Bridges. Comenius Project

This project involves schools in Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Sweden and Italy.



PROJECT DESCRIPTION


SUMMARY

The main theme of the planned partnership is “Bridges”. Our aim is to symbolize the connection (bridge) between the East and the West, the North and the South; from the eastern border of Europe in Turkey and Poland over the heart of Europe (Czech Republic and Germany) to the most western part of Europe in Spain; from the northern part of Europe in Sweden towards a southern country - Italy. Europe is a union because of a basic consensus in many areas. In order to visualize this, our students are going to build a real bridge made of “stones” containing photos, posters, texts and other audio-visual multimedia materials.

The pillars of this bridge are made up of the features of each country in the following areas- history, culture, religion,economy and environment and last but not least sports. The pillars are connected by the international elements which are created by pupils that deal with international topics.

There are several principles of Europe connecting each country but each country also brings new elements enriching the life in Europe and thus the lives of all of us. Simultaneously, each country profits from Europe. When a European understands that s/he is a part of Europe and Europe is within him/her, all the prejudices, barriers and misunderstandings can be overcome and will hopefully disappear.

Europe has common historical roots, but through the ages numerous conflicts and wars disturbed coexistence. These discords peaked in two world wars. The European Union mends what has been broken. It unifies what belongs together. In our project we try to show this belonging together in a figurative way, so that students of all ages are able to understand that the European Union is not a conglomerate of differences but of variations of a single idea.


RATIONALE

Talking about a globalized world means to talk about mobility of people. We are educating pupils for a globalized world.

The cultural diversity is one of the great sources, which Europe can scoop from. In this context people bring their cultural heritage with them, no matter if they are tourists or migrants.

As we are part of this globalized world, our schools have to guide the pupils on their way to get to know their own culture in order to understand the others. So respect and tolerance will increase as well as mutual understanding.

Looking at our schools' profiles, they are examples of diversity regarding the students’ origins and environments:

- German partner is a semi-urban school with students from urban as well as rural areas; several migrants, mostly from Turkey.

- Spanish partner is also in a semi-urban area, next to a town that is an important pilgrimage site. The school has migrant students of several nationalities, mainly Latin Americans.

- Czech partner is also located in a semi-urban area, with several migrant students from Russia. As the town is a famous thermal spa, there is a cosmopolitan atmosphere with visitors from all over the world.

- Turkish partner is a metropolitan school in a multicultural context, bringing eastern and western heritage together.

- Polish partner is located in a small town between two big cities. Mainly rural and semi-urban students of which a big amount live with their relatives because their parents work abroad. Several migrant students, mainly from Russia and Germany.

-Swedish partner is a village school in a rural area. Migrant students from mainly Finland and the Balkan areas.

-Italian partner is a school in a semi-urban area focused on teaching foreign languages in connection with technical

The project is needed to help overcome and destroy prejudices, barriers and misunderstandings rooted in our societies. We want to show similarities and scoop from these. Furthermore we want to show that there are differences within the people and societies in Europe, but that this is not a problem at all. The opposite is true! We can actually learn from each other because of these differences. This diversity opens new ranges of visions for us and is the biggest advantage that we have in Europe. We as a group want to show this with our project.

Our motivation for this project consists of many things. First it is a very important thing to help students understand the different cultures of Europe. Intercultural learning is nowadays essential in every aspect of daily life. Secondly we want the students to experience first-hand encounters with learners from different countries.


PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY

The main theme of the planned partnership is “Bridges”. In order to make the symbol of a bridge concrete, our students are going to build a real bridge supported by five pillars made up of seven “stones” containing photos, posters, texts and other audio-visual multimedia materials.

The project will be started by a local logo competition, which will be held at the same time at all the participating schools before the first meeting. Creating the logo develops pupils’ creativity, motivates them to take an active part within the project. Via internet all pupils vote for the winner.


Phase1: (National part)

Prepare the national aspects for the international meetings. This part consists of audio-visual and multimedia presentation of the special topic of the meetings: Culture: National identity of your region; Religion: religious festivals;History: roots of European culture in ancient history; Sports: introducing different sports activities, Economy and Environment: Presenting examples of successful companies which can run their economy and protect the environment.


Phase 2: (International meetings)

Objective 1: Present the national material.

Objective 2: Mix the pupils within international groups and confront them with the following questions:

-Pillar culture: Give ideas to deal with regional heritage of Karlovy Vary in a globalized Europe? Create a poster!

-Pillar history: Europe - Quo vadis? Put the European roots together to create a vision of one multicultural society. The pupils make a collage.

-Pillar religion: pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostella: tourist info leaflet

-Pillar sports: Create a commercial for the European football championship 2012 in Poland and Ukraine: Sport as an element connecting people and nations

-Pillar economy and environment: Prepare a talk show: "Nuclear energy at the border to another European country: Yes or no?"


Phase 3: (International meeting in Istanbul.)

Celebrate the bridge by a play with the topic "Connecting people".

Our schools have to guide the pupils on their way to get to know their own culture in order to understand the others. So respect and tolerance will increase as well as mutual understanding.


The subjects we intend to address are:

-Cross-cultural dialogue about international topics.

