During 2 school years, primary school ZŠ Chminianske Jakubovany created the partnerships in and out of eTwinning space with 4 schools. Moreover, pupils have visited 4 European capitals - Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest and Prague. The outcome of the cooperation and visits were the travel guides about these 4 capitals and the video. The video was created with 2 aims. First of all for our partners to see, how pupils discovered the capitals thanks to their information. And secondly, the video is used as promotional material in order to spread it among pupils and the wider community.
Goals we have reached
Before the project started, the goals were set - both for academical and character development. I describe the choice of the most important aims and the evidence, how the goals were reached.
1. elaborate the skills in working with internet and digital technologies, while looking for information and creating the travel guides
(This aim was fullfilled – the tangible result is the creation of travel guides in Canva program. During the IT classes pupils were actively working on research about capitals.)
2. esafety while working with internet and searching of information
(IT teachers were familiar with the project and took care of esafety while pupils were "surfing" on variety of websites while working on research of capitals.)
3. acquire the knowledge about history, important people and culture of visited places during the personal visit through experiental learning
(Before the visits, pupils got the test about history, important people and culture. After the return during reflection, pupils got again the same test. Each pupil demonstrated at least 60% better results from the test after the visit.)
4. development of communication skills in Slovak and English language during the cooperation with pupils from partner schools and tourists
(During the treasure hunt and activities during the visits, in the working sheets there were also tasks focused on interaction with strangers. Despite the language barrier, pupils were courageous and were trying to communicate even when random people started to ask them questions - for example, while they were waiting for a boat ride, a couple from Germany started the conversation. During the visits of partner schools, at the beginning kids were shy. After ice-breaking activities, they started to feel more comfortable and were communicating freely. During the mix group activities out of school, they showed good cooperation with pupils from a different school - for example treasure hunt in Bratislava.)
1. support the awareness of pupils about wider world
(Several months before the educational trips started, pupils were actively getting ready for it. However, thanks to the personal visit of the capitals, pupils went through very strong and intense experience. They experienced the activities and places, that are considered common to the bigger part of majority in Slovakia. For pupils some of the experiences were for the first time - as preparation breakfast for all together, travelling by metro or tram, using the metro ticket, visit of ZOO. seeing how it works in other schools...)
2. boost up the pride on their roots and Roma culture
(After crossing the borders, pupils became the common tourists and they experienced very positive reaction of strangers and tourists. This experience was opposite to the negative experiences they are used to, what obviously supported their self-esteem and make them feel during the trip very relaxed. Pupils got into contact with people from different countries, what lead them to realize the variety of cultures in the world.)
3. develop the respect and tolerance toward other cultures through direct and indirect contact
(The direct interaction was mostly at schools, but also during the common situations as sitting in a metro, asking for lunch or asking for the way. Pupils seemed to be relaxed and self-confident. They liked to interact with people and looking at them. They were proactively asking the teacher the English word, for example during the ride in the metro, where tourists asked them the questions about them. During the visits at schools both sites showed a positive reaction and were looking forward to the next meeting.)
4. Build their self-confidence and inner motivation based on their experiences from the visits in order to have a successful life
(Project had a very positive reaction not only by pupils, who went for the visit. All pupils at school ZŠ Chminianske Jakubovany realize that endeavor and well-behavior open the door for other pupils when there will be the next educational trip. Personally, I think it is very early to say if the experiences pupils went through have an effect on their inner motivation. However, very often I motivate pupils through their experience they went through when I explain why education and endeavor are important in life.)
Spreading the outcomes in the community
To spread the awareness about the experiences pupils had and knowledge they have gained we do 3 main activities:
1. Firstly, pupils presented the project to all pupils and teachers at school after the first education trip. Pupils were presenting infront of the whole school. They showed the posters they have made and talked about the experiences. These posters are in the entrance hall of the school.
2. During the reflection, pupils created the posters from the pictures about 4 European capitals. In the entrance hall of the school there is a corner, where memories from travels of Jacob Chminiansky are collected. Pupils have the acces to the posters and brief information. Jacob Chminianske is a mascot of our school and everyone at schools know, that Jacob travels a lot. So the knowledge about the project is in each pupil as it is connected to our mascot.
3. The final outcome that we use in order to spread the message and inspire the wider community is a video of 4 European capitals, made after the visits. The video is public on youtube, shared on the official fan page of ZŠ Chminianske Jakubovany, shared on travel fan page site NOtrouble GOtravel and also shared on private profiles of users. We believe that video will inspire other teachers to use the potential that educational traveling and cooperation with schools from abroad brings.