Dos and don'ts
To design an international school project successfully, you should consider the following tips:
- Select (a) suitable partner(s) (school type, age of pupils,...).
- Be open to other opinions, new perspectives and insights that may result from an intercultural cooperation.
- Determine together the nature and frequency of communication.
- Involve various people in the planning and implementation of the partnership (students, teachers, parents, experts, ..).
- Make use of professional advice (experts, aces team,...).
- Collect information about the partner country, the on-site conditions, possible cultural hurdles.
- Use interdisciplinary teaching and educational diversity.
- Use various means of communication for making contact and project work (new ICT).
- Prepare students for the international and intercultural collaboration.
- Come to a joint decision on implementation steps, taking into account school holidays, festivals etc.
- Plan precisely for the school project - individual steps and procedures (work plan) and clearly lay down who does what in the partnership.
- Develop creative forms of collaboration. The form of the project partnership depends on the concepts and ideas of the partners
- Clarify the financial conditions.
- Look for additional financial support (only if necessary).
- Build a personal relationship with the partners.
- Work as a team - form a working group consisting of, for example, students, teachers, parents, management.
- Use internal and external communications - involve and inform the whole school and the environment.
- Employ Public Relations: Inform the others in the school and the local environment outside the school about the school project, activities, learning experiences.
- Organize mutual school visits.
- Document, present and evaluate the project.
- See problems as challenges that facilitate the learning processes.
- Assume the role of mediator in conflicts.
- See the way of the project partnership as a goal.
- start a school partnership or cooperation project without personal preparation (teachers and students).
- assume that the project partners understand "school partnership to mean the same as you do.
- begin a project without planning and direct consultation with project partners.
- compromise the theme of the project by concentrating mainly on the exchange of traditions, folklore etc.
- organise a face-to-face meeting as a tourist event.
- assume that school life, hierarchies, creative opportunities, etc. in the partner country are "somehow similar" to your own.
- make rash judgements about the project partners - risk of prejudice and stereotypes.
- rely on the strong personal commitment of individual teachers, which can lead to congestion and an excessive demand on individual people . A school project should always be the responsibility of several people and supported (by a working group, teaching staff, management ,...).
- center on your own wishes in the planning and organisation of the project. The principle of partnership and cooperation should always be the focus.
aces is an initiative of ERSTE Foundation coordinated by Interkulturelles Zentrum in cooperation with VČELÍ DOM.