Final assessment. May 2011
Throughout the project we have conducted several evaluations aimed to correct shortcomings and improve our work and our results. At each meeting an evaluation questionnaire was delivered to all the schools to be discussed. The following results are a summary of the final evaluation that was done in Lodz (Poland) taking into account the objectives we set at the beginning.
Regarding the dissemination actions, all the schools have organised and carried out diffusion activities addressed to the students, their families and the staff and most of the schools activities have been addressed to the local community as well. School magazines, educational magazines, local newspapers, families’ participation in mobilities, information meetings, questionnaires, surveys and Comenius corners have been the most useful ways of diffusion. But the project has also been disseminated in seminars, conferences and particularly in temporary exhibitions (photographs, students’ works, notice boards and so on). And, finally, we have to make special mention of the broadcast on the Internet of our common webpage, of webpages of schools and project school blogs. We have intensified the relationship between the school and its setting by means of an appropriate dissemination of the direct participation in the project by using surveys, testimony records, talks, etc.
The use of ICT has increased among students, participant teachers and, although it is more difficult to detect, among the rest of the staff in some cases.
As expected, students’ awareness of being part of a European society and a multicultural society has increased. The same can be said about their knowledge of other European people and cultures, mainly through project meetings, but also through project activities, e.g. countries questionnaire, introductory questionnaire, etc. It is interesting to note that this feeling has been partly extended to staff. We have boosted the contact and mobility among students and teachers from different countries of the European Union. Most of the schools did a lot of mobilities (more than 30 in most cases).
The fact of developing teamwork and cooperating among European students has reduced the stereotyped ideas about other countries. We confirm this through several questionnaires, but we also noted that sometimes the stereotypes have been confirmed.
The use and interest in our knowledge of other European languages has been clearly increased among students, and to some extent among teachers (obviously not among all of them). The improvement in the use of the languages has been general. We found the only exception between students and teachers whose mother Language is English. Finally, although in a more limited way, we consider that we have also endorsed the use of minority languages of the European Union.
The students have a different point of view concerning Europe and being a European citizen nowadays. For example some of them want to study abroad. We have established habits and coexistence patterns based on dialogue and tolerance and promoted respect towards other races, cultures and ideas and boosted pacific cooperation among them. Contact between Christian and muslin students provoked a better understanding.
Although it has been difficult to measure, we all consider that Pupils´ initial attitudes towards human rights have changed so that now they are more favourable to their effective implantation. All the schools judge that through the encouragement of the knowledge and the respect of human rights as one of the essential pillars of the coexistence and the European culture we have reinforced and disseminated the defence of human rights and we have spread the positive experiences of the different partners. We have detected, identified, studied and analysed inequalities in our own communities and we have generated positive attitudes supporting equality and equal rights fulfilment
We have exchanged experiences and strategies about solution of conflicts and analysed possible positive attitudes supporting equality.We have shared them among our communities contributing our experiences to the other partners. Particularly, the awareness of equal rights and opportunities for women and men, races, religion and social background. Also, based on dialogue and consciousness, the awareness of the need of equality of all political options has been increased. These results were particularly visible when we worked in international teams during the meetings. The students could learn from each other about solutions.
With regard to the values for a European citizenship, we have not worked them directly but as a logical consequence of the whole project. The notion of citizenship, as understood before the project, has expanded. Now the students are aware of the fact that they are not only citizens of their own country, but also of the whole European community. Knowledge, values and attitudes related to the European dimension well be included in the curriculum for next school year in some of our schools, but this integration won’t take place in all cases.
Something similar occurs with respect to the incorporation of materials on cultural diversity. Some schools will make curriculum modifications, but not all of them. In some cases activities about European Citizenship or cultural diversity have been included as a part of after school activities.
Special mention deserves the improvement on students’ social competences and skills and the progress on their ability of communication. This has not always been worked directly but it is a logical consequence. The best way to confirm it is to see how students (and teachers) talk about their experiences. And, of course, social networks, blogs and web pages have played a decisive role as channels of communication.
All our schools have clearly raised their self-esteem, and we have established cooperation habits with other European people for the future. Some students have expressed a desire to travel and some are thinking of studying abroad.
We have reinforced cooperation with local institutions, although on a limited scale, and only in some of the schools. We enabled them to participate in the project through sponsorship or other aids.
When we write these lines after the evaluation carried out in our last meeting in Lodz, our intention is to gather our experiences, contributions and all materials used during the project in a final publication. We can not assess the result yet, but hopefully, we will make it available to anyone who would like to make use of it.