Welcome to ESEC Erasmus+ Project

Welcome to the website of the ERASMUS+ project ‘Empowering Students to European Citizenship’ – ESEC. This website has two functionalities, first of all it is a platform to spread the word about the project, to disseminate to Europe, the ESEC project useful for all Secondary Schools from Sweden to Cyprus and from Estonia to Portugal. Secondly it is in use as an E-community between the partners – students and teachers – of the ERASMUS+ ESEC project.

Like this ERASMUS+ project is awarded by the European Commission I would like to thank, also on behalf of all partners, all member states for their financial participation in the project! How great to be part of the European Union and to be able to get funds for developing new innovative educational learning concepts both for students as for teachers.

All documents related to our project will be freely available and should be shared with other teachers and institutions within the European Union in the form of Intellectual Outputs. These Intellectual Outputs are based on 21st century skills, European values and social skills, scientific research, Professional Learning Communities – PLC and this website / E-community.

All neighbors of the European Union are also invited to use our products. We would love to share with teachers from Russia to Morocco and from Iceland to Azerbaijan and the Middle East. I invite you all to take a look at our website and to use our most inspiring documents.  

If you have any questions please contact us! Please note that a dissemination conference will be held in 2017!

Long Live ERASMUS+!!

André VAN DER BLOM  MEd
Program Manager ERASMUS+
SCOL – Bonaventuracollege
Leiden
The Netherlands 

Empowering Students to European Citizenship

Schools educate and equip their students for a rapidly changing "global world", in which boundaries blur and networks multiply. This "global world" is increasingly facing new challenges: changing societies, divergent cultures, economic disparities between and within continents, migration, armed conflicts and large numbers of refugees as a result, the influence of "other" religions and ideologies other than traditional. These challenges give rise to uncertainty, sometimes cause anxiety and put traditional western (European) values to the proof, such as universal human rights, constitutional freedoms, tolerance, preventing and combating discrimination.

As institutes of education, schools (and their teachers) face new tasks: how do we equip pupils to prepare and qualify themselves for their role in this globalized society?

In most Western European countries, school programs are strongly adapted to the realization of standardized cognitive and routine skills and standards with fixed curricula and a standard set of subjects. The "global world" on the other hand calls for skills that are not based on routine and cognition, but on empathy, anticipation, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, it is increasingly important that future members of the "global world" , future Europeans, hence current students, are aware of norms and values in a global society and are able to form opinions, speak out  and constructively take part in the civil “discourse”.

But how can teachers equip their students? What could be their contribution?

This forms the core of the program the Bonaventura College in Leiden, The Gymnasium Lilienthal in Bremen, the Liceo Classico in Cagliari and La Annunciata Ikastetxea in San Sebastián set up collaboratively.

  1. In equipping students two lines come together:
    • equipment for their role in the globalized society through the development of so-called transversal competences and skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, research attitude, creativity, curiosity, ability to innovate,  initiative, planning, perseverance, empathy, sense of social relations and others (cf. the results of the UNESCO Conference in Bangkok in November 2013). The competences of the Common Framework of European Competences (CFEC) serve as a guideline;
    • the development of attitudes and values to make a constructive contribution to a renewed European morality, based on respect, tolerance, sense of changing relationships and curiosity about new cultures. It is important that students from different cultures and backgrounds will learn to speak out and to communicate.
    In the project Empowering Students to European Citizenship, participating schools promote students from different backgrounds to collaborate on ethical issues developing their transversal skills. Students of 15/16 years of age from four countries form groups of about 8 people, both in a virtual learning environment (e-community) as in physical exchange deepening a theme. In addition, they work towards presentations in concrete social situations: debates in youth centers, exhibitions, publications in local newspapers, for fellow students, etc.
  2. Teachers from the four partner schools collaborate in an e-community as well as in physical exchange. They develop a methodology for personalized learning on ethical themes. A first group focuses mainly on the method aimed at the transversal skills, the second mainly on the way ethical issues can be integrated into curricula of schools.  An important part of the methodology is the assessment of transversal skills and the way this can be included in a portfolio. The methodology should be applicable to all secondary schools, to be presented at national and international conferences and open digital platforms available to all schools.

Both the effects on the motivation and skills of students as the methodology in this project are subject of scientific research, which is conducted under the supervision of the Graduate School of Teaching of the University of Leiden (ICLON).

The methodologies, the descriptions of "good practices" and the reports of the research are made available through international and local conferences and through platforms for knowledge sharing as School aan Zet, "Talentstimuleren.nl", Leraar2020, Leerling2020 etc.