Peace and respect to diversity are core value of the European Union and fundamental to the development of the individual and to ensuring social cohesion and societal wellfare. The challenging political and social context in Europe highlights the necessity of placing greater emphasis on the acquisition of the positive, life affirming values European citizenship encompasses, such as respect for human rights, tolerance, active non-violence, cooperation and social responsibility.
The project’s main goal is to promote empowerment, participation, active citizenship and social cohesion, through fostering specific individual attitudes and behaviors, such as trust, respect for others, confidence in the causal relationship of individual effort – personal success and fulfillment – societal welfare, thus empowering young people and promoting inclusive education and tolerance.
Teaching transversal competences however, requires a cross–curricular approach, which in its turn requires, trainers and youth workers, not only to change the way they traditionally work, but also demands increased cross–disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration on developing appropriate training methodologies and agreeing specific learning outcomes.
The project will involve around 700 direct and indirect participants through the different activities and tools, composed of youth workers, trainers and young people.
The most important results to be achieved during the project and on its completion are the following:
1. The Learning matrix which will complete in depth analysis of the current state of the art in partner countries, consult the views of youth workers and young people in the issues subject to the project, and finalize the methodological framework of the educational programme, encompassing the awareness – knowledge – skill dimensions, as well as content, quality and combination of approaches, tools and media to be used in adressing each of the above stated dimensions of learning .
2. The EVER Training Course for Teachers, which will provide them with the necessary preparation to implement the learning methodology in the classroom.
3 A multilingual educational web platform will be created, where all the outputs of the project will be uploaded, and accessible to the public in engaging and interactive form.
4. A training kit containing two training resources that will be produced in both printed and electronic form, in order to allow large use of the training methodology, and equip teachers and teducators with the necessary tools and approaches to implement it.
5. A series of international training events for teachers and youth workers will be also implemented in order to directly train the target group representatives from one side, and to continuously monitor, evaluate and improve the methodology with regards to the results achieved during the trainings, and the participants feedback.
Ever - Schools Learning Matrix
The main objective of the Ever - Schools project is to create a complete learning resource on core values education in order to foster in children and young people the values, attitudes and skills leading to peace, respect for diversity and societal welfare. In order for us to achieve this task, we need to evaluate the level of integration of the corresponding attitudes/values, knowledge and skills in the existing school curricula throughout the different national systems.
The learning matrix will be composed of the following elements:
The European Report on Values Education, which will analyse and examine the existing European policies, strategies, legislative documents, recommendations, competence frameworks, pedagogical tools etc., which will help us to understand to what extent a unified approach to values education is defined, how and through which mechanisms is it implemented, which are the responsible bodies, as well as the mechanisms for their implementation.
The National Reports on Values Education, will be carried out in each participating country (Bulgaria, France, italy, Portugal, and Poland), and will allow us to gain a better understanding of the structures of the national educational systems in the participating coutnries; whether values education is part of the official curricula, and the ways it is integrated; what pedagogical tools are available, and what pedagogical approaches are used.
Surveys will be carried out accross the target groups(teachers, students and school administrators), with the objective to receive their feedback on the state of the art in the participating countries, as well as on what more needs to be done in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning methodologies and approaches in the concerned field.
Based on the findings of the above described studies, we will be able to build the Knowledge/skills/Attiutes/Values (KSA/Vs) framework, which will serve as basis for the curriculum to be designed later.
The EVER Training Course
The project plans to develop an innovative training course, focusing on fostering specific individual attitudes and behaviors, such as trust, respect for others, confidence in the causal relationship of individual effort - personal success and fulfillment – societal welfare, thus empowering young people and promoting inclusive education and social cohesion and tolerance.
The tools and methods were chosen in order to encompass the three major dimensions of acquiring cultural competences in education and training (Pope, Reynolds, and Mueller 2004, Pedersen & Connerley, 2005): Awareness – Knowledge – Skill.
