Saturday, 13 May 2017

The project

The three year project "LEADING LIGHTS" aims to shine a spotlight on some of the many forms of discrimination that are increasingly casting a shadow across Europe and contributing to disparities in learning outcomes and life chances. The main purpose of this project is to challenge the younger generation to contemplate on identities and prejudices, to raise students’ awareness on equality and racism, especially in the light of the current refugee crisis, to learn about the forms of discrimination, and to become active citizens by collaborating to combat this in all its forms . 

The project brings together schools who are right at the edge of Europe including several who are even on another continent, those that are experiencing the refugee crisis as a daily reality and those that are very far removed from it in a unique collaboration.

"Leading Lights" is a developing project which focuses on different aspects of equality over a three-year period:
  • Year one: Tuning into Equality Challenges 
  • Year two: Celebrating Difference
  • Year three: Reaching a Helping Hand
Participating organisations:

Priorities of the project:
  • Horizontal: inclusive education, training and youth
  • School Education: strengthening the profile of the teaching professions
The most relevant topics adressed by the project:
  • inclusion-equity
  • migrants issues
  • new innovative educational methods
Key objectives of the project  are:

 a) to create opportunities for all students to develop as active, autonomous citizens, in accordance with their capacities and educational needs;

 b) to broaden teachers' professional development by the  sharing and   adoption of innovative pedagogical approaches aimed at promoting the educational success of all students . 

The students will get the opportunity to develop their understanding of what it means to be a European citizen, to meet and work with friends across Europe, including those from very disadvantaged backgrounds, on an exciting and meaningful project. Within the project and its mobilities students will participate in various activities, create several products and exchange views and experiences. They will all have the opportunity to be actively involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of project activities throughout the duration of the project. They will express themselves through various creative means (photography, drama, music, paintings, digital art, and writing), the use of media (presentations, articles, interviews, coverage, films) and sciences (researches, studies). In addition, they will develop their creativity, originality, competitiveness and team spirit. Those that find themselves in a minority in their own schools will discover their equivalents in some of the other partner schools and realize that there is a strength in working together to raise awareness of all forms of discrimination. 
The students will learn how to work collaboratively on a project of data and research. ICT will be widely used to process digital files (photos, audio and video files) and various presentations, videos, posters, brochures and leaflets. 

Bridging the gap between school and the outside world, the students' engagement in the project will contribute to the promotion of a positive stance towards school and learning, thus playing an important role in their personal and academic growth.

We intend that the students gain the following competences through the project: 
1) sense of initiative; 
2) the ability to speak foreign languages; 
3) social and civic competences; 
4) IT skills; 
5) capacity to learn to learn; 
6) cultural awareness and expression.

The exchange of innovative , creative and inclusive teaching practices between the teachers of the partner schools will lead to the most relevant of these being adapted and adopted in the other schools thus contributing greatly to teacher professional development and improving the quality of teaching and learning outcomes for all students.

The quality of teaching and learning in all schools involved will be improved through the sharing of innovative, creative and inclusive pedagogical approaches between the partner institutions and other relevant organizations. 

Expected impact on the participants

The activities supported under this project are expected to bring positive and long-lasting effects on the participating schools, on the policy systems in which such activities are framed as well as on the persons directly or indirectly involved in the organised activities. This project is expected to result in the development and implementation of innovative practices at organisational, local and European levels.

Secondly, this project will give us the opportunity to learn from other educative systems their innovative and effective strategies such as promoting learner autonomy  and other  examples of good practice when dealing with motivating and supporting vulnerable students with fewer opportunities to acquire basic skills to surmount their difficulties and achieve successful academic performances and complete social integration.
Thirdly, the students will be equipped with competences to design and execute their own projects. They will also learn and practice to reflect, to use creative skills, to take a critical stand, to formulate their experiences, to resist social pressure, to change their attitudes, to make independent judgments and to take responsibility for their own behaviour. They will gain a better understanding of their own identities and cultures through sharing these with others and also develop self-respect and confidence. They will be provided with authentic contexts for developing modern foreign language skills. All these  will stand them in good stead when it comes to seeking  employment. 

There will be a total of six meetings, two meetings in the category of transnational meetings and four meetings in the category of learning/teaching/training activities:

Year 1, Tuning into Equality Challenges: 
  • Teachers' meeting in Italy, October 2016.
  • Teacher Student meeting in Melilla, Spain, spring 2017.

Year 2, Celebrating Difference:
  • Teacher Student meeting in Braga, Portugal, fall 2017.
  • Teacher meeting in La Reunion, spring 2018.

Year 3, Reaching Out a Helping Hand:
  • Teacher Student meeting in Wales, October 2018.
  • Teacher Student meeting in Oulu, Finland, spring 2019.

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