Guest blog written by:
Aida Lorenzo Perez, teacher from Nuestra Senora De La Paz, Torrelavega, Spain.
In simple terms, a global citizen is a person who identifies himself as an integral part of an emerging world community, who thinks about the problems that are affecting our planet, in a global way, contributing to the welfare of humanity. Those of us who consider ourselves global citizens belong to diverse national and international communities, in an effort for shared values and we build governance structures to support our beliefs, values and practices, which help create a better world.
Nowadays, the advance of communication technologies, transport and, mainly, the Internet, has made possible the emergence of a global identity, which surpasses the local and that impels us to connect with the rest of the world to, of this way, to respond to the economic, political, environmental, religious and social needs that are afflicting us and that we must overcome for the well-being of future generations.
The biggest challenge we face is to build a community based on sustainable values. But what are these values? Neither more nor less than Human Rights, environmental protection, religious pluralism, gender equality, sustainable growth, sustainable education, eradication of poverty, prevention of conflicts between nations, humanitarian aid and preservation of biodiversity, among others.
We, the school in Nuestra señora de la Paz, Torrelavega, Spain, thanks to the "In Other shoes" project we are trying to make our students, these future "global citizens". They have been doing a series of activities which are helping them to understand, clarify their doubts and develop those concerns they have regarding this issue, receiving a really positive feedback from them.
After experimenting with our activities we have believed that in the end to be a global citizen, you simply need to be a flexible person, open to transformational, creative, reflective and proactive change. Without a doubt, we want to add more citizens to find much more sustainable ways of seeing life and connecting with those of us who share a common humanity.
These are pictures of some of these activities ...
Guest blog written by:
Maria Turner, teacher from Dr.-Jaufmann-Mittelschule, Bobingen, Germany.
The Erasmus week at Dr.-Jaufmann-Mittelschule activated almost 250 students.
A small quiz in which questions about ERASMUS+ and "In Others' Shoes” particularly where asked, was carried out.
Many students knew the right answers and were rewarded with fantastic prizes, such as gym bags and other useful school supplies. These were handed over by the Headmaster, Robert Walch.
Second activity was a meeting of all three ERASMUS+ schools in Bobingen.
Together with Mayor Bernd Müller, the three Bobingen schools participating in the Erasmus+ program took this opportunity for their first joint meeting.
The aim was to exchange good experiences with the program, because it is about spreading the European idea and bringing Europe to life in our schools.
The Dr.-Jaufmann-Middle School Bobingen introduced their challenging project: "In Others' Shoes" - an exchange on the subject of migration and integration. Didactics, practical further education such as "philosophy for children" and "global education" attracted the colleagues present.
The principals of the three schools (Gabriele Glockner, Robert Walch and Dirk Hampel) and the teachers responsible for the project, together with Bobingen's First mayor, Bernd Müller, took the opportunity to engage in an inspiring and informative conversation about their activities and experiences and exchanged many of the materials developed in the projects.
“In Others' Shoes” inspired and motivated teachers and students in thinking differently, changing perspectives and enriched teaching and thinking with motivating lessons in philosophical education and global thinking.
The international cooperation between the UK, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Slovenia and Germany opened up possibilities to exchange good practise methods, developed new teaching methods, as well as innovative teaching and learning approaches.
Working in such international atmosphere enrichens and stimulates the professional exchange and knowledge transfer.
Guest blog, written by:
Dr Rob Rodgers, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Global Education Derby
We seemed to have chosen a cold and wet few days in Altopascio for our meeting - but this didn’t dampen our spirits. So, Monday evening, teachers and educators arrived in a small town near to Pisa in Italy. Our European colleagues flew in from Estonia, Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey and not forgetting UK. We were hosted extremely well by Sabrina and Raffaela.
It was a whirlwind of a visit! We arrived, joined together, worked hard, laughed and enjoyed good company. The majority of the week was spent sharing expertise, monitoring progress, developing our teaching resources further and agreeing on next steps together. Then, we flew off back to our various homes.
