Everybody knows that they should think and live ecologically. But we live in our small private worlds and deal with our private needs and problems. We know problems of our area, maybe country. But what about the wider context? Do other European countries tackle with the same problems? Smaller or larger ones? Do they have enough water? How do they handle waste? Do they use alternative energy sources? Yes? No? Why not? Do they bear in mind their ecological footprint? And what about EU policy? Is there a joint strategy and effort? These are all questions our students should think about. It is very important to think in a larger context, to be aware of dimension of problems and questions that topic of ecollogy brings. And it is also very importnat to realize that we live in an European community that is closely connected and problems in one country can affect the others. There is a common will of all that we should respect and contribute to. This is the rason we decided to develop this partnership on an European level with partner countries from all over the continent. Should the effort be effective, we have to cooperate.
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Objectives of the partnership
- enable students to acquire essential knowledge on important environmental topics
- develop coopeartion and spread the gained knowledge in the field of ecology in the school community
- describe the ways of reduction ecological footprint of students and partner schools
- make students aware of importance of sustainable development
- gain positive values and attitudes towards environment and sustainable developement (as our experience with students is that they do not care and not behave ecologically)
- promote european cooperation and interaction
- increase the use of ICT skills ( such as web page creating, video shooting etc.)
- strengthen students' acquisition of learning skills and develop their literacy skills through constant written exchange among partners.
-discover the natural treasure of partner countries, address their problems, strengths and weaknesses and its role in the european strategy in the field of ecology
-develop a long-lasting partnership that we will carry on also after the project, spreading each others' activities in each country
-promote subjects in our curriculum by strengthening the link between school theoretical and practical education
- improve the methodology in science teaching
We intend to address the following subjects and problems:
- our learnersÂ´awareness of environment and its tasks and problems in local, country and European context
- our learnersÂ´awareness of their own footprint and their own possible contribution to the environment protection
-innovative teaching methodologies including practical activities and outdoor learning
-develope teamwork, cooperative work,self-correction and peer correction,
-create the atmosphere that would enable personal development , making friends and international cooperation,
-raise our learners' awareness that they can contribute to solving our "planet problems".
Approaches to achieve our goals:
-constant exchange of information using Internet tools.
-using modern interactive methods including practical activities, games, worksheets, working with texts and literature, multimedia (creating videos ets.), studentsÂ´own effort and outdoor learning to learn about important environmental topics
- developing study materials, worksheets and methodology materials for practical and project education
-developing activities such as StudentsÂ´ecology summit, workshops etc.
-collective collaboration of all partners to create concrete final products.
EU ADDED VALUE
European cooperation within the project will be advantageous both for the people engaged in its activities and partner schools:
- transfer the experience of particular countries in the filed of natural resources treatment, ecology and sustainable developement. The partnerships is composed of countries dealing with different ecological problems (different strenghts and weaknesses) and thus we can share the experience and knowledge (for example Czech republic has a very good wastewater system and other countries not so we can share experience)
- prestige in local community,
- improving science education methodology and extending education offer
- further cooperation prospects after finishing the project,
- enriching and diversifying school didactic base
- showing an open attitude towards the national and European values.
The expected influence this will have on students:
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- developement of studentsÂ´key competences in the field of ecology, cooperation a multicultural education
- improvement of grades in English and increased motivation to study foreign languages.
- improved teamwork abilities, strengthening a sense of unity with peers from other countries, increasing knowledge about partner school countries and their natural resources and ecology strengths and weaknesses, acquiring new computer skills, improving Internet skills, development of interests in the filed of sciences and ecology, increasing students self-esteem and satisfaction with being able to present their work on such a large forum.
- spreading a sense of tolerance and European citizenship.
The expected influence this will have on teachers:
-improved English skills, introducing new and innovative teaching methods, establishing contacts with staff of partner schools, making use of foreign language information sources to improve methods of work, integrating teachers from science subjects involved in the project, strengthening a teamwork among teachers, increasing the awareness of LLP programmes within the teaching staff of partner schools.
The expected influence this will have on the schools:
- comparison of approaches and methodology in science education
- spreading practical activities, outdoor learning and project education (practical x theoretical education)
-increasing the prestige of the school by participating in an European project.
-encouraging a larger range of (extra) curricular activities
-extending importance of science related subjects.
-improving the quality of teaching through an exchange of ideas, methods and tools
-strengthen teacher-student relationships.
The expected influence this will have on the local community:
-promoting more responsible lifestyle among members of the community and new approach to the environment and ecology.
-increased participation of parents and local people with the school.
-presenting each local community to a European public.
The project, through close cooperation, aims at bringing our students closer to the understanding of their own (and joint) responsibility towards the environment they live in and future that we have in common with other European countries. Having embarked upon this project,we would like our cooperation to result in mutual involvement and contribution towards the understanding of problems and needs of the other European countries in the field of ecology and natural resources treatment. We want the students to realize that problems of our partners are our problems as well because we live in the European continent.
We will create the Internet website, videos, presentations, workshops, discussions, students summit and convention, leaflets, brochures and methodology brieface. Therefore, such skills as creative thinking, teamwork, planning the following steps of the project and a good command of English will be here of great importance.
The project methods provides the opportunity of developing the above-mentioned skills simultaneously. Since some
products of our project will be based on ICT, all the project involved people will have a chance of developing their skills in the field of such programs as PowerPoint, Windows Movie Maker, Photo Shop,Windows Media Player and some other Internet communicators.
As the project partners' languages derive from different language families,English will be the only language to communicate.
