The primary school classroom

Every individual is unique, equally worthy and has the right to education. The inclusive classroom meets everybody’s needs and respects the students’ right to live according to their beliefs, customs, practices and established behavior rules. The Inclusive Classroom respects diversity and student engagement and agency. The teacher in the Inclusive Classroom has the 3Hs – the heart (commitment), the head (critical knowledge) and hands (practical strategies). Globalization and migration have brought together people from different ethnic origins, religious backgrounds, beliefs, traditions and languages. However, sharing a common space does not automatically result in overcoming the boundaries of historically constituted communities; it does not necessarily involve opening yourself to diversity, trying to understand differences, valuing diversity and building common grounds for dialogue. But we live together and we should not only tolerate this diversity, we should value it as an opportunity through which we can learn from one another in order to build stronger, more dynamic societies. Children’s rights, diversity, tolerance, empathy, non-violence related issues and non-formal education (NFE) teaching approaches have become even more important considering the diversity of our societies resulting from the migration flows in recent years and the long periods of distance learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Schooling could play a key role in overcoming the historically developed negative attitudes to human differences and the lack of life communication and citizenship skills resulting from distance learning. The realization of this role suggests that teachers have the relevant knowledge, skills and tools.
This 7-day course will empower primary school teachers with the skills and knowledge how to organize relevant training sessions for their students so that the teaching process meets everybody’s needs. Students will become more open-minded and acquire active citizenship skills. The course is the result of an Erasmus+ partnerships – cross-sectoral school education project Young Learners Embrace Social Inclusion and Social Involvement (YESI). The partners – Prosveta-Sofia Foundation, IP Santarem – Portugal and AENAO – Greece, developed a Teachers’ Toolkit comprising 38 training resources distributed in 3 modules: Children’s Rights – Human rights, Diversity and Social Inclusion, and Active Citizenship and Social Involvement. Participants in the training course will have free-access to the ready-to-use training materials. Each topic is accompanied by a number of multimedia objects, e.g. animated cartoons, video clips, filmed drama performances and discussions, simulations, case studies as basis for discussions, interactive e-games, etc. Multimedia objects are ready-to-use materials meant to support teachers’ work as mediators in the trainings. The multimedia resources are described with the corresponding characteristics as learning objects in the Toolkit.
After participating in the training course participants will be supported in the practical implementation of the newly acquired skills and competences. They are expected to deliver trainings to their students using the topics in the Teachers’ Toolkit which they will be taught how to use. We will provide mentors for all teachers who will be at the participants’ disposal during a 6-month-period after the training course.

The course aims to support teachers in:
1. Getting deeper in the specifics of the Inclusive Classroom’s major characteristics.
2. Learning what the 3 Hs of the inclusive teacher are.
3. Getting the knowledge of basics in Children’s Rights, Diversity and Involvement education through the topics in the Teachers’ Toolkit.
4. Mastering skills which will enable them to discuss with their students questions on existing notions of human differences in modern society and run relevant activities choosing from the ones suggested in the Teachers’ Toolkit considering the local context.
5. Getting to know non-formal education teaching approaches and start using them not only in the suggested civic education trainings but also in the routine teaching process.
6. Responsibly accepting a code of behaviour so that all their actions and interactions bear respect to students’ individuality by participating in the course training sessions together with a diverse group of European teachers.
7. Learn more about the challenges Portuguese teachers have faced regarding the use of the Teachers’ Toolkit through the planned sessions with the involvement of Portuguese teachers who have piloted the training topics.
8. Learn how to work in international teams through the group and pair activities.

This course is open to: all teachers in primary schools, trainers, school educational counsellors, career counsellors, school psychologists and other school staff.