We have learnt to communicate well with each other and show that European cooperation has so many benefits. The basic thing is that we want to communicate - we value each other and we know that, together we are stronger.
It was moving to see six year olds have lunch with us one day. They asked questions of the adults on their table and had strategies if they, or we, didn’t understand - we adults finished our lunches happier and richer, emotionally, as a result.
My advice to our politicians is “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!” There is much to gain from each other’s countries, in Europe. Obviously, there are problems and issues, but these can be sorted if we really want to.
In a few days, which gave us many memories and encouragements, I have certainly grown as a person, emotionally. We would all do well to listen to the Queen, who has urged people to find “common ground’ and to respect different points of view!”
... time for blog writing totally non-existent!
Guilt does kick in, when the work is piling up under the pressure of urgent tasks requiring collaboration, communication, creativity and problem solving - a case of using our global skills in real life contexts.
August was supposed to be holiday time. It was form-filling and strategic meetings galore!
September saw the launch of our local school linking programme again, with a visit to Google for Social Media training thrown into the schedule (awesome!)
October brought us a lot of travelling within the UK - Liverpool, Manchester, London, to name a few destinations. Professional development, networking, new project planning and event coordination filled the diary.
What about In Others’ Shoes? How are things going?
Preparation for TPM 2 in Italy has commenced, with analysis of lesson plans, gathering relevant story book resources, and getting flights and accommodation booked, to name a few things. Of course, there is still loads to do!
Alongside the great ideas put forward about how to tackle the theme of migration through discovering history, using role play and thinking creatively, some resources have emerged as promising entry points.
There are the powerful visual images found in “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan https://vimeo.com/74292820
For younger children, the sensitively-written “My Name is not Refugee” by Kate Milner has great potential
Is there a way to make use of these stories and the innovative https://refugeerepublic.submarinechannel.com/ to explore the realities of refugee camp life?
Our partner schools in Germany and Italy have already devised student activities based around “The Raft” by Lucia Salemi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKT9AdqYesw and "War" by Janne Teller http://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/War/Janne-Teller/9781471161476
Of course, we are keen to explore multiple perspectives and move beyond one-dimensional narratives. We need to look at the huge benefits of intercultural cooperation and understanding. We must learn to hold our assumptions lightly, challenge ourselves to embrace change, appreciate difference and reflect on our personal attitudes and values. This is one of the great lessons on offer to those prepared to embark on the Erasmus+ learning journey and apply it to the reality of daily life.
Well ... another busy academic year draws to an end.
Looking back, so much has happened since October 2017, when our In Others' Shoes project began. Project activity has largely been in short intensive bursts, when the team has come together, and then gone away to work independently.
On reflection, I am delighted with the progress made and feel that the project has influenced so much during that time - whether together or apart.
Personally, I have made a whole host of new friends, who I have the utmost love and respect for.
I had to laugh at a school training day, shortly after our last LTT event in May. No sooner had we started the session than the headteacher asked when the tea break was, as her teachers were tired and needed a rest. Our Erasmus+ teachers were dealing with very difficult concepts and vocabulary in a foreign language. The challenge level was immense - but we never heard anyone say they needed a rest!!
I feel that I now have a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers - how often we see them through a one dimensional lens, as victims, rather than human beings with many aspects to their identity and lives.
Derby now has a reception centre for newly arrived asylum seekers, staying here for just a few weeks, before moving elsewhere in UK. It was a pleasure to meet the community liaison coordinator, Rachael, and hear about the tremendous work going on helping new arrivals learn English and settle into British life. She was so interested in hearing about our European project and partners. Rachael understands the value of getting into schools and talking directly with young people.
More information can be found at https://www.migranthelpuk.org/
We discovered a keen appetite from local teachers to proactively deal with controversial issues in the curriculum. Being the lead partner in our Erasmus project has increased our confidence in delivering staff training on this theme. We applied the training we have received to develop a new course, focusing on critical thinking skills and using questions to explore sensitive issues - reaching more teachers in the process.
I feel that we wouldn't have attempted these teacher workshops without the great input and support provided by Flick and LIz on Philosophy for Children and the Global Teacher Award.
