Zadar, Croatia. 15-19 May, 2017

During the week of May 15-19th the project partners from the Erasmus+ LITTLE project got together in the small, but exceptionally scenic, Croatian city of Zadar.
This time around their reunion was reinforced with Croatian teachers, students and educators who participated in Teacher Training Event over the course of the week of active learning activities and methodologies in Ethical Education.
In a creative and learning atmosphere, 24 participants engaged in interactive activities allowing them to experience new educational methods like Socratic dialogue, Gestalt Pedagogy, Philosophy with Children, Visual Thinking Strategy, Design Thinking, Strategies for dealing with controversial issues; all focused on building the capacity of teachers to implement in their classrooms but also to reflect on their own needs and abilities as educators through Philosophy of Care.
Stepping into student’s shoes, teachers played games, analyzed artworks, reflected on their emotions, created imaginary countries, tackled themselves on how to teach controversial issues in the classroom and honed their critical thinking skills in games of defining and ethical dilemmas. This approach allowed them to immerse themselves in new methods and gain knowledge that will be useful beyond this project, in their regular teaching practice.
The session also focused on piloting some of the methods being developed into an e-learning course for teachers and after each activity, participants were able to share and give feedback on each method. In this five-day journey, participants also shared their personal experience in formal and non-formal education, providing insights on educational aspects that would work well in the classroom and constructive suggestions as to how they might be improved.
An important element in sharing good practice was a visit by the partners to Šime Budinić Primary school, where 3rd and 7th grade students are participating in the project, Ethika – Ethics and values education in schools and kindergartens. Students demonstrated their work and shared experience of Ethika workshops in which they wrapped their thoughts around subjects like anger, respect, responsibility, justice, self-esteem and conflict resolution. They have also announced that for the final stage of their ethical journey they are planning on conducting civic action in which they will be raising money and food for a dog shelter in Zadar. Apart from helping abandoned animals, they are planning to adopt a dolphin in the nearby Adriatic Sea, this will support scientific research that enables deeper understanding and sustainability of these wild animals.
This was a great week that provided a good foundation for future project activities and started a teacher’s network of mutual support.
Have a look at the photographs.

By Ivana Kragić, Petit Philosophy

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