The aim of this project is to help in the integration of adult citizens of the EU in the 21st century. Euroscepticism, European citizenship, using digital tools, identity, cultural diversity, integration, economy, history, multicultural, plural, open-minded are the key concepts that the project aims to address.
To achieve this aim we have been working as a partnership under the umbrella of Erasmus+ KA2 through cooperation and partnership among countries using digital tools.
Partnership members come from seven adult organizations with diverse backgrounds and target groups, but with common motivations for changing adult education in EU: IOC Institut Obert de Catalunya, Barcelona (Spain), North East Scotland College, Aberdeen(United Kingdom), Europole Istituto Comprensivo Lorenzi Fumane - Polo Europeo della Conoscenza, Fumane (Italia), Kayseri Valiligi Dis Iliskiler ve AB Koordinasyon Merkezi, Kayseri (Turkey), Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Freiburg (Germany), Rigas Raina 8 vakara (mainu) vidusskola, Riga (Latvia), VUC Storstrøm, Nykøbing (Denmark).
Through partnership collaboration we have designed and developed an online course as an OER. The project was inspired by a previous Grundtvig partnership project called “Digital Classroom”. During that project, we observed, in adult learners a notable lack of European identity and a lack of awareness of the wide range of European resources available to facilitate their mobility and develop their sense of shared citizenship.
The proposed new course, comprises of 5 modules detailed below. The course may be offered through online and blended learning formats. In addition, the 5 modules may be independently utilized as stand-alone materials or integrated into other courses according to the individual needs of each educational context. European citizenship implies a closer, more emotional relationship that is rooted in shared values, the celebration of diversity, and respect for different identities and the protection of national heritages.
The structure of the project “Getting Ready for European citizenship” (GRECOL) is:
M1.Developing a European identity
European identity is a contentious and complex concept that is difficult to define. In fact, there are a lot of European identities around Europe sharing some common values and also individual values that give us a sense of being Europeans. To help our understanding of European identity, we should begin by first clarifying key concepts, such as; Europe, globalisation, European Union and policies, active citizenship through political participation and engagement.
M2. European institutions and their functions
Concerning European institutions and their function, this module deals with the important question how theoretical concepts are embodied in the organisational reality of the EU. Taking this into account, the question concerning European institutions and their functions is twofold. First, it has to be made clear which rules determine a Western/European democracy - in an ideal sense. Secondly, we have to find out where and to what extent can these rules and ideals be found in the way the European Union is organised?
Concerning European Mobility in terms of concepts and regulations for EU citizens who want to study or work in another European country. In order to appreciate why we are able to move freely within many European countries, we look at legal frameworks, historical background as well as trends and statistics.
The purpose of this module is to create awareness of some important practical issues and cultural differences worth considering before moving to another European country. By undertaking the module you will have the opportunity to demonstrate prior knowledge, play our mobility game and in several ways put yourself in the shoes of someone actually leaving for another country to study. You will also be required to reflect upon current issues relating to mobility in Europe.
M4. Dealing with cultural diversity
Europe is a diverse continent and the motto of EU "Unity in Diversity” involves ethnicity, race, gender, culture, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious and political beliefs, or other ideologies. It encompasses acceptance and respect. Differences should be explored in ‘a safe, positive, and nurturing environment’. This motto refers to ‘understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual’. Individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences and valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are extremely important to support and protect diversity.
M5. Final Project
The final project is designed as a summary and practice of previous modules. The student will have to solve a given situation using and applying the information and tools learned throughout the other modules.
The situation will be presented as a case study and will have to be reviewed studying all the aspects involved as if the student was actually living the situation in context.
UG User Guide
The User Guide contains information regarding the main goals and objectives of the GRECOL project. In the guide, you can find information regarding structure, a short summary of each module, and provided recommendations by partners’ organisations how to use e-learning material.
The modules are offered in all the languages of the partnership: English, Catalan, Italian, Danish, German, Turkish and Latvian.
The methodology of the course is based on a model that develops its activities through the web and on the web following the proposal of Universal Design for Learning, (UDL) from Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). The students become the centre of the model and the process of learning. The model is aware of the nature of the potential students. The general features of e-activities are diversity, openness, and flexibility and they contain discussions, tasks, quizzes, surveys, and a final project using a varied range of digital tools. The materials of GRECOL project were created using the open-source tool Xerte.
The final product is an OER material ready for being used for any upper secondary or adult institution around Europe as a course, curricula, module or workshop. We are offering the material ready to be used, but you can also download and adapt according to your needs using Xerte. Xerte toolkits are a free, open source content creation tool.
On the website there is also extra information for teachers (module’s overview) following Universal Design of Learning and a large amount of selected bookmarks linked with the contents using del.icio.us. (https://del.icio.us/grecol). Moreover, there is more detailed information about the partnership, the project, the modules, the workshops, the publications the tools we have used, the use of social media (blog, Facebook group and twitter account of the project) and instructions to download the project in several options.
Dissemination and exploitation of the project started in the first year and collected through a google form, flyers and newsletter have been produced for spreading the project using social media, workshops and seminars at local, national and international level.
With this project, we hope to offer some solutions for the integration of citizens in Europe to become e-citizens. Getting involved in joint projects as well as increased mobility helping to develop this feeling of belonging. (For and active European citizenship, White Paper 2011).