The title of our project may at first sound like a paradox. There is, after all, no such event in history books as discovery of Europe, since it was mostly the Europeans who travelled around the world in search of new lands, new routes and new means of achieving their goals.
With this project, primary and lower secondary schools from ten European countries want to make the best of this tradition. All participants intend to set off for a journey during which they will discover something valuable.
Students will discover new lands and make new friends. Although no great distances separate them, they know very little about their neighbours. To change this situation, they will help one another learn about their countries and people and share their cultures. While doing this, they will hopefully discover something more: motivation and sense of responsibility for their education, their own potential and creativity, importance of learning foreign languages and value of teamwork and cooperation.
Teachers intend to explore new routes in teaching, to avoid such dangers as boredom, stagnation and discouragement, which threaten both their students and themselves. They want to find new means to achieve their ultimate goal: cultivating and nurturing children's natural enthusiasm for learning, curiosity and creativity. They will explore methods that will enable them to better equip children for their further education and future work and that will help in particular those students who fail to achieve satisfactory results in the traditional lessons.
We have guidelines for our search. We think the solutions lie in letting children learn by working in teams on performing practical, creative tasks and allowing them more power in decisions concerning their learning . We would like to increase in our schools the utilization of modern tools of ICT and reinstate the element of fun in learning, so often banned from schools.
Therefore, our project will explore methods based on the theory of constructivism, in particular PBL (project based learning) and webquest, blended with with elements of peer-learning and learning-by-teaching. Those methods lie at the base of all activities in our project.
Like every well-designed expedition, our project is going to bring tangible profits: teaching resources based on the methods targeted by our project, in form of websites and ICT materials, which we intend to share with whole educational community.