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Overcoming and Breaking Stereotypes: Looking for social cohesion in Europe
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015, Date de fin: 31 août 2018 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

"Overcoming and Breaking Stereotypes: Looking for social cohesion in Europe" Three-year project Erasmus+, Strategic Partnerships for school education Our students face the challenge of the European continent coalescing on the political, economic, social and ecological levels and to contribute to its forming. This coalescence of the varied cultures and ethnic groups of Europe has changed the manner of coexistence in society. This process is also reflected in every-day life and in the classrooms of all the partner schools. It poses a significant challenge of great priority to schools all across Europe when taking the tendencies for scepticism concerning European developments of many citizens into account. Frequently, thoughts and actions of adolescents conntected to this process are shaped by stereotypes, concerning their views of themselves as well as people perceived as "the others", which are partially acquired from the parental household or learned through socialization in each ethnic group. Both ways of teinted views create barriers between people of different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds within the classroom and society. They also cause individual disadvantages, which have a negative effect on the atmosphere in the classrooms, especially for members of minorities affected by prejudices. Those students who see themselves judged by stereotypes or have a notion thereof, often lack self-esteem. This, as well as hubris fostered by stereotypes, can lead to a negative learning atmosphere in the classroom, a lack of social cohesion, insufficient identification, insecurity, a lack of motivation and often resignation concerning professional perspectives. This again can have negative effects when it comes to scholarly success and may even lead to early school leaving. It is, moreover, an obstacle to the development of an awareness of European citizenship, as well as an obstacle to build motivation and readiness to face up to the global job market. The schools have increasingly a special role: they have the task to help to raise awareness of stereotypes and prejudices and to analyze and overcome them. Therefore, the comparison of autostereotypes to the prevailing stereotypes in other countries concerning one's own culture will be a dominant topic in our project. In addition, the partner schools are going to analyze the stereotypes about other cultures and the origin of stereotypical ways of thinking. Thus, the project will contribute constructively to European integration. Taking on this task are schools from Munich (Germany), Turin (Italy), Talavera de la Reina (Spain), Rovinj (Croatia) and Slupsk (Poland). Because these countries lie in Southern, Central, Western, and Eastern Europe and each partner school has a large amount of students with immigrant backgrounds – albeit respectively from various culture circles and starkly varied through immigration patterns or through historical development – different views and prejudices prevail at each partner school. The students of the partner schools should break open, reflect on, change, and dismantle their stereotypical images, thoughts and actions and seek a new attitude. They will accomplish this hands-on in instructional cooperation on the virtual level, for example, as well as at specific meetings within partnership conferences with students and teachers from all partner schools. These conferences will take place on a rotating yearly basis at a partner school as a workshop on a special topic including speakers and excursions. Consequently, self-confidence, a positive learning environment, social cohesion, greater identification with the school and its surroundings, motivation to education, learning and lifelong learning will be created. This positively affects school success and hinders early school leavingrates. This, moreover, also promotes and strengthens the development of an awareness of European citizenship and the readiness to face up to a global job market. In the project many various products will be developed such as films, plays, flyers, topic T-shirts, and a project website, but also a permanently accessible public database will be built, “Overcoming and breaking stereotypes”, in which teaching units and e-learning units – which will also be created in the project – will be uploaded. Moreover, the concept “Overcoming and breaking stereotypes” will be the field of action in the school development of the partner schools, while the concept will also be introduced in the school handbooks as well as in the mission statements of the schools. These schools will ultimately be multiplicators for the ideas developed during the project. One school cannot accomplish this alone, but rather through the intensive cooperation with the schools abroad, which nevertheless for their part have the same call for action. Only then will the various perspectives be clear and the reflection of a distinct view be possible.

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