Awareness and Knowledge Dimension: The culture of division, symbolized by “the Wall”, is built upon forms of discourse lacking logical consistency and causality, as well as communicational approaches avoiding or overtly banning comparison to evidence. The mechanisms behind these will be “thought” in depth during this stage, deconstructing semantically the basic notions they are built upon, and analyzing their use both in the contexts of the recent past marked by the presence of the past walls, and of the current crisises where new walls are being built. In order to achieve in depth and multifaceted perspective on the “Cultures behind Walls” this category will be composed of awareness raising activities, and activities leading to new knowledge generation such as : case study examinations, from both historical periods and contemporary Europe, debates and discussions around the module’s topic. case studies from their respective country from 20th century histort, in relation to the topic of discussion each module introduces. Thought provoking and challenging questions will be featured in order to lead the participants to (re-)establish connections among individual, local, national and international occurrences from one hand, as well as between historical and contemporary occurrences, leading to greater awareness and increased knowledge of the interconnectedness of individual attitudes and collective welfare, thus the importance of individual choices and behaviors.
Skill Dimension: this phase will be dedicated to exploring individual values and beliefs in social interactions and cooperative problem solving. The activity will lead participants to experience the impact of the choices that we make, which affect others and the choices others make that affect us. It’s aim is to practically demonstrate the implications and consequences of the scope of application of moral and ethical norms and of positive values. This phase is based on game theory and recent developments of its practical application in learning/ training activities. The games are based on potential real life situations in accordance with the different module topics. The activities will be designed on the basis of the classic volunteer’s dilemma, public goods, coordination, minority, pirate, peace/war games etc., as they all promote and demonstrate the necessity of positive values and transversal skills, such as trust, respect, social responsibility, cooperation, individual effort and team work, conflict resolution, strategic planning etc.
Reflection and Evaluation Dimension: is dedicated to an exercise on dialogue, inspired by D. Bohm’s approach, where participants are invited to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings about the previous days, but debates and attempts to make a point or convince others in any way, are banned as well as reactions to statements made during the exercise. The deviation from the Bohmian approach consists in introducing discussion themes by the group leader. The topics for the dialogue for each module are specifically designed to invite the participants to reflect on individual values and behaviors’ impact on larger scale phenomena.
The EVER Online Platform
A specifically designed multilingual web portal (all partners languages+english) , where up-to date information, detailed calendar and program of the project events and trainings, a discussion board and all tangible results will regularly be published. All of the training courses and pedagogical materials will also be accessible through the platform after user registration.
The web portal will provide regular up–to date information, as well as social media tools and blog facility resources to support sustainable dialogue and exchange within the network and with the general public. Moreover, as the project’s main activities are centered around the establishment of educational tools, targeted to different potential users, a “What is there for me?” section will be created too on the website. It will be broken down in respect to the different target groups and will contain specific explanatory articles, discussion topics, announcements and news addressing each of them. It will also contain thematic discussion boards and feedback forms.
The web portal will serve also as a free open database of educational materials and tools with directly downloadable resources in various formats (text, images, videos, multimedia).
The EVER training Kit
The "EVER training kit" will be composed of a teachers’ manual and a teachers’guide, that will allow for the training to be replicated for any formal or informal training, by any teacher or youth worker or group of professionals. It will also be made available online through the EVER learning platform.
It will be developed during the entire lifetime of the project and it will contain the training developed previously and is directly linked to the series of training events to be organized within the project.
The training kit will contain the entire training system to be developed under the project. In order to make it the most useful and user friendly it will be structured as follows:
* Aims of project
* Learning matrix
* The Complete Training system:
– The Awareness – Knowledge – Skill dimensions of learning
– Training modules
* Link with other EU projects, initiatives
* Case studies
To make it accessible to greater ranges of audiences, it will be produced in English, plus all other partners’ languages; for the same reason it will be made available through the web portal in electronic form and hard copies will be produced (100 for each linguistic version) to be distributed among the major European, national and local stakeholders.