Thanks to the funding from Erasmus+ sub-programme of Support for Policy Reform, within the action of Social inclusion through education, training and youth a new e-learning platform for educators is in its finishing state. This platform will offer educators a complete curriculum for implementing philosophical inquiry in classrooms, modules for teaching about diversity and global issues as well as a media library with a collection of approaches in different countries and materials in different languages. The topics discussed include the following: sustainable consumption, globalisation, our products’ journey, escape from war and prosecution, diversity in football, human rights, islamophobia and others.
You may want to check the platform using this link: https://eduskills.plus/en(link is external). Modules are ready to be used. Some of the content is still being uploaded, yet the current version can give you an insight into what the full version is going to be all about.
Where does the need for this platform stem from?
We live in a time of great uncertainty and change. The acceleration of globalization has numerous effects and reaches all the way into people’s lives as well as into European classrooms. We see increased migration and the diffusion of cultures, which lead to new ways of acting and thinking and go hand in hand with the weakening of local ways of living. Technological advances and in particular the new media change the way we interact with each other as well as the way we perceive information and knowledge. The failure to adequately contemplate these changes in the light of one’s own life leads to fear, exclusion, and disengagement with society and, in extreme forms, violent radicalisation.
All this puts pressure on schools and teachers to understand the constantly evolving global environment and prepare students for this new world. This requires the development of specific educational strategies, aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue and the construction of new identities that emerge from the possibilities presented by our engagement with the Other. Such educational strategies can offer cognitive, affective and social tools through which to address prejudices and stereotypes and which prepare students for active citizenship in a diverse and complex society.
The starting point for this project is the idea of philosophical inquiry in a community of inquiry and its underlying cosmopolitan ideal. It provides an educational method through which children are able to develop the capacity to reflect in a critical, creative and caring way on the multiple, fluid and interactive nature of the social reality in which we live. Children – future citizens, equipped with such skills will be able to construct a cosmopolitan society, which will be democratic, inclusive, open and open-ended. Such education is based on the transaction between self, the other and the world in what is understood as “reflective loyalty to the known and openness to the new”.
What is the purpose and objectives of the platform?
The purpose of this project is thus to offer European teachers’ educational strategies for cosmopolitan engagement. It does so by enabling teachers to develop the skills necessary and by offering materials for practical employment of these principles in classrooms. The idea of shared humanity, which in the cosmopolitan education shapes the way people live with each other, prepares children for understanding fundamental human rights, democratic values and intercultural dialog as well as motivates them to become active and engaged citizens. All these traits prevent them from falling prey to simplified interpretations of the world (among them nationalism), radicalisation but also social and political inaction. The platform was created hoping to reach the following specific educational goals:
- Helping students and teachers develop a cosmopolitan frame of mind by combining openness to the new with a reflective engagement with their own particular culture, tradition and identity;
- Fostering a sense of European citizenship based on understanding and respect for human rights and democracy;
- Challenging stereotypes by reflective engagement with different cultures and promoting the importance of combating racism, prejudice and xenophobia;
- Informing teachers and students about globalism and the processes of global interaction;
- Promoting critical thinking and its implementation in handling new media;
- Fostering the cognitive and affective skills in children needed to cope with the challenges of living together in multicultural societies;
- Enhancing the European dimension of teacher training;
- Supporting improvements in pedagogical approaches to global, cosmopolitan and social issues;
- Promoting awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe;
- Promoting equality and contributing to combating all forms of discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
- Contributing to more equal, welcoming and nurturing learning environments.
To reach these objectives we combined the findings and results of several successful projects and initiatives implemented in school education in several countries. We built a multilingual platform for educators, where they can find information and materials to face the current educational challenges and contribute to the above goals. The platform informs educators on ways in which they can handle the growing diversity in their classrooms, the rise of uncertainty in society, the increased globalisation as well as the fact that dogmatic educational strategies are no longer suited for students who are daily faced with a myriad of opinions and perceived truths on the internet and have to navigate among them to create their own understanding of the world.
How can I stay updated and receive the newest information regarding the platform?
In case you are interested in using the platform fully and want to know when it will be complete, you can choose to stay in touch on:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/eduskills.plus/(link is external)