Implementation of ‘Europe and Me’ (SOI-IT-01)

Context of the implementation

My name is Maria Marrone, I am a teacher in a junior high school in Campania, a reality in the south of Italy where Education to Human Rights represents a very important aspect in the educational process. Unfortunately, in this area there are several problems due to a complex multicultural society, for this reason in my school we have realized a Curriculum inspired by Human Rights Education (HRE), a recommendation by OSCE.

About the Curriculum of HRE

We have started building the Curriculum of HRE beginning of 2000, when we have decided to implement the World Program for HRE and Plan for Action of the United Nation; we have welcomed the Recommendation U.N., Council of Europe and European Union in which they have pointed out HRE as a factor of quality in education. Teaching activities focused on inclusive methodologies, which facilitate inclusion and understanding of different cultural and personal backgrounds.

Why implementing this learning scenario?

I decided to implement with my students the scenario “Europe and Me” by Jean-Christophe Jost because it encourages a critical approach about causes which influence our lives and culture. This activity encourages teenagers to reflect on their values and personal identities and increase awareness about cultural diversity, pluralism of ideas and opinions in Europe. For this activity, I worked with students aged between 11-12 years from Poland, Romania, Tunisia and China, countries that were focused on in the iceberg Theory by E.T. Hall.

In order to adapt this scenario to my students’ needs, I decided to add some activities, such as:

  • “I LIMONI”. An icebreaker about individual differences and common habits. To implement this activity I used the critical reflection on stereotypes and prejudices.
  • “WHO AM I?”. An activity that involves buzz groups, brainstorming, drawing and group discussions. The aim is to explore issues about identity and to increase students’ understanding of the concept of identity and self-awareness.

Students interviewed their families and wrote down their stories. These were read in class and shared, and time was reserved for questions and discussion. Everyone chose a photo to represent their own story and this was added to a map of Europe hung to the classroom wall. The realization of family stories raised great interest among students, in particular about how European culture can influence everyone’s identity.

Overall

During the activity, I gave priority to inclusive methods and techniques: brainstorming, cooperative learning, group discussion, critical thinking, debriefing. I used LIM, Laptop, Smartphone, internet, e-mail. Europeana was explored in the classroom through LIM and mobile devices. The most used resources were Exhibition/Pioneers/Topics; Explore/People, Collections/Art.

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