Learning with Europe
Date du début: 1 juin 2015,
Date de fin: 31 mai 2017
The Agrupamento de Escolas de Aljustrel is part of region in the deep Alentejo, in Portugal, that includes a wide geographical territory, mainly rural, and socially disadvantaged. Comprising 1100 students of all levels, and being the only school in this region, it was considered an Educational Territory of Priority Intervention in 2012 due to high school failure rates. In 2013, a new Board of Directors was elected and it was required to develop a more consistent and accurate self-assessment process, which allowed to know the weaknesses of the institution. It was found that improvement was necessary in the management and quality of education. There was also an almost general disinterest on the part of students towards school which, associated with the lack of personal expectations on the students part, became a strong conditioner of the teaching-learning process.
Alongside this, the discouragement of teachers deepened, partly justified by the low social esteem shown towards the profession and the consequent lack of working conditions. Thus, it is necessary to focus on innovation and modernization of mentalities and customs, which led to the completion of the application for this project.
It is intended that the Board of Direction acquires knowledge about other educational realities and school organizations, observing, in loco, how other organizational systems work, in order to implement new management methods which may be capable of solving the existing weaknesses in the present model or contribute to strengthen what is already successfully implemented.
It is also intended that a group of motivated teachers may acquire knowledge about the development of European projects, the management of relations with partners and the national agency, monitoring and evaluation, sustainability of projects and their disclosure, reporting, financial management and organization of the material for external audits.
It is also expected that teachers may improve their language skills, especially at the level of oral fluency, vocabulary and pronunciation and develop their ability to use English, feeling more empowered and confident to integrate projects with transnational partners. The training in new technologies intends that teachers acquire innovative and interactive teaching methods, develop new more creative and effective methodological approaches that motivate students to participate in the teaching / learning process and help fight failure and school dropout and improve skills in the use of information and communication technologies in the context of the classroom, in the development of activities to promote collaborative work.
To achieve these goals, 15 mobilities are proposed, in two years:
• for the elements of the Board of Directors, two types of activities: a job shadowing and a structured visit to schools and institutes with a seminar in Finland;
• for the development of European projects: three different structured courses for two teachers and an element of the Board of Directors; five structured courses of English language in two different countries, for teachers with different levels of proficiency (A2, B1 and B2); five courses in ICT that include the use of Moodle, educational games in the classroom and the development of Flash animations.
Participants will have to formalize an application, and will be selected by a committee of the School Pedagogical Council and a member of the Board of Directors. As selection criteria, the motivation to perform the training and the relevance it will have for the teaching activity will be considered. It will be also be evaluated the expected impacts and the project of dissemination of experiences gained. It will be expected that teachers participate on their own in this mobility, giving preference to teachers who are already affected to this school.
At the end of the project it is intended that there has been a development of the education agents' skills, achieved through the learning of new strategies and more innovative methodologies that allow the increase and improvement of educational success of our students; better language skills that will allow teachers to have more confidence in their communication skills, opening them to new diverse communicative models, where they will infer new knowledge, and tools which are applicable to their teaching, forecasting, once again, the motivation of students towards school attendance.
As evaluation of the project implementation, there should be an impact on students, bringing back their interest in school and studying, at the same time as there should be an increased sense of belonging to Europe. We also expect non-tangible effects on the ability of the school towards the civic construction of a European citizenship, providing its elements with a sense of European spirit.
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