The standard programme comprises 7 days. The first day is dedicated to getting to know each other and the structure of the developed Teachers’ Toolkit, to introduction into non-formal education teaching approaches and cultural activities. The last day is about follow up – instructions how to implement the suggested trainings with students, how to seek and receive support from mentors. Participants are expected to arrive one day before the start of the course and leave one day after the end. In case there is no lockdown and it is safe for both sides, the host organization could organize:
– visits to a local primary school in Santarem or Entrocamento who have already used the Teachers’ Toolkit;
– cultural program with visits to Lisbon and Sintra.
The course venue is Santarem – Portugal where our host and co-organizer Instituto Politecnico de Santarem is located. The course is also offered in Sofia – Bulgaria and Thessaloniki, Greece.
Day 1
– Оrientation and information about the venue and the city of Santarem.
– Getting-to-know each other – networking activities
– YESI project and structure of the Teachers’ Toolkit
– Presentation of Europass Mobility Certificate
– Fears and expectations session
– Welcome dinner (optional)
Day 2
– Course introduction
– Effective teaching approaches from non-formal education
– The inclusive classroom – characteristics
– Children’s right – Human rights module – introduction
– Simulation 1 – participants step in the shoes of students and participate in a training session from the Children’s right – Human rights module ChR_HR12 (topic: The right to justice and law)
– Simulation 2 – participants step in the shoes of students and participate in a training session from the Children’s right – Human rights module ChR_HR7 (topic: The rights of disabled children)
– Daily evaluation
Day 3
– practical workshop – participants prepare a training session making use of one of the topics in the Human Rights section and deliver it to the rest of the group
– Sharing good examples and experiences – discussion with a local teacher who has participated in the YESI project and has piloted the TM with their students
– Introduction into the Diversity section (13 topics)
– Daily evaluation
Day 4
Simulation 1 – participants step in the shoes of students and participate in a training session from the Diversity and social inclusion module DSI11 (topic: Bullying_social inclusion )
– Simulation 2 – participants step in the shoes of students and participate in a training session from the Diversity module DSI4 (topic: Religious diversity)
– Daily evaluation
Day 5
– practical workshop – participants prepare a training session making use of one of the topics in the Diversity and social inclusion module and deliver it to the rest of group
– Sharing good examples and experiences – discussion with a local teacher who has participated in the YESI project and has piloted the Teacher’s Toolkit with their students.
– Introduction into the Identity and Active citizenship section (12 topics)
– Daily evaluation
Day 6
Simulation 1 – participants step in the shoes of students and participate in a training session from the Identity and Active citizenship module IAC6_1&IAC6_2 (topic: Active Citizenship in respecting and protecting animals: outdoor and indoor activities)
– Simulation 2 – participants step in the shoes of students and participate in a training session from the Identity and Active citizenship section module IAC3 (topic: Active Citizenship and the protection of the environment)
– planning follow up activities: course participants are expected to deliver trainings to their students in the period after the training course. They will be guided and supported in this process; will get instructions how to seek and receive support from their mentors and how to provide feedback.
– Europass Mobility certificates – discussion of knowledge gained and skills acquired
– cultural exchange – visits to sites of interest in the region: Sintra, Cascais
– daily evaluation
Day 7
– – Final evaluation
– Validation of learning outcomes and certification ceremony
– first-hand experience of an inclusive society – guided visit to Lisbon.

The training course is based on the use of non-formal education methods as an approach for delivering the contents. The general delivery method during the course is simulation of real lessons with students: during the 7-day training sessions there will be almost no lectures and presentations. Participants will, most of the time, step in the shoes of their students whereas the trainers will deliver the contents as suggested in the Manual. This will provide trainees with first-hand experience how to deliver the trainings to their students after attending the course.
The pedagogical methods that we use are based upon experiential training, group and peer activities, learning-by-doing and best practices’ exchange.
Teachers will learn about and participate in implementing a diverse number of non-formal ways for delivering contents in which trainees are active participants, e.g. simulations, role plays, guided drama activities, theatre of the oppressed, interactive video resources, games, group and pair work, mind-mapping, creating artistic productions – collages, drawings, dances, poems/ prose, etc.
Local Portuguese teachers who have previously used the Manual and have delivered the suggested trainings to their students will participate in specialized sessions during which they will talk about their experiences and provide some first-hand tips and support to the course participants. Local visits to the schools could be organized depending on the participants’ needs and the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The training team is multinational – experienced trainers from Bulgaria, Portugal, and Greece, who have participated in the design of the Teachers’ Manual and the past teacher trainings within the YESI project.
You can find below the sessions planned. If none of these dates suits you, we may organize an additional session for your school if there are at least 6 participants interested, so feel welcome to contact us at cursoserasmuspolo@ipsantarem.pt or prosveta_foundation@prosveta.bg to let us know about your needs.
For registration for the 2022/2023 sessions, fill in the data at https://forms.gle/CApaoMzQJVtUDv6x7 and we will send you a confirmation.

21.03- 27.03.2022

Course fee: EUR 80 per day per participant: EUR560 for the standard 7-day training course.
Certification and support fee: EUR 50 per participant depending on the group size and services required.

Teachers in primary schools, trainers, school managers, pedagogical advisers and any other staff of education organizations are eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant covering all the costs including travel, accommodation and daily subsistence, cultural activities and all fees. The training course is designed to be fully funded by Erasmus+.

At the end of the course, each participant will receive a certificate of attendance and a Europass Mobility Certificate.
We will support the participants in the certification process by delivering a special session devoted to Europass mobility certificates, as well as in the validation of learning outcomes process by providing mentors to all trainees during the implementation process when they will deliver trainings to their students using the Teachers’ Manual topics.
We will provide photos of the training course and a selection of videos that can be used for visibility and dissemination purposes. The teachers’ Manual and all digital resources will be freely available to all trainees for prospective trainings and re-dissemination among colleagues and students.

