THE ROLE OF INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE INITIAL AND CONTINUOUS TRAINING OF TEACHERS, DEBATED AT THE PAIDEIA CLUB

On the 15th of February, several teachers from different pre-university institutions participated in the regular meeting of the Paideia Educational Debate Club at PRO DIDACTICA, where they discussed current policies and current practices of developing intercultural competence. As a facilitator, Mrs.  Viorica Goraş-Postică organized the meeting in the key to the ERRE design and learning framework, proposing specific tasks to capitalize the participants’ potential and provoking the exchange of advanced national and international intercultural education (EIC) experiences. The full presentation of the action can be accessed HERE.

Starting from the fact that cultural diversity has become an inevitable reality and is no longer a contemporary cliché (Cf. Anca Nedelcu), teachers have identified that the EIC definitely has more advantages than disadvantages. Also, when asked how much do they feel represented by the EIC or if they find themselves in the given field, the vast majority responded very much. After analyzing recent educational policy papers from the EIC perspective, practitioners have expressed their views on their relevance in the contexts in which they work, highlighting some of the issues they face, alongside students and parents, but also sharing specific ways to solve them. The practical work aimed at collecting and debating suggestions from practitioners for the curricular development of the EIC, both with reference to the initial and continuing training of teachers. Thus, among the recommendations proposed by the participants of the teams of authors, who will develop the pre-university national curriculum in 2019, were: the diversification of EIC educational offers; inclusion of valuable texts in the lists of recommended texts, including non-literary texts, border – essay, reportage, case studies – with intercultural themes, for example: I am Malala … “,” In the last bench “etc .; the initiation of digital libraries with documentary or artistic films for the EIC education, teaching portfolios, guides, teaching and collections of didactic and auxiliar projects; the inclusion of several hours of oral communication; more suggestions for organizing and diversifying outdoor lessons, for a non-formal intercultural education; to recommend more hours in the form of reading and discussion workshops; to develop updated information media on the EIC theme; to include EIC thematic content, starting from the ABC, accompanied by interactive educational media, DVDs, educational softwares.

The recommendations for the university managers and professors to optimize the EIC of the students, future teachers, were the following: teaching a special course, even if optional, about Intercultural Education, “it may as well replace a unnecessary or misuderstood discipline by many students, like economy, political science, not at all adapted to the specifics of the faculty “; more practical EIC hours, for the didactics applied to socio-humanistic disciplines; providing practical tools for the evaluation of intercultural competences; inviting teachers from other countries with specific courses in the given subject; expanding educational partnerships between schools and universities, for common problem identification and EIC solutions; to organize with future educators the EIC days in the university, in which more visits to the schools from teachers and students will take place; to carry out pedagogical practices, but also winter and summer schools with the students, outside the country; to initiate, also may be done by the students, festivals of ethnic communities in different localities, etc.

Further, the needs and aspirations of practitioners and schools will be exploited by us in the framework of the project Promoting and developing intercultural education in the initial training of teachers, supported by the Pestalozzi Foundation from Switzerland and implemented during 2018-2020 years.

Univ. Prof. Viorica Goraș-Postică

CAPACITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT REPORT OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN AGRI-FOOD SECTOR

soya

In the project Development of Rural Areas in the Republic of Moldova, Part I: Increasing the competitiveness of the agri-food sector through integration to domestic and global value chains, in particular in the soya sector, funded by the EU and implemented by the Austrian Development Agency in partnership with the Education Centre PRO DIDACTICA and the International Association Donau Soja (Austria), was conducted the Capacity Needs Assessment Report of Vocational Educational Institutions in agri-food sector.

The report, published in both Romanian and English, aimed to identify the challenges and the needs of VET institutions, teachers, students and economic partners in order to be able to provide initial and continuous vocational education and training in accordance with the labour requirements. The report is an important element for the planning of subsequent actions within the project, especially for the ECPD’s intervention side.

