They aim to learn and share good practices with peers from European countries and then lead innovative projects at our school. Training courses are related to teaching and learning as well as pastoral issues and are funded by the Erasmus+ Accreditation program.
Our colleague, Dr Eva Polyviou (Head of Year 6), currently is in Berlin, Germany attending the course 'Embracing diversity, preventing bullying and violence' along with another eight teachers from Spain, Greece, Finland, and Moldavia.
Day 1 included icebreaker activities, and colleagues were asked to present their schools and discuss the challenges they faced and their expectations from the course. A discussion followed, focusing on issues related to different concepts of diversity and various forms of discrimination.
Day 2 was about building trust and creating a positive learning environment in the classroom. Emotional intelligence focuses on the concept that there are no good or bad emotions. Instead, there are comfortable and uncomfortable emotions. Techniques were suggested for developing one's emotional intelligence and effective communication using active listening skills and open-ended questions.
• discussion of Marsow's motivation model based on hierarchy of needs, system thinking on how to assess and solve a problem so that everyone is part of the solution
• the difference between bullying and unkind behavior, roles in bullying and bullying indicators for teachers and parent, interventions that can be implemented at school-, classroom- and individual-level and the approach to be followed to victims and bullies
• presentation of the Olweus Program (Cremson University) as a comprehensive approach that includes schoolwide, classroom, individual, and community components.The program’s goals are to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at school. The program has been found to reduce bullying among students, improve the social climate of classrooms, and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy.
• exchange of good practice by participants by presentations of real cases studies on how bullying is dealt with at different countries. Highlights were Dr Polyviou's presentation of how bullying cases were dealt with at the English School, and a presentation of the KiVa program by the headmaster of a Finnish high school. KiVa is a research- and evidence-based antibullying program that has been developed in the University of Turku, Finland, with funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The strong effectiveness of KiVa has been proven scientifically through a large national randomized and controlled trial as well as several different studies. KiVa is being used around the world and it is the world’s most studied anti-bullying program.
• discussion on global citizenship and how opportunities for developing 21st century skills such as learning skills (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication), literacy skills (information, media, technology), and life skills (flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity, social skills) should be included in the curriculum so that students can stay competitive in the changing job market.
• Focus on cooperative learning during which students to work in pairs or small groups to accomplich a common learning goal while the teacher acts as a facilitator. Cooperative learning is an approach that develops skills such as positive interdependence, individual accountability, equal participation, simultaneous interaction. Participants discussed and practiced different techniques such as Agree/Disagree, circle the sage, rally coach and think-pair-share
• Cultural activities in the city of Berlin