Undeniably, the state of the planet we live on has been deteriorating further each year for the past decades. We can all, as individuals, participate more in trying to make the world a better place for future generations. To do that, it is vital that each and every one of us become aware of how and what we can do to improve our lifestyles. With this goal in mind, we created a new course aimed at teachers for them to learn, discuss ideas and challenges, and how they can get their pupils to become conscious of the world around them and the state of the planet their children will live on, as well as developing green skills.
This new-brand course “Green skills for education: promoting environmental awareness and sustainable actions in the classroom”, took place in Tenerife from 11/06/2023 to 17/06/2023. We had a small group of 4 participants composed of Lucia and Marguerita from Maison de l’Europe Bordeaux-Aquitaine in France and Sebastian and Bärbel, respectively from KurfürstBalduinRealschule+ and Carlo-Schmid-Oberschule in Germany.
The week began with discussions around definitions of words related to the environment such as sustainability or even greenwashing. As complex as the phenomenon can be, giving a clear definition for some related words can be relatively hard as they depend on each person. Discussion around what each word implies took place to have a better understanding of the level of “green knowledge” each participant had and also to share points of view on various subjects related to the environment.
Following that, the participants explored the Sustainable Development Goals through games, and they learned how to incorporate them into their lessons effectively. This integration helps students understand the global challenges we face and instills a sense of purpose and commitment to working towards achieving these goals.
Through practical activities and simulations, teachers discovered innovative ways to engage students on topical green issues such as global warming, carbon footprint, and sustainable food consumption. Non-formal and experiential learning approaches were emphasized to promote critical thinking and reflection.
One of the last topics was tools that can be used in the classroom. The participants were equipped with strategies to implement better environmental sustainability into their lessons. Application using ICT tools, employing creativity-based approaches, as well as integrating outdoor-inspired activities were used.
And finally, we focused on empowering teachers to lead by example and develop personal and classroom action plans for a green transition using Project-based learning. By planning and implementing sustainable practices, educators can inspire students to embrace sustainability and actively contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
Through this week, teachers did not only gain inspiration and practical strategies but also joined a network of like-minded professionals dedicated to creating positive change. Together, they will now embark on a journey to transform education and foster a sustainable mindset that will shape our societies for years to come.
Discover more about this course in: https://www.erasmustrainingcourses.com/green-skills.html
The main goal of this course was to make the participants reflect on what it means to have a supportive classroom and how to create a positive climate for the students. It was possible for them to imagine what would the perfect classroom look like for them and how they would create it. In this course they learned the main skills revolving around effective classroom management and were given the tools to create a supportive environment for their students.
These were the main topics discussed in the new edition of the course “Effective Classroom Management Strategies for teachers and education staff” that took place in Tenerife from 18/06/2023 to 24/06/2023. The participants came from all over Europe, with Patricia and Janna from the Gymanasium Munster in Germany. We also had two participants coming from France in Lycée Suger, Camilla and Marina from Université Paris Nanterre. Last but not least, we had Tamara from Grundschule Sarnthein, and Chiara and Alessandra from IC Margherita Hack, in Italy.
During the course three major factors of Classroom Management emerged as critically important in shaping a supportive climate for students. First, engagement: the class should have a strong network of relationships, promoting respect for diversity and school participation. The second factor discussed was safety because the class should be a safe place, both emotionally and physically. Lastly, the environment is essential: the class should be a happy place, transmitting peace and calm, promoting dialogue and understanding.
Then, group dynamics were explored. Taking care of the group dynamics present in the classroom is a crucial element in ensuring a tension-free atmosphere that encourages students’ participation and also avoids school drop-out. In order to be more inclusive, the group later performed an activity to approach various aspects of diversity that was called “learning stations”: in each station, one of the diversity topics was discussed in a different way.
The participants later focused on communication, especially investigating the difference between fixed and growth mindset. After being put to test and challenged on the assumptions they had about their own mindsets, the group analyzed the characteristics of what is called “growth mindset” and put their knowledge to practice by doing some group exercises.
