Our diverse Cultural Heritage as Building Blocks for European Unity

As European educators, we feel that Europe is full of vibrant and diverse cultures. So celebrating our cultural heritage, sharing our past history, literature, music and art are very important to us. But in recent years, with the rise of populist and isolationist movements, the perception of Europe taking our individual values and cultures away from us, has gained momentum. Through this project we would like to counteract this development. We want to enable students to appreciate their own and each other's cultural heritage. We want them to realize that culture is a construct which can be used and misused to influence people's opinions and behaviour. With the help of this project we want them to understand that the development of culture is an ongoing process which they can actively influence. 120 students (aged 14 to 18) and about 40 teachers from six different countries and schools (comprehensive schools, grammar schools and vocational schools) will research the influence of art and monuments, nature and landscape, language and migration, traditions and folklore, food and sport on the historical development of their own culture. At six international meetings they will compare their findings and through different learning activities like workshops, seminars and visits to museums and other educational institutions and places, they will complete their knowledge on these topics. At the end of each meeting they will create their own product relating to the respective topic that commemorates and celebrates our shared European culture. The project will be wrapped up by the presentation of all the products and a panel discussion on the question "The EU - a shared culture?" We propose a collaborative website where students and staff enter upon a dialogue, present work on their cultural heritage both local and European. We will also develop materials within curriculum lessons, display work and disseminate the project in our local communities.

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