Project summary

We are all different and unique from birth. This is a miracle and we should learn to appreciate it as such; this uniqueness should be celebrated amongst people and not be the root of fighting and negativity or even hatred. As mentioned above, stereotypes and stagnant beliefs are most often adopted by people as a result of the way they have been brought up; the way their families behaved is usually copied and repeated instinctively and people are not even aware of the impact of this behavior. This is why young schoolchildren need to be educated to reflect upon the way they think; to spot the types of behavior which are unreasonably hostile and negative and to develop the necessary skills in order to make the best of our world. Young people nowadays may have access to almost everything through the internet; this may be a useful tool in opening up their horizons, learning and adopting new ideas, new attitudes. Immigration is another aspect which necessarily brings people from different cultures, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds together.

This programme involves five partner countries: Greece, Turkey, Romania, Portugal and Bulgaria which will collaborate on a number of tasks and activities in order to provide the children with the necessary learning environments where they will learn through practice and reflection to live together peacefully; to accept and respect; to tolerate and be tolerated.

The ‘learning’ ability is often a characteristic considered either as positive or negative by children; because of this, some children may be bullied and live in fear, develop low self-esteem or have violent break-outs. Other children may develop negative behavior by becoming bullies, exercising verbal, psychological and physical violence. Both groups ruin their lives because they are stressed and uncertain of themselves. In the end they may have more similarities than they would ever consider. This is why this program aims towards helping children recognize these negative behaviors and avoid them by giving them alternative activities through which they can develop social skills which will help them have a balanced happy life; to set their priorities in order to improve their lifestyle instead of spoiling their valuable time with hatred and friction.

This program therefore will involve about 360 students of different disciplines, both genders aged 14- 18 as well as teachers and school counselors and educational psychologists who will take this project further into long term planning of the school curriculum. As has already been mentioned this is a crucial age when young people are forming their personality and it is a very good time to work towards building a personality which will have more positive than negative aspects, which will provide the youngster with the traits for a balanced democratic future active citizen. A citizen who will have an open mind, free from bias and misconception and prejudice.

Objectives

We want to reach the following objectives:

  • to be able to recognize and reject negativity, rejection, prejudice and hatred in school (either in speech or actions)
  • to develop sensitivity and awareness of own attitudes through reflection
  • to develop social awareness for minorities (immigrants, students with special learning abilities, specific ethnic groups)
  • to be able to break stereotypes and apply sound judgement
  • to become aware of the negative impact of undemocratic behavior and bias
  • to understand how people are influenced towards adopting certain beliefs and attitudes and why this is wrong
  • to encourage pupils to stand up for human rights against racism and prejudice
  • to work with other governmental institutions towards the same target.

The proposed results at the level of the students:

  • to familiarize themselves with the ethics of the EU and adopt a democratic behavior
  • to join groups and be active towards this target
  • to develop respect and understanding of multicultural characteristics
  • to be able to communicate better–breaking communication barriers (as prejudice)
  • to know and understand the negative effects of bias and racism in order to avoid them
  • to further develop through the activities the linguistic tools (English, computers / communication / Internet) people skills / team working skills
  • to develop cognitive skills, thinking, analyzing and structuring their thoughts into expressing solid ideas

The teachers:

  • will be able to recognize events at birth and change route by supporting students into slowly changing attitudes and becoming more democratic
  • will gain knowledge on this effect and its extensions into family, society, schools
  • will be able to collaborate with other teachers in order to compare methods

The schools:

  • improvement of the management, the teaching practices and the quality of staff training
  • the cooperation with local NGOs which will transit in long-term effects to be better

The tangible results we will produce throughout the project are:

  • informative materials developed for the exchanges
  • students to create poems and prose on the topic of European diversity
  • videos
  • "NO HATE in schools", "United as One under the European Sky" as topic on posters
  • students to present photographs for competition about cultural differences "I am not You but we can be together"
  • to have a collection of interactive games and activities in order to raise awareness about the dangers and unfairness of stereotypes and discriminating behavior
  • dissemination tools and materials: articles, photos, feedback, lists of participants, eTwinning, website
  • forum of discussions, groups, blog
  • communication and data exchange tool-Facebook group
  • certificates of attendance
  • PPT presentations of schools, regions, the problem of stereotyping and discrimination
  • brochures, fliers

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflect the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The present collections were identified, described and implemented by the partner schools, in the framework of the strategic partnership entitled OPEN MINDED GENERATION project reference no 2018-1-EL01-KA229-047897 co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Open Minded Generation

Greece

1st EPAL Dramas

Bulgaria

Specialized Secondary school of Natural Sciences and Maths "Acad. Prof. Dr.Asen Zlatarov"

Portugal

portugal
Epralima - Escola Profissional Doalto Lima - Cooperativa De Interesse Publico E Responsabilidade Limitada

Romania

Colegiul National de Informatica Matei Basarab

Turkey

Cahit Zarifoglou Anadolu Imam Hatip Liesesi