The motto of the European Union is United in Diversity. According to the EU, to educate students in the knowledge of other languages and the understanding of different ways of life for the shared purpose is essential. This project will bring together students of diverse origin and cultura around a common figure, Emperor Charles V (Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, 1519). It gathers four crucial territories in the Emperor’s life (absolute lord over Spain and the Netherlands, Rex Utriusque Siciliae and England ally in international strategy.)The project can contribute to raising awareness of future adults who, without forgetting their idiosyncrasy, develop an internationalist/Europeanist mentality which allows them to find a common benefit, forgetting local disagreements. The role that educational institutions have and can play becomes increasingly important in the search for those common historical roots that can make the sense of belonging to a stronger Europe.
Thanks to learning about Charles V, our students will understand how the Emperor personifies those qualities: polyglot, well-travelled and Europeanist, protected the union and interconnection of its territories, favouring the expansion of Humanism and Renaissance and therefore, contributing to European cultural splendour. Charles V was a “man for Europe” (Fernández Álvarez, 1999), respecting both ideas of peace and unity. Let’s make our students one generation for a Europe in peace. If in the 16th century the printing press of Gutenberg was the key invention which modified the way of thinking and working, in our 21st century this revolution is lead by social networks and new technologies that our students will use during the project.
The objectives that the project intends to achieve are:
- To know the common European roots, to reinforce the sense of belonging to Europe and improve their European citizenship.
- To motivate and encourage students from participating schools to communicate in a foreign language.
- To improve students ability to work in a team.
- To give each student the opportunity to participate according to their abilities, allowing them to take initiatives and be responsible.
- To Improve ICT skills, introducing new apps into the project.
- To enhance critical thinking through creating and analysing materials.
Participants from each school will be, at least, the headteacher, the international coordinator, a History teacher, an English teacher, a financial controller and a staff member, pupils aged 14-17 (at least 32 from each school on short term exchanges) interested in the project and parents.
Local authorities and experts will also be part of the project. Four short-term exchanges with participants from all schools (selected with clear and impartial criteria, 8 students and two teachers from each school in each exchange) will be organised, one in each country with a clear activity program including geocaching. There will be three international meetings: September 2020 in Spain (short-term joint staff training event) to prepare all the necessary assignments, evaluation documents, to get acquainted with geocaching and plan all project activities; October 2021 in Sicily to evaluate the project so far; June 2022 in Spain to work on the final report. Constant contact will be established through social networks in and between the four schools. We will use eTwinning and the project website to report all the activities carried out, for information, dissemination and impact and to upload all the materials.
Every assignment given to students, before, during and after the mobilities, will have a clear program of requirements to ensure the quality of the products. They will be elaborated in English and mother tongues, through research in teams and using ICT. Students, teachers and parents will evaluate the project through questionnaires and will participate in dissemination inside and outside school. A digital guide on the places of Charles V will be created. The final products can be used by the participants in the project but also by other schools. The guide on the places of Charles V will have an impact in the areas for the purpose of cultural development of the territory. The geocachings will continue active for use. Through participation in the project, each school will create and improve a motivating school environment, introduce new learning methods and practices, gain experience in collaborating with other schools, acquire knowledge about the educational systems of other European countries, create and reinforce collaboration experience in Erasmus+ and eTwinning, encourage participation in other international projects, improve students skills in ICT and English, find spaces for collaboration between students, teachers, families and the local community. But, above all, we expect to enhance the social and educational value of European cultural heritage and to create European citizens for the future.