It is always good to revisit a place, especially when you have developed good working relationships with your colleagues, and even made friendships. So getting together in Vic, a very livable place, has been an enjoyable experience.
Projects should be enjoyable experiences, otherwise the workload they involve might become frustrating. Luckily, our team seems to get on perfectly with one another, despite the cultural differences we share, because we share another thing – a professional attitude to what we do, plus love for the job of teaching.
On a less emotional note, the meeting involved the following items on
Evaluation of the activities done so far – main focus on the Students’ Collaboration when we do exchanges and in between when working online via the different platforms we use and how to make things work better. A second major item has been the planning of the activities for the second year of the project. there will be two
Catania, Spain, 6-12 November, 2015
Sweden, 26 March – April, 1, 2017
Transnational Project meeting
end of May, Sweden
Multipliers’ Events in Participant Schools
We reviewed the survey we had done after the student exchange in Vic, Spain, 10-17 April, 2016. Most of the students report an improved interaction with the foreign students – we consider this a result of the evaluation we did after the first visit and modifications we had made as a result of what the students had recommended. We also noticed more reflections on the activities that had been done – more students tend to consider things from a different perspective, trying much less to judge and looking for reasons why sometimes foreign students behave in ways that seem strange to them.
Jobshadowing in Sweden
Italian teachers said that the methodologies used in the Swedish school were similar to what they do in Italy – however, the facilities were much better. Labs were well equipped, students and teachers take care of the labs, no assistants to maintain the lab when they are used on a day-to-day basis, much better -bahaved students. Italian teachers said this was an excellent opportunity to confront themselves with another reality, which has been transformational.
The Catalan teachers supported the above experiences – they added how much they appreciated the opportunity to speak and practice English – the language barrier had made it difficult to for coordinator of the Catalan school to select the group for the jobshadowing – the teachers had been reluctant at first but the five teachers that attended the jobshadowing reported to have improved their fluency, their confidence.The Catalan teachers reported that lecture time is much less in the Swedish school, the students are often left on their own to do learner-centered activities, the size of the classes was smaller, discipline is much better even though there are no bells to indicate the beginning or end of the lesson. Even though some classes were in Swedish, the teachers enjoyed observing the classroom dynamics, the classroom management techniques, the layout of the classrooms – in other words, they learned a lot.
In the Swedish school the students move between classrooms, unlike the other schools, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria alike. Taking attendance was not formally done – the teacher had a plan in front and made sure if everyone is present and then reported it to an online platform. The Italian school also uses an online platform. Swedish schools cannot ask fo more than 5 euro a year for anything. 7 grade students get a free ipad /laptop/crome book at most schools, free books that are on a loan – all stationery is paid for by the school. One disadvantage is that sometimes students take this for granted and can easily become careless. The visit to Bulgaria was a kind of an eye-opener. However, it is easy for Swedish teachers to teach given that all that is needed is provided by the school, which is seen as a political thing. Professional work and socialising were equally important for the success of the jobshadowing visit to the Swedish school. The Swedish school coordinator added the importance of this visit for the Swedish teachers themsleves. Interestingly, the staff room was noted as a point of cultural difference – it looked more like a kitchen, more like a canteen, a cafeteria, a place where teachers can have their breaks and meals/coffees comfortably.
The jobshadowing involved visiting teachers 3 days following teachers of different subjects plus one day following a class. 3 teachers from Italy and 5 from Spain took part in this activity. We are waiting for the detailed reflections of the individual participants and we will update the information on the blog.
Economics and handicraft – this is something that the visiting teachers loved; the Swedish teachers commented on how Swedish students are not perhaps as good at maths, because of lessons in subjects which do not exist in any of the partner schools..
There will be 3 more similar events – jobshadowing in Sweden for three more Catalan teachers, in Italy for Catalan and Swedish students. The jobshadowing in the Catalan school has already happened.