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Summer School 2016

"Diversity of learners and diversity of teachers: learning together for a better future"

The Pestalozzi Programme Summer School 2016 in cooperation with the Academy of Bad Wildbad
Dates : 26 June – 3 July 2016 (arrival 25 June, departure 4 July)
Venue : Bad Wildbad, Germany

Introduction

“Think globally, act locally”. It is commonplace today that the world has become a global village and that everything is interconnected - economy, environment, resources, politics. The recent dramatic increase of migration and refugees reflects this in all clarity. However, the current situation in Europe puts our inclusive democratic societies at risk. If the fear of newcomers mixed with populist oversimplification of security concerns gains the upper hand this may well lead to an increase of self-centredness, closing-in and eventually to more discrimination, prejudice, stigmatisation of certain groups, and thus to increased exclusion and nationalism. This presents a great educational challenge and day-to-day education practice has a significant key role to play in countering such developments.

It is important that the Council of Europe offers practical support for education professionals and schools to help them face this situation. The challenge is one of ensuring the continuation of quality education by doing the right things right so that these risks may become an opportunity for learning and growing together, for a better and more just world, based on justice, human rights and democracy; an opportunity to mobilise the creative and innovative resources of everyone to be able to face the challenges of the 21 st century.

These are the reason why the Pestalozzi Programme Summer School 2016 under the title “Diversity of learners and diversity of teachers – learning together for a better future” will focus on how to live and learn together in diversity for the best of all in a more just and democratic society based on the respect for human rights and human dignity. The Summer School will consider the implications this has on the day to day practice of education. It will offer practical experiences and mindful reflections on how teachers can best make use of the diversity present in their classrooms. It will address amongst others the following central aspects:

  • Diversity as an opportunity for all – inclusive schools for inclusive societies
  • What do you bring with you? How to get involved
  • Learning and growing together
  • Understanding diversity and participating in social, cultural, political and educational life
  • Diversity as an opportunity for putting the learners at the centre and understanding the positive relations between “community-school-teachers-learners”

The pedagogical approach of the Pestalozzi Programme (learning-by-doing, cooperative learning, etc.) as described in various publications ( Teacher education for change , Manifesto , etc.) as well as the learning activities and content of the most recent publication “ TASKs for Democracy ” provide the basic resource for this work together with other relevant educational tools and documents of the Council of Europe.

Participants will have the possibility to choose their personalised learning curriculum from a range of offers. Common activities throughout the eight days will allow participants to work together as a whole group, to learn together and to exchange ideas and experiences.

A round table discussion on the topic “Education for… democracy? Schools as laboratories of democracy” will offer an opportunity to address and reflect on this important educational issue and to interact with a wide variety of interested professionals.

Expected outcomes

We expect that after the training course the participants will be in better position to:

  • raise awareness for the key importance of understanding diversity as an opportunity rather than a problem within their professional context (school heads, colleagues, parents, learners)
  • understand the crucial role that pedagogy and the relationship between teacher and learner play for an inclusive school and the success of learning together in diversity
  • contribute in their teaching practice to the development of the transversal attitudes, skills and knowledge necessary for living in diverse and democratic societies
  • understand the intricate relationship between community-school-teachers-learners
  • take action to promote an appropriate teaching practice in their context

The participants will also join the Community of Practice of the Pestalozzi Programme, a network of education professionals equipped to continue the training on an international, national, regional and local level with a shared view of the competences which need to be developed and of the appropriate methodology of training and teaching.

We also expect that participants contribute to the dissemination of the work results through online productions during and, above all, after the summer school, but also by sharing their learning with colleagues in ways which are promising and appropriate in their own professional context.

Courses and activities

Common activities throughout the eight days will allow participants to work together as a whole group, to learn together and to exchange ideas and experiences: Open space, Socratic walks, daily reflection groups, soap boxes, public debate, excursions and social programme.

Up to six intensive courses (9-12 hours) will be offered; these courses will take place mainly in the mornings and will centre on the following topics. Shorter courses (2-6 hours) will take place mainly in the afternoons and will take up further aspects of the overall theme.

There is also time foreseen for ad-hoc activities in reaction to requests by participants to deepen certain aspects of the theme and/or share their practices.