DISTRIBUTION OF TASKS
Within the two-year project six working visits are planned. Five visits are dedicated to particular topics:water, waste, alternative energy sources, ecological footprint and StudentsÂ´ecology summit. Students will be working in multinational groups on joint project products and they will co-organize workshops, discussion and the summit. During the project meetings students and the teachers will visit interesting places connected with the topics (excursions), present and develop project outcomes and the host schoolÂ´s students will prepair social programme for the guests. The sixt meeting will be for teachers and we will present different teaching method and approaches to science subjects education (methodology in science teaching) with emphasis on practical activities, outdoor learning and project education.
Project structure: our project has five main topics, each topic has its own period (cca 4 months) when students will be studying materials, searching for information and developing materials to be presented at the project meetings. The coordinating school will provide partners with guidelines and worksheets. All partners are equally involved in gathering information and relevant data for preparation for the meetings, for the evaluation of project activities on the national level (month progess sessions) and for dissemination of project activities in their local community/country.
The schools from Turkey, Slovenia,Greece, Hungary, Poland and Finland are responsible for:
- prepairing project meetings including social programme
The school from lithuania is responsible for:
- creating project logo
The coordinator is responsible for:
- prepairing project guidelines
- prepairing project methodology materials and worksheets
- prepairing the questionnaire on the ecological footprint and its evaluation
- prepairing the survey on studentsÂ´knowledge before and after the project
- creation of webpage
- questionnaire for teachers after 1st and 2nd year
COOPERATION AND COMMUNICATION
The fact that the partners are working together on main project products is the most important factor of cooperation.
. The English language will be both the working and the communication tool.
. The participating students and teachers will stay in-touch using the Google apps., mail, communicators and other Internet tools, blogs, etc.
. Each of the schools will post their work on the project website
. Project meetings will be also monitoring tools and will give warmth to the communication. During these meetings there will be technical sessions devoted to the Google apps., website content and videocreating.
. Each of the schools will organize a school exhibition of their work.
. Each of the schools will be responsible for presenting their international cooperation to the local media (newspapers, radio, TV).
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Implementation -Teachers and especially students will be actively involved in all project activities during both the preparation for the meetings and meeting activities. The teachers will encourage students to create the products to be presented at the meetings. Students will design logo, webpage and end project products. They will co-organize the discussions, workshops and summit.The teachers will prepare worksheets and guidelines for students (teacher as a councelor).
Planning -The subject of the project is the idea of the students from Prague. We came to an agreement that environmental protection and different approaches to national natural resources are important issues to describe and bring closer to the peers from other European countries.As soon as our partners accepted the idea ,we started working on the application form together.Teachers and students have been interviewed about the usefulness of the theme of the project.All schools participated in planning and prepairing the application together to foster the project structure.
Students will participate in all activities within the project framework such as: preparation for the meetings (gathering information, worksheets filling, analysis and information processing, translations) and for joint activities, participation in project meetings and developement of project products, active participation in ecological footprint project, survey and other activities as workshops and summit. Our students will also face an important task, which is spreading all information concerning the project in order to encourage the whole school community to join in the preparations for the visit of our partners.
Evaluation - teachers' and students' progress and attitude are the very criteria of evaluation of the whole project. There will be both national and international evaluation. On the national level the teachers will prepair month progress sessions. On the international level the coordinator will prepair a survey that will lead to finding the sum of studentsÂ´knowledge and interests at the beginning and at the end of the project. We will also prepair questionnaire for teachers after the 1st and 2nd year. There will be studentsÂ´feedback - articles to be presented in the web page on what they have learnt. There will also be created a methodology briefcase of science subjects education in connection with national and European values.
INTEGRATION INTO ONGOING ACTIVITIES (F4)
The majority of the work done within the project will take place within the regular curriculum in our ordinary lessons(biology, chemistry, geography, physics, foreign languages, IT and practical education). All in all,the project is of cross-curricular value.The project will enable to broaden and deepen the curriculum in science subjects and include more practical activities and projects. Further efforts in terms of extra-curricular activites will be developed such as filming outside school,presentation of certain activities, excursions, organization of workshops, discussions and studentsÂ´summit and the dissemination of the results.
There will be an ongoing assessment of the project. The evaluation tools are as follows:
a) month progress sessions
a) project meetings
b) project guidelines and workplan with milestones (outcomes of the planned activities)
c) survey to find out the sum of studentsÂ´knowledge at the beginning and at the end of the project
d) studentsÂ´articles to be published on the webpage "What I have learnt about ecology" , "What I have learnt from the project" and "How I managed to reduce my ecological footprint"
e) report to NAs
f) project website
g) respect of deadlines for planned activities and final products according to the project workplan calendar.
h) questionnaire for teachers after 1st and 2nd year
DISSEMINATION AND THE USE OF RESULTS (F6)
In the participating organisations:
We will use the project products and methodology briefcase in curriculum classes such as biology, chemistry, geography, physics and english. We will use the gained experience and knowledge in every-day work with students. The project will be disseminated in partner schools thanks to the school website, school exhibitions and pictures from the meetings, during ope-door days, parentsÂ´meetings, teachersÂ´ sessions and school magazine.
In the local communities:
Local communities will be informed about the project through local press and/or TV and different websites (both the school's,and the project's). An important means of spreading the project's results will be StudentsÂ´summit where we plan to invite local press. Surely the maximum diffusion of the project will be achieved during the celebration of the working meetings (when all the foreign partners come to one country).
In the wider lifelong learning community:
Our school website is freely available for people from all over the world so the information about the project will spread among all those who will visit our website. Moreover, we will send all the necessary documentation together with the samples of final products to our National Agency, so that anybody who will be interested in our project could see the final effects of our work.Schools participating in the project are willing to participate in regional and/or national Lifelong Learning Programme working meetings in order to spread the expected results of the project. We will also use the EST.