Later, the topic of “Flipped Classroom” was presented. In a combination of theory and practice, the participants tested some ICT tools that could be beneficial and helpful in managing a Flipped Classroom, in order to make the management of their classes extremely efficient and effective.
Finally, conflict management was discussed. After exploring their own perceptions and preconceptions, the participants gained insights on how conflicts can also be extremely beneficial if managed in the right way. They learned the different types of personalities that you can encounter when facing conflict and how to approach them individually.
In an increasingly interconnected world, language learning plays a crucial role in promoting communication and understanding across cultures. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has emerged as a powerful methodology that combines language acquisition with subject-based learning. By learning how to incorporate ICT and game-based tools, multimedia content creation, and dynamic experiential activities, participants are more equipped to promote linguistic diversity in education and prepare students for their roles as European citizens.
In this special edition of the course “Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) course for teachers” that took place in Bologna from 04/06/2023 to 10/06/2023, eight teachers from Technical School in Starachowice (Poland) delved together in the course topics. The teachers involved, Iwona, Radosław, Marzena, Monika, Olga, Dariusz, Edyta and Jarosław, could share their experiences and plans for implementing CLIL in various subjects, including language learning, technical subjects, literature and physical education.
The CLIL course began with a dynamic brainstorming session, encouraging participants to share their existing practices and prior knowledge related to CLIL. This collaborative activity fostered an engaging environment for knowledge exchange and exploration. The course went through a theoretical exploration of CLIL principles, understanding the significance of teaching content through a second language. The course emphasized the pivotal role of the teacher in facilitating language integration, creating a rich learning environment that nurtures both content knowledge and language skills.
Insights into effective lesson planning within the CLIL context was provided. Participants discovered valuable tips and techniques to craft engaging and purposeful CLIL lessons. By sharing resources and experiences, participants began to develop their own lesson plans draft, which served as a foundation for subsequent activities.
The course delved into the integration of captivating texts and videos in CLIL classrooms to leverage multimedia resources creatively. Participants explored common ICT tools in education, with a practical focus on those which proved to be the most relevant to their specific needs and interests. They practiced these tools to create educational games and interactive presentations, seamlessly integrating them into their lesson plans.
Participants were introduced to experiential learning activities that enhance CLIL lessons. They discovered effective strategies to promote collaboration and peer learning in the classroom, facilitating language communication on the subject matter. Through hands-on experiences, they gained insights into fostering an interactive and immersive learning environment.
Participants could finally share their finalized lesson plans, which incorporated the newly acquired strategies and activities developed throughout the week, proving their readiness to create engaging and language-rich CLIL classrooms.
More info on this course here.
The field of childhood and preschool education is a vibrant and ever-evolving landscape, constantly influenced by emerging trends and innovative practices. This training course for preschool teachers will be a springboard for exploring the main principles, features and benefits of the best preschool approaches.
The new edition of the course “The best for preschool teachers” took place in Bologna from 05/06/2023 to 09/06/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, Annika Ljung, Carola Börjel and Britt-inger Östling from Nävergårdens förskola in Sweden, 7 teachers from Spain in 4 differents schools : Lucía Navarro Vicente and Laura Ortiz Bermejo from Ceip Lo Campanar, Elena Oltra Balbastre and Marta Ortí Pastor from "Colegio La Purísima, Cristina Burriel Aldea and Nerea Lopez Sanchez from CEIP Foro Romano, and Marta Gradiada Devis, from CEIP El Castell. We also have Vilborg Jóna Hilmarsdóttir, Arndís Gísladóttir, Sigríður Sigurðardóttir, Sólveig Þórarinsdóttir and Sigrún Ásta Gunnlaugsdóttir, from "Preschool Vinagerdi in Iceland.
The immersive journey began with practical activities to break the ice sharing their expectations and contributions. The participants also made a presentation of their preschools pedagogy, enabling teachers to learn from one another's experiences and gain valuable insights into diverse educational approaches across Europe.
