The main purpose of the toolbox is to encourage school staff to enhance the intercultural dimension of educating practices, and it aims to achieve this through the provision of practical tools and the promotion of existing resources related to intercultural learning.
Henk Bolk participated in the training with headmasters and teachers from various European countries on behalf of EuroClio, and came back very enthusiastic:
“I think the toolbox will be very useful. There are ready-to-use tools within the curriculum, cross curricular, for specific subjects etc. All the things we as history teachers like to teach are in it: citizenship, critical thinking, multiperspectivity etc. Every school can use the toolbox according to their own program. My school, the Lorentz Casimir Lyceum Eindhoven, is known for Foreign Trips and Exchange Programs, but nevertheless we look for ‘New Roads’ in Internationalisation and Intercultural Learning”.
In Berlin, the participants were coached on how to give the training in their own countries and to promote the toolbox across Europe. EuroClio hopes to further build upon the training at the 25th EuroClio Annual Conference in Marseille.
The #RecogniseStudyAbroad campaign was launched yesterday during the European Policy Networks Conference in Brussels. The campaign is an initative of the EEE-YFU (European Educational Exchanges, Youth for Understanding) and EFIL (European Federation for Intercultural Learning)and supported by EPA, KeyCoNet, OBESSU and EuroClio. The goal is to raise awareness among policy-makers and educational stakeholders about the lack of recognition of long-term pupil exchanges. Among students and parents the fear of ‘losing a year’ and falling behind. Unfortunately many teachers and heads of schools discourage students’ participation in study abroad programmes as well, because they think it will have a negative impact on their school careers. As a consequence only high achieving students are allowed or able to go abroad for a longer period.
More specifically the goals of this campaign are:
Providing equal access to diverse learning opportunities. Often the only pupils that are given the opportunity to study abroad are the ones that are already performing well at school. This lack of equal access to learning opportunities is a concern for social inclusion in education.
Making the European job market a reality, also for families. Parents often have to reconsider professional opportunities in other countries, since their career abroad may have a negative impact on the school path of their children.
Supporting schools in the process of internationalisation. With student’s mobility being promoted in political discourse but study periods abroad not being officially recognised by national law, schools are not supported enough by policy in their internationalisation.
Improving the implementation of key competences in school education. The recognition of the school year abroad implies a shift from “traditional” content-based curricula to a competence-based approach, which recognises “real-world learning”.