|Sumár projektu:||In January 2018 teachers from Gladsaxe gymnasium, Denmark, Gymnazium Myjava, Slovakia and Lovisa gymnasium, Finland met in Slovakia to discuss engaging in a common Erasmus+ project together with Fjölbrautaskóli Norðurlands Vestra school that joined the meeting on skype. The meeting was a success and all four countries agreed on making a project together. All schools share a common concern about how their students slowly withdraw from a European identity and tend to roam in the same circles as their local peers, being more and more scared of embracing the differences of each other. With this in mind, we chose the theme of radicalism as the pivotal point for the two-year project period.
We agreed to having four mobilities where each school is responsible for preparing a mobility with focus on a sub-theme that is essential for understanding and fighting radicalism, namely: “prejudism and cultural inclusion”, “What is radicalism and how to fight it?”, “What are the factors that could make young people radical?” and finally, “Fake news and hoaxes”. The aim with the project is two-folded and deals with both empowering students to recognize and fight radicalism, but also to train teachers to recognize students that are at a risk of becoming radicalized and to obtain knowledge and tools to teach students about radicalism onwards.
Within all four mobilities the content is focussed on social skills, the cultural meeting and learning activities connected to radicalism. The reason for this focus is based on the view that radicalism thrives in cultures where open-mindedness and acceptance of differences is absent. By bringing our students together in a project with a concrete cultural meeting and a focus on social skills, we will obtain students with an open mind and empathy. This in combination with an ongoing learning process about what radicalism is, how to recognize it and how to fight it, will empower the students to fight radicalism. The focus on the four sub-themes within the mobilities is meant to create the learning process through a variety of methodologies such as expert-lectures, group discussions, visits to institutions that fight radicalism, concrete workshops to learn tools such as navigating on the social media and an array of products, e.g. films, presentations, digital folders, dramas, vlogs etc. All skills that are connected to general study skills that in combination with the working language being English with benefit the students in their academic life in general.
To ensure that the learning from mobility to mobility is passed on from student to student, but also disseminated in a larger scale, the students will have to make presentations for their peers and parents at parent meetings before mobilities. In that way, everyone will be prepared for the next mobility and giving a presentation helps in-depth learning. At the end of the project period, all participating students will make a self-elected product for the web-page to ensure a common understanding of the whole project.
Besides dissemination, the final product will be part of the evaluation of the knowledge that the students gain throughout the project. The small products during the mobilities and the presentations at the parents’ meetings will show what the students have learned, but it will also be interesting to see what they remember and choose to share at the end of the project, i.e. whether the aim of giving the students knowledge and tools to fight radicalism has been a success. To evaluate the personal development, we will introduce vlogs that the students have to make at each mobility. This tool will both help the students to reflect on what they experience, but can also help detect personal developments. In combination with this, a facebook group will be created where the students can interact and where the teachers can detect whether the students learn to accept each other’s differences and become friends. All these evaluations will be important tools for the teachers and guide them in how to work with radicalism in the coming years.
The potential longer term benefits of the project can be linked to the students, the teachers, the schools as organisations and the communities. First of all, the students will gain knowledge, skills and personal developments that will empower them to recognize and fight radicalism in the long run. Second of all, the teachers will develop new knowledge and teaching material about radicalism so they can help their students avoid being radicalized. Third, the schools as organizations will get better teachers, better students and gain expertise in internationalisation that can be used in the branding of the school. Lastly, the communities will get active young citizens that will help prevent radicalism and this will benefit minorities in all countries.