During our course, we also had the opportunity to welcome a teacher from a Montessori school. Through a captivating presentation of pictures showcasing authentic Montessori environments and materials, the participants embarked on a practical and experiential exploration of this renowned teaching method.
The group also learned about non-formal education, and its difference from formal and informal approaches by doing various activities and games, gaining hands-on experience and understanding of the characteristics and application of this innovative methodology.
One of the highlights of the course was a special visit to "Naturalmente Bambini," an inspiring outdoor preschool that immersed the teachers in the wonders of learning outside, with the sky as roof and the trees as walls. There, our teachers observed and learned from the children themselves, and from their way of connecting with nature.
Then it was time for making dreams come true. The teachers and the course trainer headed to Reggio Emilia to visit the Loris Malaguzzi Centre where an expert guided us throughout the wonderful exhibitions of the Centre. Teachers had a chance to learn more about the history, the materials, the projects and the experiences, which make the Reggio Emilia approach unique in the world.
As the course came to an end, our participants returned home with valuable knowledge not only from the Italian preschool experience but also from other European countries. We are grateful for our amazing teachers who brought boundless knowledge, enthusiasm, and warm-hearted attitude.
Discover more about this course here.
Preschool continues to be seen by many as the most important part of the education journey for any person. It’s here where children start to learn the bases that will be useful for the rest of their lives.
The new edition of the course “The best for preschool teachers” took place in Palermo from 04/06/2022 to 10/06/2022. The participants came from all across Europe, with Silviya, Aleksandra and Penka from, Detska gradina "Radost"/ Kindergarten "Radost" in Bulgaria, Inger and Monica from Kvernaland kindergarden in Norway and participants coming from four different Spanish schools: María Jesús and Cristina form Ceo Camino de Santiago, Maria de los Ángeles and Dolores from CEIP SANT ANTONI DE PÀDUA, Beatriz from CPI Valdespartera III and Carmen from CRA CUBILLOS DEL SIL.
We took off this week by presenting the model that Italy follows for preschool, the key factors that are respected, what an Italian teacher should be/should have and how precious this type of teaching is. After analysing this aspect, our participants had the opportunity to present to us not only how their country works but more specifically how the environment that they are inserting goes on during the daily basis. The timing was fantastic because we could reflect and compare right after, all the different systems and cultures that everybody knows and logically this results in an amplification of the network and discovery of new perspectives.
Preceding in this path, we look to a specific educational approach for preschools, the Montessori one. Created by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator where she defends the idea that children are naturally curious and have an innate desire to learn. So, the objective is a system that is really focused on a strong autonomy for the children to learn by himself. It emphasises self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and individualised education. After presenting the benefits and hearing the different opinion on this topic from the teachers, there was no better way to understand this methodology if it wasn’t by not seeing a real example. So, we spent some time by visiting Istituto Internazionale M.Montessori where we had the pleasure to observe real classes and get to know the routines that every student passes during the day.
Another way to approach preschool education is by learning experiences and activities that occur outside the formal school system but still have an educational purpose, so non formal education. It is often structured and organised, but it does not follow a formal curriculum or lead to formal qualifications or certifications. Having said this, we tested this model with a lot of different practical activities to promote this way to see the education.
The last approach of education that we took a look at was to the Reggio Emilia one: we analysed their principals and understood the philosophy, how it was named after the city where it was developed and after World War II. The Reggio Emilia approach is highly regarded for its child-centred, inquiry-based, and collaborative approach to learning.
For our last effort, we outline Outdoor education, which is also a very valid method to face up and to be positioned in the best methods. Having said this, we went to another visit, this time Palma Nana where the purpose was to discover the power of outdoor education and to understand how the “maieutic” method is the base to learn in nature.
This week was very diverse and rich in many aspects, now it’s up for everyone to think what can be more useful to be implemented in their countries. As such, we hope that these days could give some different perspectives about many different ways to think about preschool.
Discover more about this course here.