Partnerships with local schools, such as St Martin's School and Harrington Nursery, have been strengthened. The skills of our own staff and trustees further-developed, harnessed and enhanced. All due to our Erasmus project funding and opportunities.
So, the impact of our collaboration has had a knock-on effect to many aspects of our work here in Derby - it just takes a little reflection and awareness to see the bigger picture, overlaps and connections. Looking forward to more!
Guest blog, written by:
Dr Rob Rodgers, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Global Education Derby
Just been thinking ... if more people had experienced our project, then I reckon Brexit wouldn't be on the agenda!
It was great at our last meet up (in May), to see the buzz and excitement on the first night, as we met up with old friends. Catching up and sharing just seems to happen. It was good to meet new colleagues, who soon became new friends.
The sessions were great and well-organised by our dynamic duo, Yvonne and Lisa. Goody bags showed we already know what works for us. Heart-felt, not too serious, people orientated. Flag waving rather than heavy report writing!
The sessions took us through Global Learning, Philosophy for Children, action planning and trying to find a common language and project plans we can all buy into. Realising that some things are really hard, even if English is your first language, and automatically supporting our friends as they grapple with high level English and concepts.
But "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" - a saying from my youth. But we made sure we weren't at any risk of being dull boys or girls. Shopping, meals, shopping, English stately home and customs, shopping, a drama workshop, shopping and English food in all its glory. Intense hard work broken up with opportunities to relax, reflect, absorb and process complex information – all packed in to a few action packed days.
A wonderful opportunity to attend the dress rehearsal of Fugee by Theatre Studies students from Derby University and share discussions with them on the role of empathy and research to understand migration in greater depth. What a bonus that was!
So the stay went far too quickly. Sad departures, but we left not duĺl boys and girls! Better teachers for sure, better Europeans for sure, better philosophers we hope so, better shoppers for sure (!) and more able to identify good English food and drink.
Thank you to all of our European friends for sharing a week of your valuable time with us, thank you for Facebook and WhatsApp communications! We are very much looking forward to our visit to Italy next year. God bless you, my European brothers and sisters.
Guest blog, written by:
Liz Hibberd MA | BA | PGCE, Education Consultant & Freelance Trainer, Refugee Integration and Support Specialist / Development Assistant, Manchester City of Sanctuary
We are really pleased that Liz has written this blog for our project.
If you would like to contact Liz about her work with refugees and asylum seekers, her email is: email@example.com
Building teacher confidence
My thesis analysed how confident teachers felt engaging in this topic and whether they felt able to discuss it and teach their students about it. Whilst it wasn’t unanimous, there was a large proportion of the teachers interviewed and who completed my survey that did not feel confident despite appreciating the need to do so. This was partly due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the issues and concern about how to integrate a sensitive and potentially controversial topic like this in to lessons. This is something I’m trying to work on now, by developing a series of training sessions that I can deliver to schools to introduce both teachers and students. Primarily to develop a more nuanced understanding of the myriad of layers that are involved in this area but also to make the arrival of refugee and asylum seeking children easier.
Global Learning and Development Education are key pedagogies that enable this insight, to critically question and appropriately challenge the status quo and begin the journey towards a greater understanding of the other and the removal of the ‘single story’ narrative.
Contact the author of this blog, Liz Hibberd: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe Passage Community Mentor: http://safepassage.org.uk
Education and Training Lead - Refugee Children's Centres https://refugeechildrenscentres.org/
Your local Development Education Centre could help you, if you want to find out more. https://globalclassrooms.org.uk/
After our successful training event in January 2018, our project teachers have all returned to school, eager to plan, deliver and reflect on the techniques we learned together.
The training was based around participatory approaches to learning. On day one, we explored Philosophy for Children, through games, stories and visual stimuli, to generate "big questions" that cannot be answered through a Google search, or Wikipedia!
Everyone has returned to school to try out this methodology for themselves. We will be reporting back on how everything went when we meet again in May.