Evaluarea capacităților instituțiilor de învățământ profesional tehnic din domeniul agroalimentar (Capacity Needs Assessment Report of Vocational Educational Institutions in agri-food sector) (vezi AICI)

GOOD PRACTICES IN THE LITHUANIAN SCHOOL: EDUCATION FOR INTEGRITY

Lectii europene-2

At the end of last year, within the Moldovan-Lithuanian project “European Lessons 2. Component Education against Corruption” funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania from the Cooperation Program for Development and Promotion of Democracy,  a group of teachers from  Moldova participated in a study visit in several educational institutions in Lithuania. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize with the experiences of Baltic colleagues in the field and to have been successful for many years in capitalizing on integrity education promoted extensively at European level. On the agenda of the visit were included consistent visits to different types of schools, placed on a diverse geographical area, including hours of assistance, discussions with management teams, with teachers involved in the projects, as well with students as their main beneficiaries.

We have also known the unique landscape of Lithuania, among others, the country with the highest degree of forestation in Europe, but also the multicultural context, with many immigrants, mixed families. Even in schools with ethnic minorities, there are no particular lessons of Culture and traditions of the respective ethnic group, these being realized through other extracurricular activities quite a bit (Nota Bene! for Moldova!) Concerts and all artistic activities with folk customs and traditions on the big scene were in the past, say managers.

Among the most important news, which would also be of interest to our school environment, we state: the functioning of a Transparency Lab in Schools, the Honest School Title offered to a network of schools concerned with the fight against corruption with significant positive practices; the framing of the “Education against corruption” module in the discipline of “Ethics; multiple partnerships that favor efforts in the given direction, including Catholic churches; the 15 non-traditional days organized in pre-university institutions with the ” School  in other manner”, one day at the end of each month and the last week of school, such as non-textbooks days, excursions and other informal activities; replacing the traditional inspection with systematic checks of the child’s well-being in school, etc. The honest school status began to be given to the Lithuanian schools involved in the promotion campaign organized by Transparency International. The slogan launched for each student was: “I am honest,” followed by a few self-assessments: What do you think about yourself in this chapter, why? What do your colleagues, friends, relatives think? The concrete actions that followed had commitments such as: I will write the test honestly, I will not copy, not lie, etc. Subsequently, the organization initiating the project sent thematic stickers to the schools: I am honest, and the students in grades 11-12 who received them were supposed to promote the integrity and honest way of conduct and relationship among teachers, but also to apply them on each control / test work. Obviously not all students applied them, but after the promotion and clarification campaign, for 6 months, the number of honest students increased. Finally, in each school, a closing event was organized, where students completed a questionnaire, where they wrote what they learned, how they applied, how they feel about it. Some schools continue today to achieve honest school status by entering this network and promoting integrity at family, school and community level. Among the slogans shared by students, we noticed: Clear conscience helps us make good decisions; the essence of our existence is responsibility, etc.

We observed, in other ways, that in every classroom there is a functional interactive whiteboard, the easy connection to the Internet throughout the school, that the agenda and the electronic catalog have already become common issues; that meetings with parents are organized only in the presence of the child, mandatory, twice a year, where, as a priority, listen to the problems said and understood by the child, or, at present more and more children with problems of psycho-emotional behavior and social issues come to school, and teachers have to help them in as many ways as possible. In general, visits to schools have revealed many interesting things, a very good situation, happy children, but some disgruntled teachers who receive 700 Euros, average wage, but expect more from the state, at least 1000 Euros, promised by politicians, but ….

Our project continues in the current quarter, and the practices described above inspire us to initiate more actions to promote integrity in our schools, starting with transparent and participatory decision making by management teams, continuing honest student behavior at each lesson / evaluation and ending with the eradication of corruption by parents and  educators  initiatives.

In this context, we announce educational institutions wishing to engage in long-term corruption preventing to send a motivation letter, agreed with the team of managers, to sign the Declaration of Integrity Education, assuming specific commitments for the managerial team, teachers, pupils and parents. Teachers in the institution have to apply the “Education against Corruption” module, located at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1oj2PwRGliQ83osoMP8Hdy-yz63y0IE9f,  and send sequences from lessons and other educational activities organized by the end of the semester at: vpostica@prodidactica.md. As a result, the school will receive the title of HONEST SCHOOL, benefiting from specific educational partnerships with other institutions in the given field, as well as relevant didactic support. Deadline: February 25, 2019.

Viorica Goraș-Postică, project coordinator