All the partners involved in the project are facing complex educational contexts especially related to students at risk of exclusion (where the traditional way of teaching is no longer effective) and they have two main common needs: the need to empower students with the necessary skills to be successful in their future professional lives and the need to build a more tolerant and inclusive society.
According to European Commission, 20% of the students don’t have the necessary key competences which are the foundation for life-long learning and this will affect their future employability and social inclusion. We, teachers, need to find new methodologies to enhance their 21st century skills.
The partnership is aimed at developing, sharing and transferring innovative practices between participating countries enabling organizations to work together in order to try to find the most effective educational strategies for more inclusive schools. More specifically, the project WISH will focus on a very innovative one: 21st century skills methodology through a project based learning (PBL) approach . Teachers will participate in trainings and students will be challanged with the task to write and implement Social Inclusion Projects (SIP) to raise awareness in our schools by using a Project based Learning (PBL) approach, through which students gain knowledge and skills by responding to an authentic, real, engaging question, problem or challenge.
- do some research about the current state of affairs regarding social exclusion in their countries
- brainstorm, discuss and decide on the activities they are going to design
- make a budget and draw the timeline of the implementation
- establish the relevant criteria to evaluate their project
- implement the projects at their partner schools
- disseminate the results of their SI projects
Hence, the project will cover the needs of the following target groups:
- Teachers (including academic staff) will benefit from the project because they will attend workshops on PBL, 21st century skills and different models of implementation regarding social inclusion.
- Students will have the chance to practise the PBL approach and, thus, enrich their 21st century skills. They will also grow more socially aware and proactive.
- Schools and universities will also benefit from the workshops which will be disseminated to all the school staff. Besides, the SI projects created by the participating students will be implemented at the schools and all the school community will become more sensitive to the others’ needs, especially towards the marginalised groups who are even more vulnerable
- Teacher candidates at partner universities will benefit from project because the project outputs ( outcomes, visits, workshops and observations during mobilities) will be used as course materials to imporve teacher training programs in EU standards.
- And, finally, groups at risk of exclusion will have a better chance to be accepted in a fairer society.
THE PROJECT AIMS
Consequently, the aims of our project WISH are:
- To raise an awareness for the importance of social inclusion among the youngsters
- To help students gain 21st century skills by using the project based learning approach
- To support personal and professional development of teaching staff in order to improve their methodology on 21st century skills and inclussiveness of their students from different marginal groups such as: refugees, immigrants, and handicapped people.
- To improve undergraduate teacher training curricula (partner universities) and school curricula(partner schools) in regard to improve 21 st century skills of students and ensure social inclusion of all students who are in disadvantaged groups by integrating best practices to curricula.
- To improve the students’ key competencies (communication in foreign languages, Social and civic competences, Digital competence, leraning to learn competence)
Finally, we believe that the project should be carried out transnationally for the following reasons:
- Social exclusion is a global problem and, therefore, we need to find global solutions to prevent it. Our partners experiences and good practices will provide the participants with a wider insight on how to tackle the problem.
- Such collaboration will give a momentum to increase the impact of the PBL endeavours in our schools and it will give all the partners the opportunity to do some job shadowing
- We will also benefit from the collaboration between universities and high schools. Involved universities prepare future teachers and the Spanish High School also offers vocational studies to train Social Inclusion technicians (Tertiary level). Their expertise will represent a great asset to the rest of high schools from different EU countries. On the other hand, high schools experiences and practices will provide the universities with essential fieldwork to update their courses and improve teaacher training programs.