-Accept and understand the diverse cultures represented in European society

-Cultural variety in Europe and common European roots

-Team-building pupils-teachers

-Sharing individual talents


RESULTS AND OUTCAMES


 No. Approx. date Description
 1 5/10/2011 to 7/10/2011 Meeting in Italy: only teachers to prepare the first meeting in the Czech Republic and adjust the plan of the project to the actually approved partners.
 210/10/2011
to 21/10/2011 
 Logo competition - held at the same time at all the participating schools. Creating the logo develops pupils’ creativity, motivates them to take an active part within the project and makes it possible to share their own idea.
 3 24/10/2011 to 4/11/2011 Internet vote for the logo competition: outcome: logo of the project "Bridges". The results will be published between 7 and 11th November.
 410/2011      to      11/2011
 Prepare the national parts of the topic "Culture" in the Czech Republic: "Give  Examples for National identity of your region!" Outcomes: multi-media Presentations and printed version to fix at the stones.
 5 5/12/2011  to   9/12/2011 Meeting in the Czech Republic-topic "Culture". Presentation of national parts; international workshop with the topic "Give ideas to deal with regional heritage of Karlovy Vary in a globalized Europe!"  Excursions to places of interest. Outcomes: Collage.
6
 12/2011     to      02/2012 Prepare the national parts of the pillar "Sports" for the presentations in Poland: "By introducing different sports activities, common values will be shared." Outcomes: multi-media presentations and printed version to fix at the stones. 
7
6/02/2012   to 10/02/2012
 Meeting in Poland - topic "Sports" during the Football European Championship. Presentation of national parts and international workshop with the topic "Create an EURO 2012 commercial!" Outcomes: commercial. 
 802/2012      to      04/2012
 Prepare the national parts of the pillar "Religion" for the presentations in Spain: "Religious festivals"; Outcomes: multi-media presentations and printed version to fix at the stones.
 916/04/2012 to 20/04/2012
 Meeting in Spain - topic "Religion". Presentation of the national parts; international workshop: "Create an information leaflet, in which we stress the multinational aspect of the pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostela!". Outcomes: Leaflet.
 10 09/2012 Prepare the national parts of the pillar "Economy and Environment" for the presentations in Germany: "Examples of some successful companies which can run their economy and protect the environment." Outcomes: multi-media presentations for the pillars.
11
 10/2012 Meeting in Germany - topic "Economy and Environment". Presentation of national parts and international workshop with the topic "Prepare a talk show with the topic Nuclear energy at the border to another European country: Yes or no?" Outcomes: Video.
12
01-02/2013
 Prepare the national parts of the pillar "History" for the presentations in Sweden: "One European root is related to ancient Greece"; Outcomes: multi-media presentations and printed version to fix at the stones.
 1303/2013
 Meeting in Sweden - topic History. Presentation of national parts and international workshop: "Europe - Quo vadis? Put the European roots together to create a vision of one multicultural society". Excursions to places of interest. Outcomes: Collage.
 1404/2013
 Prepare the international celebration of the Bridge in Istanbul: Outcomes: Each nation prepares a performance for the final meeting.
 15 04/2013 Each nation prepares one interconnecting element for Presentations in Istanbul.
 1605/2013
 Meeting in Turkey. The pillars brought from the other countries, are made again and the bridge is completed. Final celebration - speeches, performances, conclusion. Outcomes: Video, Bridge.



EUROPEAN ADDED VALUE

Connection between different cultures is not only an idea but a reality, since students and staff from the different partner schools will benefit from face-to-face encounters where they can exchange their particular points of view.

As far as each partner increases their knowledge about their own country, they also are learning about the others, and about the European Community as a whole. Creating the international bridge will impact each institution by enriching and enhancing historical,geographical,cultural,economic knowledge of the participating European countries.

It will also result in a practical lesson in values such as cooperation, tolerance, solidarity, respect…, which are so necessary in a world where things like xenophobia, racism, social isolation or intolerance are still to be eradicated.

The structure of our team, consisting of "experienced EU members", 1 "young one" and 1 applicant gives us a great opportunity to help bring the countries together and therefore unify Europe; show what the nations have in common, derive benefit from it and enrich our lives with the other nations' varieties.

Using the foreign language that the pupils are learning at school will make the foreign language a real means of communication. The pupils will become aware of the linguistic richness in the European Community, and of their capability to communicate despite the differences.

This project will arouse the interest of institutions like councils, education departments, etc., which means that they may organise events involving the social community. Thus the society as a whole can benefit from this cultural richness. Beside this the city partnership between Marktheidenfeld and Pobiedziska will be intensified.


The partnership will facilitate mobility to disadvantaged pupils who have little chance of travelling abroad.


IMPACT

As far as each partner increases their knowledge about their own country, they also are learning about the others, and about the European Community as a whole. Creating the international bridge will impact each institution by enriching and enhancing historical,geographical,cultural,economic knowledge of the participating European countries.

Each person increases his/her knowledge about their own country and learn about the other ones and the European Community as a whole.

It will also result in a practical lesson in values such as cooperation, tolerance, solidarity, respect…, which are so necessary in a world where things like xenophobia, racism, social isolation or intolerance are still to be eradicated.

Values such as cooperation, tolerance, solidarity, respect will be intensified.

Using the foreign languages that the pupils are learning at school will make the foreign languages real means of communication. Related to the previous point, the pupils will become aware of the linguistic richness in the European community, and of their capability to communicate despite the differences.

The partnership will facilitate mobility to disadvantaged pupils who have little chance of travelling abroad.