as human rights, democracy and environment. With the help of experiential techniques and technology, and with the motivation of some older videos and sites/blogs that the two teachers have created in previous years with their older students, they created some new videos, a radio show that was broadcast by a Greek national radio station, some new sites/blogs and other educational material.
Τhis project aimed to familiarise pupils with the European Union and the concept of active citizens in the European Union. It invited students and teachers to reflect on current problems (human rights, refugees, environmental problems, bullying, democratic & digital citizenship etc.) and act upon them as active citizens. Moreover, it created opportunities for social interaction of young people by fostering dialogue among students from different countries and developing a mutual understanding.
During the evaluation of the practice, the teachers observed that students: a) managed to successfully process and reformulate the information provided through the project, b) developed their decision-making ability, c) became familiar with modern technology, d) reinforced their active involvement.
The knowledge provided during the activity was related to real life, the protagonists being the students themselves: without their involvement, nothing could be accomplished, and no educational goal could be reached. Both the teachers and the students embraced different ways of perceiving and interpreting reality and committed themselves to using them. More particularly, the students were asked to talk about respect, religious notions and European values and to demonstrate what they can actually do with all they have learned, through their own work.
The project focused on active citizenship, migration, human rights, awareness of policies for migration, cultivating the interdisciplinary spirit among students and teachers, collaboration and resilience and learning the values of respect. The students discussed, criticized, became aware of the current situation and realized that we have to work together for a free, socially just and democratic Europe of the future that places its respect on the environment and humanity as its main priority.
Both the teachers and the students adopted such an attitude that enabled them to view the world in various different ways: to describe it, to interpret it, to check it, to experience it, to analyse it, to depict it, to reenact it. And all this was done in more ways than one, using various “languages”.
Acquired skills: educational material study, digital literacy, inclusion, cultivated empathy through activities, engaged problem solving, critical thinking, improved language skills and international collaboration, encouragement of interest in science, performance–based assessments.
Challenges you faced
The challenges that we faced were to enhance the understanding of students for the important role they play in interpreting the diversity of the "other" through a holistic approach of diversity through research, promotion and study of personal experiences, needs and desires of the students themselves.
As far as our school is concerned, the students were accepted after taking and passing a special examination or currently at random (with a draw) and, therefore, they do not necessarily come from the area around the school, but from various municipal districts. At the very beginning of the school year, an attempt has been made to detect and accommodate the various student learning styles by taking into account the students’ extracurricular activities.
Moreover, we have tried to cultivate European consciousness and identity through the active participation of pupils on European platforms and the empowerment of European values and the acquaintance with the religious, cultural and geographical diversity of Europe and the contact of students with its arts and culture, so that Europe can take a more meaningful approach, especially in the difficult times we are experiencing with fanaticism, nationalism and homogenization.
Finally, an attempt was made to exploit the pre-existing knowledge of pupils. The research hypothesis was that students would be better met in a familiar and popular interface (digital maps) and would feel closer to the new information and European values. Cartographer-students were asked to reconfigure the religious and cultural past of the people of Europe and link it to today.
Time-frame of the project:
During the school year 2017-2018 (some parts were created during the school years 2015-16 and 2016-17 and were used as educational material for the school year 2017-18)
Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:
- Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
- Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
- Addressing violence in schools through EDC/HRE
- All Different – All Equal
- Managing controversy
- Teaching controversial issues-training pack
- Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us – Charter for All
- Freedom(s) - Learning activities for secondary schools on the case law of the European
- How all Teachers Can Support EDC/HRE: A Framework for the Development of Competences
- Multimedia Material (ex. video “Beat Bullying”, series of cartoons “Democracy and Human Rights at School”, video “Corporal punishment at school: how two parents decided to change things”)
Additional material provided by the school
- Video creation about anti-bullying
- Debate organization about human rights.
- Video creation about the Symbols of the European Union
- Participation in the Professional Development Workshop (PDW), «Building the future of Europe through Cultural Heritage», Thessaloniki 19-21/4/2018
- Web conference with L. Antonakopoulos Head of Greek European Parliament Office and with a Junior-Senior High School of students with special needs in Panorama of Thessaloniki about European values.
- Creation of a site about Europe, its culture and digital mapping
- Digital maps of Europe (interscientific learning approach):
- Czech Republic
- Mount Athos
- Digital story “One minute is enough”
- Video creation about travelling in Europe and the culture of some European countries
- Participation in the European contest “‘Move2Learn, Learn2Move” and winning the National and European Quality Label and a trip to Cyprus (fostering inclusion awareness and travel carbon footprint).
- Digital writing
- Simulations of Parliament organization about human rights.
- Live broadcast (National Radio of Greece ERT3) with relevant topics
- Our Website about refugees-migrants
- Virtual museum: “Environmental migration through art”
- Activities: «If you were an environmental migrant...», “Conscience alley”, “Blind games”, “Immigrant for a day”.
- Cooperation with pupils from different countries.