No one's life is completely stress-free. We all have stress - at work or in our private life. Many of us face challenges in daily life that feel overstrained and demanding and when we exhaust the capacities to deal with the upcoming events, stress appears. It's essential to learn how to cope with it appropriately and to decrease it effectively and to establish individual resources to keep on track and overcome stressful situations. If not, chronic and persistent stress can cause mental, physical and emotional illnesses.
If we think about Teaching and Coaching, even though they are different, it’s not a lie that they clearly can pair up and go together really well.
Discovering the power of the combination of these two roles was the goal of the new edition of the course “Coaching skills for teachers, school and adult education staff” that took place in Palermo from 28/05/2022 to 03/06/2022. The participants came from all across Europe, with Marika, Riina and Meelis from Luua Forestry School in Estonia, Olga e Deonémia from Agrupamento de Escolas D. Dinis de Leiria in Portugal, Daphne from Holland University of Applied Sciences in Netherland, Zrinka from Trgovačka škola Zagreb in Croatia, Magnús from Borgarholtsskóli in Iceland, Maarit from Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy and Pirita from Kalliolan kansalaisopisto in Finland, in last addiction Melania from Centro de Profesorado de Monzón and María from IES Alfonso X "El Sabio" in Spain.
We start the course by exactly differentiating a coach from a teacher in order to understand their differences but also how you can unite these two professionals. After it, the participants had the opportunity to reveal their current practices in the classroom to engage the pupils, what other exchanges are they open to do and what are the challenges that they feel that they have to face. To complete this thought, the teachers did a reflection of their own skills and the best way to implement them.
It is very important to maintain and know how to manage our emotional intelligence. As you all know, this part is crucial because it controls a big part of who we are. Emotional intelligence is also having the capacity of recognizing our feelings and being capable of understanding the feelings of others. We live in a world where everything is insanely fast, sometimes you look around and it feels that you don’t find time to think about yourself even less about others.
After exercising the emotional intelligence we thought it would be a good opportunity to start talking about conflicts. A remarkable coaching skill to take in mind is the ”know how” to manage this situation the best way possible. However, one idea that some people have is that a conflict is only negative, when it doesn’t necessarily have to be, in fact a conflict can be a great opportunity to grow and find positive outcomes.
To improve not only as a coach but as a person we must look for answers and solutions in order to discover new things, experiences and absorb new knowledge. By saying this, a strong methodology in a coaching point of view is to ask questions, never be afraid about them, they will give you new perspectives and even if we don’t reach a clear answer or neither a conclusion, questions make us reflect and sometimes give us different angles and perspectives.
A crucial statement that was in perfect time to present in the final moments of our course was the type of mindset and beliefs that guide our behaviors and which kind of consequences we can create on reality. To know or to change our process and attitude, we need something that can help a lot in this sense, feedback. We study how important this communication is, how motivated and inspirational a positive feedback can be when you have reasons, how to give effective feedback and “do’s” and “don'ts” about it.
Definitely we were surrounded by precious knowledge to develop and improve coaching skills. But most importantly we practiced different alternative ways, as so with the experience of the participants they saw various points of view to expand their horizons, to approach in a different perspective and create motivation in the classroom.
Discover more about this course here.
Diversity is something that must be embraced and faced with open-mindedness. All of us should feel privileged if we have the opportunity to live in a diverse environment. It's an enormous occasion to grow up in various aspects as an individual (by practicing a different language, getting to know better new cultures, becoming more international, understanding different points of views). This will lead us to have a much more advanced society, more connected, open minded, tolerant and with much less prejudices. In a classroom the importance and the benefits are clearly connected, when working and learning with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, students gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. It also teaches students how to use their own strengths and points of view to contribute in a diverse working environment.
The new edition of the course “Diversity in the classroom: teaching tolerance and overcoming prejudices and discrimination” took place in Palermo from 21/05/2023 to 27/05/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Naiara from Agrupamento de Escolas Amadora Oeste in Portugal; Sára from Aranykéz Gimnázium, Technikum és Szakképző Iskola in Hungary; Pilar, Victor and Sheila from IES MARJANA in Spain; and Thea, Mariann, Veerle, Yolanda and Judith from SG de Overlaat in the Netherlands.
