Discovering our heritage and facing modern challenges
A partnership of three schools (Szent Gellért Katolikus Általános Iskola és Gimnázium from Hungary, C.E. MANUEL LORA TAMAYO from Spain and Le Cheile Secondary School from Ireland) would like to carry out the project titled “Discovering our heritage and facing modern challenges”. The motivation for the project is to raise awareness of our own cultural and religious identity, exchange good practices and explore how our religious values work and can be used in today’s modern world, in our student’ adult life (especially in the fields of job-related issues and family life) and in the European context, so that our students become constructive individuals in the society.
The main target group of the project is students aged 15-18 in all schools, so individuals who are about to finish secondary/ high school in a couple of years and start their life as young adults. About 30 students from each school are going to work on the project locally (taking part in local workshops, discussions, making videos, etc) during the full time of the project. Three project meetings for students are included in the plan. Before each meeting 10 students will be selected (on the basis of their enthusiasm and active participation in local activities) from each school to travel to the meeting, accompanied by 3 coordinator teachers from each school. Project meetings will include a wide range of activities (workshops, drama performances, exhibitions, cultural evenings, drama pedagogy, lectures, role models, cultural trips, etc.)
Each project meeting will focus on a different topic. The first meeting (in Ireland) is aimed at introductions and the discovery of our common religious heritage and values. The second meeting, which takes place in Spain, focuses on job-related issues. The third (and last) meeting will be organised in Hungary and concentrates on family-related challenges. At the beginning of the project, there will be one staff meeting in Hungary, so that headmasters and coordinator teachers can meet in person and discuss the details of the upcoming tasks. In the time between project meetings students will have numerous local activities (making videos, taking photos, reading articles, putting on plays, informing the schools’ community about the project, writing parts of the booklet), so even those students who do not travel and other colleagues benefit greatly from the project.
One of the short-term aims of the project is to equip participating pupils with practical skills and competences such as tolerance, open-mindedness, cooperation in intercultural environment, problem-solving skills, self-confidence, independent use of foreign languages. Due to these skills, they will have better opportunities to live a happy life in the future and become better citizens both at national and international levels, which is the long-term aim. Another short-term aim is the promotion of intercultural cooperation and communication. Despite the fact that our Catholic traditions and roots connect us to Europe and connect the 3 partner schools, our students do not always understand the sense of community beyond the country’s borders. Therefore, it would be beneficial for them to get to know other schools with similar values but different cultural backgrounds and use the English language for effective communication.
The final product of the project is the publication of a booklet introducing participating schools, their practices, the traditional values they cherish, and the methodology and techniques used in the project to put these traditional values into practice in the modern world. This methodology can be integrated into the curriculum of participating schools. What is more, this publication can be given as a present to other schools and colleagues, so that other institutions can also try the methodology, resulting in positive effects in the long run as well.
Dissemination will take place throughout the whole project. The main target groups of dissemination are participating schools’ students, staff, parents, as well as other schools near the location of participant schools, the local community and other religious schools. Relevant information about the project will be available at the schools’ homepage, at the three schools’ common Erasmus+ homepage and on the school buildings’ notice board. The local community and other schools in the area will be informed via the local newspaper and the project’s booklet.
In conclusion, the project “Discovering our heritage and facing modern challenges” seeks to find answers and solutions to the use of religious values when facing modern challenges and aims to develop new practices that can be used to train students to become useful and responsible citizens in the European Union. We hope to equip students with useful skills and find practices which will be essential for participating schools as well as other educators in the future.