Our second training day focused on the Global Teachers Award. We worked together to examine global issues and how they can be investigated across the curriculum. How can we support young people to develop the critical thinking skills, values and attitudes needed for 21st Century life? We had a closer look at practical activities that we could take away, adapt and use in our own classrooms. Everyone is preparing to submit a written reflection on one activity, in order to achieve Global Teacher Award Level 1 certification.
Another bitterly cold February morning found me, well wrapped up, with my Erasmus+ cloth bag dangling over my shoulder, walking briskly back to the office - full of my own thoughts.
A young man, aged around nineteen maybe, crossed the road nearby and called out to me for any spare change.
As usual, I braced myself to explain I had no money, as sadly, I have done many times before.
The teenager began to stride along beside me, "I hate to ask for money," he said, "but what else can I do?"
I looked up and saw the desperation in his eyes and sensed he was on the edge of tears. He had a different demeanour and manner to others I had come across in the past. My defences were down.
"Please", he said, "I need £10 so my friend will let me stay in his house tonight. If I don't have the money he won't let me in."
"He isn't much of a friend, then" I responded and a dialogue began.
"He might not be much of a friend, but he is the only hope I have. My Dad has a new partner and he has kicked me out. I never asked to be homeless."
There was something about the boy that tugged at my heart strings. So young, so alone, so vulnerable.
Another voice began to speak in my head - he is lying to you. He just wants money for drugs. Don't be deceived. But the boy continued talking and I continued listening.
"If I can only pay my rent, he will let me use his address. I have been promised a job if I have somewhere to live. I am not on drugs you know"
He spoke fast, fluent English but with a slight accent suggesting he was brought up elsewhere in Europe. What had brought him to Derby? Were his family escaping war or persecution? Were they economic migrants? Were they sold a dream of UK prosperity that was impossible to achieve?
There was something about him that deeply disturbed me, "What job will it be?" "It can be any job, I just want to work and not to have to ask people with a good heart for money"
He must have seen something in my eyes too - maybe shock that young people like him are existing in poverty on the edge of British society in 2018. Would the teachers I know in Pakistan, Palestine or Ghana believe that poverty, both financial and emotional, is common place on the streets of the UK?.
My companion was fighting back tears again. I found my hand plunging deep into my pocket, reaching into the small amount of loose change I discovered lying there. I pulled out a £2 coin and passed it to him. Despite my misgivings it seemed the right thing to do.
He emptied his pocket out to show me a smattering of low value coins. "This is all I have," he said. He continued walking with me a little further, telling me further details about his life. Or should I say his existence, before we went our separate ways.
I thought of our meeting little more at the time, but it was a vivid encounter. I don't know his name. I never thought to ask. But I do wonder, where is he sleeping tonight? Are his dreams of a job real or fiction? Was I just easily duped?
Whatever the truth, it haunts me that young people are forced to survive like this, with little opportunity to escape from the 21st Century poverty trap. It is a sobering thought indeed.
(Written by guest blogger, Lisa Sabey)
On Sunday, 21st January, many parts of the UK were "treated" to a delivery of snow! Panic set in with Yvonne and Lisa, our Administrator, who had spent the past few months planning a week of training and activities for our 13 European visitors. Due to arrive on the Monday, we were delighted to see that the temperatures rose enough overnight to melt the snow which, although it was lovely to look at, could have meant cancelled flights and treacherous travel conditions (not to mention the cancellation of hotel rooms with "no refunds"!)
Our visitors arrived, without too many travel problems and we started off our tightly-planned week with a shared meal. A few of us had met before (at our project meeting in Bobingen, Germany) but this time two teachers from each country came together.
During the week, our visitors participated in training for the
Global Teacher Award and Philosophy for Children, they took part in a Faith Trail (dodging the rainfall) and visited schools in Derby for discussions and tours, as well as the opportunity to plan project activities.
We all had a fantastic week, and were sad to say "farewell" to our new friends. We are now planning a return visit to the UK so that the European teachers can complete the P4C and GTA qualifications. Hopefully the sun will shine for us all in May!