Omnes cives mundi sumus
One of the biggest challenges for Europe is the recent problem of migration and refugees. Especially Germany, Italy, Austria and Italy – countries taking part at the present project – are deeply involved in these issues, but also the Netherlands are affected. There are quite different strategies of dealing with this matter locally; none of them can be considered as “complete”.
What society expects from teachers is to know about and to react upon the social and political problems of present times. Also pupils in their role as future grown-ups will sooner or later have to face the quest for adequate and feasible handling of such issues and to find their own ways of getting involved personally. Therefore it is of importance to create awareness of their own responsibility both in teachers and students and to put to test various possibilities of social engagement also at school.
However, this can not be done without reflection on positions and values which are considered as foundation of European society and which make possible a more humane intercourse with refugees and migrants in our own surroundings. But in the present situation these values are sometimes considered to be in danger. It may help to get aware to the fact that migration and flight are, for whatever reasons, no phenomena of recent times. In fact, in texts read by pupils during their classical lessons they encounter a number of “refugees”, both mythological and persons from history, presenting various considerations and reflections on the problem of how to deal adequately with foreign people and customs and to be seen from an at first “different” and inspiring point of view.
Pupils are supposed to select from a certain pool of texts whichever they consider most appropriate for practical realisation. With the aid of their teachers and including external partners (support groups for migrants and refugees, journalists, politicians, theatres, ALP Dillingen, MPZ München, BIB Bolzano) they are to jointly develop proposals for a theoretical and creative debate (dialogues, scenic plays or other artistic projects) on the subject matter. Special qualifications and contacts of the participating schools will be emphasized. Results will be presented by the multi-national groups at the participating schools in the form of performances and exhibitions. These presentations will be used for fund-raising to support juvenile refugees at the respective locations of the schools. All activities will be shared by means of eTwinning and a common homepage (www.gymnasien.eu); it should be possible to use the developed material on a more general base.
We are deeply convinced that working on a common European platform is of the utmost importance for learning more about different positions and regulations in the various European countries; we hope that an examination of “classical” context in combination with a practical social project may lead to the creation of new ideas. The strength of each of the participating schools being in a different realm, we expect to create an inspiring collaboration.
In more detail, the goals of the project are:
• to examine the highly topical subject matter “refugee crisis”
• to join the discussion on how Europe should deal with it, based on well-founded knowledge of related local problems
• to develop inter-cultural, social and civil competence by active practical and also virtual collaboration
• to learn together and from each other, both as teachers and as pupils
• to provide easy access to related discussions also to educationally disadvantaged people by creation of a homepage or (local or comprehensive) collaboration with journalists
• to create a more innovative way of teaching and learning at secondary schools by dealing with highly topical subject matter, developing new material, collaborating with external partners, creatively joining together theory and practical realization
• to work together with people from various occupational areas (welfare, journalism, theatre, creative writing, museum educational service) to gain insight into different lines of work.
Directly involved into this project are school subjects like German, modern languages, Latin and Ancient Greek, history, arts, philosophy and religion. The work on this project will be done partly within lessons, partly by project teams within school clubs.