13th to 19th of June: a new immersion into Preschool Education began. This week we had the pleasure of hosting 9 participants from Bulgaria, from the schools Detska gradina 1 "Vedrica" Blagoevgrad, DG Bulgarche and DG44 "Velentina Tereshkova" and 2 from Romania, working in Gradinita cu Program Prelungit nr.37. They got to know each other on Sunday, during the cultural activities and the traditional lunch and dinner, where they had the chance to explore Bologna and taste the local cuisine.
The course about preschool education started on Monday morning with some practical activities to break the ice and get in the right mood. The teachers had also the chance to present themselves and their schools to the others: this was a perfect way to get to know how preschools work in other countries.
Tuesday was a day rich in experiences: in the morning the trainer Sara explained the importance of play based learning and of non formal education and, to better understand the method, some activities and games were implemented. In the evening we had the pleasure of virtually hosting a Montessori teacher from the Carducci preschool, who was so kind to explain the group the history and main principles of the method and she showed videos and pictures of the main materials used in the school. The evening was spent by the teachers exploring the churches of Bologna and enjoying a delicious pizza night.
Wednesday was free for the participants to enjoy a full day trip to Florence, learning about the history, culture and cuisine of Tuscany.
On Thursday the group had the chance to meet Carlotta of “Naturalmente Bambini”, who brought the participants in the magical word of outdoor education. She showed them all the spaces of the Podere, where the kids were playing in the sun and told them a bit of history of the place. The group was enthusiast of learning so much about a different reality such as this one.
In the end, Friday, was dedicated to the Reggio Emilia approach. The teachers learned about the 100 languages and the most important spaces that can be found in a Reggio Emilia school. With a goodbye dinner the week arrived to an end and it was time for the teachers to come back home with a luggage full or memories and experiences.
A new week of courses has just passed and we are here to tell you all about it!
From the 20th to the 26th of June, four participants came to Bologna to take part in the course about outdoor education, to explore tools, ideas, games and best practices together with practical experience and first-hand knowledge on how to integrate an outdoor approach in formal education.
Margarita from Bulgaria, Lenka and Natalia from Czech Republic and Maroš form Slovakia were ready to start their unique experience on Monday, together with the trainer Giulia, after a Sunday spent eating typical food and exploring Bologna.
Second week of June 2021, a sunny Sunday. Six teachers from different countries landed in Bologna, ready to start an incredible journey. They come from Sant Marc and Ricardo Campano schools in Spain, Dječji vrtic Rijeka in Croatia, and Da Vinci preschool in Czech Republic. After a nice day in the city centre, accompanied by a lunch and a tour of the city, theparticipants were enthusiasts of starting their training on Preschool Education on Monday morning.
Monday began with some get to know each other activities, where the teachers had the possibility of getting acquainted one with the other and meet the trainer, Sara. The first day rapidly went by talking about preschool education best practices and group activities with the aim of involving all the educators in enriching discussions about their experiences.
Tuesdays was about exploring the power of play-based learning and non-formal education, topics which were investigated through learning games, practical activities, group reflections and brainstorming.
On Wednesday the group delved into the Montessori method, a philosophy and pedagogy developed by Maria Montessori in the early 19th century. A presentation of pictures of Montessori authentic environment and materials was the starting point for discovering the method in a practical and experiential way. In the afternoon the teachers had the possibility of enjoying Florence, an amazing historical and artistic city close to Bologna.
Thursday the team headed to “Naturalmente bambini”, an educational association in Bologna developing an outdoor education project inspired by the experience of “The kindergarten in the woods”. The group is warmly welcomed and guided into the four hectars of Podere Ringoni by Carlotta, educator, pedagogist and president of the Associaton. Getting to know how the outdoor space is planned, organized and experienced by children and educators, meeting the children as well as having a look at the rich and creative documentation produced was according to one of our participants “the best way to understand the pedagogy”. The day ended with an explanation of the Bologna preschool outdoor experience and some ideas and advices on how to implement this pedagogy.
The last day was about discovering the Reggio-Emilia approach. A historical and theoretical background on this peculiar approach was followed by a practical session where participants could get in touch with concrete experiences through the support of video documentation.
After enjoying the last moments in Bologna, our participants got ready to travel back home. As one of the participant commented, “the course made me smarter with knowledge that I can now share with colleagues in my country”, and we can’t wait for them to share the knowledge and experience gained in their schools and countries, so as to inspire other preschool teachers and spread even more innovation and new approaches in early childhood education.
Last week we had the pleasure to work together with teachers and education staff from Slovenia, Lithuania and Hungary supporting them in integrating ICT and new technologies into teaching and discovering the best digital and distance tools and app for education and language learning.
During the course the participants together with ELA trainers and staff discovered and practiced various tools, apps and web platforms useful for teaching, both for lessons in presence and online. But not only that, as one participant noted in final evaluation of the course “I really recommend this training, because you can use all of the knowledge you learned in your professional and also personal life”.
The tools addressed were selected based on the needs of the participants, some of the main tools that were explained and practiced have been: Snapseed, Photogrid and Canva for easily editing photos, creating collage and engaging students in multimedia creation; Magisto and Powtoon for creating short videos, captivating presentations and video-explainers; Socrative and Quizlet for formative assessment, quiz and self-study; Mentimeter for creating interacting presentations and stimulate students learning; Ted Ed and EdPuzzle for creating a lesson around a video; Edmodo for distance learning; Google Jamboard for creating collaborative learning experiences. The participants had the chance to get acquainted and learn about many others tools including Thinglink, Learning Apps and many more.
The participants established a positive cooperation and appreciated that the course that gave them a valuable opportunity to increase their skills and get in contact with fellow educators. One of the participants wrote in the final evaluation “I would recommend this course to all teachers who are starting (or have just started teaching online) and they need new ideas and tools to use with their students”. Another teacher commented “I strongly recommend taking the ICT course because it really helps with how to make use of different kinds of platforms or apps as a teacher, or someone who works with teachers. It focuses on practice which is a really positive thing".
The participants also appreciated accommodation, tours and, above all, the typical Bolognese food!
“It was an educational holiday: the best holiday!”
Good morning to everyone,
it's with great pleasure that starting from June 2021 we're launching the Erasmus Learning Academy (ELA) Blog in which we will collect the experiences and stories about the Erasmus training courses that ELA implements.
In the last 10 years we've organized over 300 courses with more than 3000 teachers and we've missed a place where we could disseminate the results of our activities and allow participants to share their opinions and feedback.
This initiative is part of a wider dissemination and networking campaign that we've planned during the last months and the we will roll out in the forthcoming months. Stay tuned!
We hope that this blog will inspire fellow teachers and education across Europe and that could be a valuable resource.
We wish you all the best we look forward to meet you (again).
ELA - Director