Starting this very rich week, we took advantage of our classroom, since here every week we coexist with diversity, welcoming people from different countries. So, by a virtual platform every one of the participants had the chance to share a little bit ineresting features of themselves and their culture.
With this, the door was open for understanding and analyzing the concept of identity. Following our methodology of interactive and practical activities, for example, we tried to challenge their imagination and critical thinking by using concrete objects to under stand what identity is. Then the participants explored their own personal idenity using creativity, focusing both on what everyone can see and on what is visible only after getting to know the person better, like the values, the personal characteristics and so on. In this beginning, we also talked about perceptions, tank to which we saw how something can have extremely different values in another culture. To compare values, we played a game where everybody had to agree or disagree after hearing a statement, as a group they could discuss all the diverse points of views and, most of all, try to under stand the other’s point of view.
The diversity around the planet is what makes our world better, it is what permits us to grow up in a lot of ways as a society. One consequence that diversity brings are the stereotypes. We opened this discussion with a super interesting video where we saw how super stereotyped this world can be for some people, whether they are negative or positive.
Related to this last topic, we saw how it can appear that the concept of privilege is way bigger than we thought. Usually, the first impression that comes to our mind is related to extreme situations (you have a house and food and others don’t even have that); however, we thought in a deeper way and understood that you don’t need to go so far: for example, if you are a white, Christian, heterosexual man, all the struggles that you will face in your life will not be related with your skin colour, religion or sexuality. And we don’t have to feel guilty for this but just be aware of it, in order to use our privilege to make small steps toward a fairere world.
Creating a supportive classroom is a fantastic method to delete the bad stereotypes that can possibly be in the students' heads and mainly create a good atmosphere for diversity. We experienced that with various activities that aimed at fostering membership, empathy and connection.
The last topic we dealt with, that is seen as a common situation in our daily lives but can also appear in the classroom, is conflict. Having said this, it’s important to be aware of how to handle it, how to educate and especially learn from these current situations.
In the end, this week was very rewarding for all of us, because all the participants had great intentions and they had the chance to share their experience related to the topic with the aim of showing how rich diversity can be and how much we can learn from it. Thank you all!
Discover more about this course here.
Frequently the students' perception of assessment distinguishes it from the teacher's purpose of it. Often students only focus on the assessed grade they receive but assessments include much more! Assessment in the classroom sets learning goals, establishes clear standards for success and gives the students learning-oriented feedback. Furthermore assessment practices do not only influence the students' learning but also how they learn. For that case it's clearly visible that the way teachers provide assessment should be purposefully so that the students are enabled to reach their whole learning capacity.
The new edition of the course “Effective formative assessment and feedback management in education” took place in Bologna from 29/05/2023 to 03/06/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Kevin from Koba Heli vzw - Campus Sint-Ursula (Belgium) , Cristina and Ana Paula from Agrupamento de Escolas de Arganil (Portugal), Vanessa from The Kinkaid School(USA), Ana from Pučko otvoreno učilište Koprivnica (Croatia), Viktorija from The Ljubljana secondary School for Hairstyling (Slovenia) and Helga, Kristín , Ásta and Kristín from the Commercial College of Iceland.
The course initiated with the distinction between summative and formative assessment. Together we pointed out that assessment is not only a moment in which a student receives feedback of his performance in class but rather a whole cycle, which starts before and continues after a student gets feedback of his or her achievements. Through this, the attendees discovered powerful assessment strategies that can be used to activate prior knowledge and to mobilize learning motivation.
