In a time in which Euroscepticism and Europhobia are blossoming, populist or even nationalist beliefs have found their way into the midst of society and stabilizing values like freedom and truth are at the mercy of constant redefining, it is of great importance to find a new definition of European cultural heritage.
All partner schools agree that the European Year of cultural heritage is a one and only chance to make our students become aware of the importance of our rich cultural past.
At the same time, we want our project to be resolutely turned towards the future: Being aware of where we come from will allow us to revitalize our democracy through Utopian concepts and to look for a shared vision of community characterized by responsibility, diversity and openness rather than segregation.
The project group consists of six schools which were chosen on the basis of their heterogeneity concerning geographical location, but also in terms of student population (students from all social backgrounds). The coordinating school is located in Germany, the partners are from Greece, Portugal, Romania, France and Italy. The students taking part in the project are 15 to 18 years old, come from different school types and work on the activities in different settings. The teachers working with them represent a large variety of subject areas and competences. The head teams of the involved schools monitor the progression of the project and ensure communication to other members of the school community. Each school also associates experts from outside the school to the project.
During the project, selected students and teachers of all participating school visits the other, totaling to six mobilities throughout the 24 months, each including 5 students and 2 accompanying teachers. These mobilities follow the theme of “a journey to EUROPIA” and consist of a mixture of workshops and excursions. Where possible, students will stay with host families from the partner schools, allowing them a deeper immersion into the other cultures.
The results which are created throughout the project are continually shared, not only among the participants, but also in the whole schools and local communities. The results are visualized in an Erasmus+ corner in each of the participating schools and there are different special events for the project which address a larger public, including media representatives and politicians. Moreover, the project results are enrolled in local competitions.
We believe that by sparking the intercultural dialogue between our students from very different cultural and socio-economic background, our project hopefully enables them to see the surplus of the European cultural heritage for their own life and future. Moreover, the project prepares our students to the requirements of the present and the future by choosing the UN sustainable development goals as the basis for our work.