European Identity in Times of Crisis – an European Erasmus+ Project
It was a European target to many educational institutions – and those of further education – to integrate young and elder adults from less educational environments, persons applying for asylum, and increasingly those labelled as so-called „poverty migrants“ from Europe, into the respective societies‘ educational system.
Every participating institution of further education (three German partners: two colleges for further education as well as one educational institution covered by MOT (TÜV Nord), a Dutch institution (Euricon) and three institutions for further education in Denmark (VUC Frederici), Greece and Spain were involved with the complex of problems in different ways and commonly want to deal with it. Therefore they want to change their institution sustainably on different levels with the aim to develop a cognizable European identity:
By implementation of cultural European references due to curricula and programs by concrete regional analysis of social consequences of the European crisis („normalcy classes“) as well as by innovative methods, the target groups were led to their institutions and fostered by education (examinations/certificates). The methods, closely developed in the context of the project with high school teachers, were made ready for classrooms and available on an open platform.
Against the backdrop of the general objective, it is now possible to express the specifications of the singularity of the project more accurately. Especially since we were able to achieve a surplus in our results, which was not possible to anticipate beforehand.
- The proven need for a change of the institutions regarding a European Identity has to be stressed. This change is crucial to cope with the challenges to a promising opening of the institutions towards the mentioned target groups and simultaneously to evolve new elements of an European Identity. During the project there was a stronger orientation towards the target group of refugees in the institutions. This shift implies not only a quantitative but also qualitative aspect of a new need. It found its realisation in a stronger integration of the target-groups in the different schools, the manyfolded activities in context with the „transnational meetings“ and last not least the achieved outputs.
- The work towards this goal through a collection of outputs has proven to be an effective instrument to promote transformational processes. The results may be used in institutions of second chance education (but also in parts in day schools and in political education).
- The interplay between scientific inputs edeveloped by the involved scientists, according to the partner institution’s wishes and the follow up work by the partner institutes was very fortunate. The material was used and then again found its way back to the scientific institutions and there were used for other fields of research. Some of the results of follow up research are already or will be soon published.
Example: The partner did research on the basis of the tool for analysis (output 2) for the characterization of symbols for Europe in different media, which were then used for the article „Europa in der Bildsprache Europas, – Europasymbole in europäischen Karikaturen“ (Dr. Matthias Thiele, Universität Dortmund).
4.The impact of the summer academy in Greece must be considered much bigger than expected. Not only was it possible to try out creative concepts for new forms of learning and teaching in heterogenic groups through the 15 different workshops but also was a vital impulse for all participating partners to implement such international encounters as a part to be integrated into the institutions.
- A part of the common research and projects will continue after the official end of the project’s term.
- Deeper awareness about an “European Identity in times of crisis” of teachers and students alike has found its way into the joined development of a European manifesto. The expressed wishes, suggestions and demands mirror a new self-concept and shall serve as a basis of discussion, not only in second chance schools but also for political representatives in the partner countries, as well as in Europe itself.
For further information please contact Dr. Bernhard Kühmel, e-mail: Bekuehmel@t-online.de