The training course in Portugal is organized by the consortium Instituto Politecnico de Santarém (IPS) – Portugal, Prosveta-Sofia Foundation – Bulgaria and AENAO – Greece (IPS – Prosveta – AENAO Consortium)
The training sessions will be hosted by the Portuguese partner. Instituto Politecnico de Santarém is a provider of tertiary education and has broad expertise in teacher training through the Faculty of education (??).The Higher School of Education of Santarém (ESES) was created by Decree-Law No. 513-T/79 of 26 December as the organic unity of the Polytechnic Institute of Santarém and is an institution of tertiary level, aimed at teaching, research, service to community and collaboration with national and foreign activities of common interest.
Attended by 650 students, is currently operating the degrees of First Cycle of Basic Education, Childhood Education, Social Education, Education and Communication Multimedia and Visual Arts and Multimedia.
The ESES is also focusing on training courses in order to meet the needs of professional, civic and cultural that are felt throughout life, in society. Our school promotes innovative practices for teachers of all educational levels in several areas: Arts; ICT; Multimedia among other. We have been organizing Erasmus+ courses for 4 years. Teachers from all over Europe have participated in our training courses.
Prosveta-Sofia Foundation is a non-government non-profit organization founded in 2007 as a legal entity with non-profit public benefit. Our mission is to support the modernization of education at national and international level, and work to improve its quality. We support the implementation of leading European and world standards in school education through various initiatives.
Prosveta-Sofia Foundation has extensive experience in conducting training and awareness seminars. The training course “The primary school classroom – effective teaching approaches for an inclusive classroom through NFE tools and resources” resulted from the in an Erasmus+ project for designing innovative practices and products in School education. Together with our partners – the non-government organization AENAO from Greece and the training provider of tertiary education from Portugal, we created a teachers’ toolkit of 38 topics which are meant to support teachers in providing civic education trainings to younger students. The toolkit is designed in the format of a Teachers’ Manual providing a step-by-step guide for teachers, and it is accompanied by an exclusively rich set of multimedia resources which support the suggested training activities. The manual makes use of non-formal education teaching approaches and all topics are presented through games, discussions, role-playing, case studies and many other fun activities for students.
ASTIKI MI KERDOSKOPIKI ETAIRIA AENAO (Center for non-formal education) is a non-government organization operating in Thessaloniki, Greece which aims to promote health in its broadest sense (physical and mental) by creating networks and implementing projects based on
non-formal education and the learning by experience methodology. AENAO aims at developing the consciousness of health, providing knowledge about issues regarding culture, religion and education. The organisation has broad experience in organizing training courses for teachers and youth workers.
The Manual with the training resources comprises three modules which cover the three most important sections of civic education considering the age peculiarities of young students: Children’s rights, Diversity and Social Inclusion and Active citizenship and social involvement. The 38 topics have been piloted in some 120 classrooms round Europe and subsequent changes have been made based on the feedback teachers and students have provided. The overall opinion of both teachers and students was extremely positive. Trainers and trainees considered activities to be quite interesting for the students, provoking their active participation and resulting in making students more tolerant, valuing diversity and being better citizens. This is why we decided to share our experience and outcomes with other teachers who care about bringing up a generation of open-minded and responsible young people.

We are committed to Quality trainings and comply to the principles set in the European Quality Charter for Mobility:
1. Information and guidance: Potential candidates for mobility will be offered equal access to reliable sources of information and guidance.
2. Learning plan: The learning plan, which will be drawn up by the sending organization and us, as course organizers, and the participants, will outline the objectives and expected learning outcomes, as well as how these will be achieved and implemented.
3. Personalization: the mobility undertaken for education or training purposes will be tailored to fit in with the personal learning pathways, skills and motivation of the participants and will develop or supplement them.
4. General preparation: Prior preparation of the participants will be recommended. It will include thematic preparation (on human rights, tolerance and citizenship topics) and cultural aspects of the country of the venue. Participants will receive a list of online materials to read prior to the training course.
5. Linguistic aspects: Participants will be offered some linguistic preparation regarding the topics to be discussed during the course by the course organizers.
6. Logistical support: Logistical support will be provided to the participants, regarding travel arrangements, insurance, accommodation, etc.
7. Mentoring: The training organizations will provide schemes such as mentoring to advise participants while delivering trainings to their students making use of the knowledge and skills gained during the training course.
8. Recognition: Participants will receive appropriate documents demonstrating their participation in a credible way, e.g. certificates of attendance and Europass Mobility certificates.
9. Reintegration and evaluation: On return to the home country, participants will be given guidance on how to make use of competences and skills acquired during the training course.
10. Commitments and responsibilities: The responsibilities arising from these quality criteria will be agreed by the sending and hosting organizations and the participants.