In addition to giving meaningful and thoughtful assessment the courses offered digital, cutting-edge methods to check the students' learning achievement. The participants approached various applications and useful digital assessment and feedback techniques which can be used practically in their mundane work to obtain an overall overview of every single student's learning achievement. Whereby they can show a real interest to every single learner, which facilitates the opportunity to react to difficulties and uncertainties. This allows to avoid harmful and blaming situations in the class and permits the teacher an insight into the individual learning process. Which leads us to another issue of the course - the growth mindset. We had many infectious discussions during the course and accordingly we also debated the importance of developing and teaching a growth mindset. “Praise the process, not the person!”
Finally we dedicated our course to another notable topic: giving and receiving feedback. Through Ted-Talks, personal exchange, exercises and role plays the participants vividly enacted ordinary situations in their school lives and experienced how they can give feedback during their day appropriately and purposefully. Together we enriched our toolbox to provide feedback and with that to foster and motivate the students' learning achievement and development. Furthermore the participants also obtained tools to receive feedback generally and also from their students to develop themselves as well.
Taking everything together we experienced a memorable week with loads of intercultural exchanges and infectious and inspiring debates and social activities. Within this course every participant empowered one another with sharing their ideas stimulated by the new course content they received and which enriched their assessment and feedback tools. We hope you all take a huge backpack full of experiences, perspectives and memories back to your hometown. It was a pleasure to have you here in Bologna!
Discover more about this course here.
In an era of unprecedented globalization, technology has emerged as a key catalyst, transcending geographical boundaries and revolutionizing various aspects of our lives. One of the areas profoundly impacted by this global shift is education. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the importance of technology in education has grown exponentially, offering new avenues for learning and collaboration. At the forefront of this digital revolution stands Google, a pioneer in technological innovation, whose suite of tools collectively known as G Suite has become an integral part of modern education.
The new edition of the course “ GSuite for Education ” took place in Bologna from 28/05/2023 to 03/06/2023. The dear participants were Olivera Shikleska Grozdanova, Natasha Markovska , Marjan Tasevski, Nevenka, Ivanova Toleska , Natasha Todorovska and Biljana Temelkova working in Macedonia in Municipal Primary School Gjorgji Sugarev.
On the first day of our GSuite course, we embarked on a journey of discovery, immersing ourselves in the realm of Google collaborative apps and acquiring basic knowledge. We eagerly explored Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Docs, uncovering various features and functionalities. With enthusiasm, participants embraced practical application by trying out the configuration of these tools and enjoying the wide possibilities of organizing their job at best in the cloud-based storage system.
During another session of the training, our focus shifted towards Google Jamboard, an innovative tool offered by Google. This provided an excellent opportunity for our participants to delve into the integration of Jamboard within the classroom environment. Engaging in interactive discussions, they shared insights on leveraging Jamboard to foster creativity and collaboration among students. Moreover, participants had the privilege of showcasing their ideas and imaginations through practical demonstrations, effectively highlighting the tool's potential. Additionally, they gained valuable knowledge about Google Forms, a powerful resource for creating diverse surveys to enhance classroom engagement and assessment practices. What's more they discovered the possibility of creating an escape room thanks to this user-friendly tool.
Another pivotal aspect covered during the training involved harnessing the creative and user-friendly features of Google to construct visually appealing Sheets and Slides. Through Google Sheets, our participants gained proficiency in crafting diverse tables, equipped to serve them both personally and professionally. Furthermore, participants learned to create impactful slides, tailored to their individual and educational needs. Some opted to focus on training-related content, while others explored their specific areas of interest. This demonstrated the versatility of these applications across diverse subjects and contexts, allowing us to witness firsthand the vast range of possibilities they offer.
Last but not least, participants delved into Google Keep, an advanced note-taking application crafted by Google. Our participants explored the multifaceted features of Google Keep, which included the ability to categorize notes using color coding, seamlessly integrate images, generate dynamic lists, utilize geofencing capabilities, create shareable notes, and efficiently search notes by color.
After all, it was a bright week full of new knowledge, practice, sharing, deep conversations and thoughts, ideas and emotions. We are so happy to have them between us. Hope to see them again somewhere in the world.
Discover more about this course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.