About our "European Courses"
Who we are
Forum Eltern und Schule (Forum for Parents and School) is an institution of adult education acknowledged by the federal state of Northrhine-Westfalia. For a large part we offer further education courses for teachers and parents since 1978. Other target groups of our work are professions linked to school, politicians in the fields of education and community policy. At present 70 to 80 courses are given per year with a duration of one to several days.
On local level as well as throughout the state Forum co-operates continuously with schools, associations of headmasters, school authorities, the teacher union, parents associations and teachers training institutions.
Forum Eltern und Schule together with its partner institution Austausch & Begegnung is carried by Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Gesamtschule (GGG) NRW e.V. – Verband für integrierte Schulen, a non-profit organisation working for integrated schools.
Forum co-ordinated the Comenius-2.1 project EU-MAIL (EUropean Mixed-Ability and Individualised Learning) during the duration of 2003 – 2006 (for details please look at www.eu-mail.info). This was also the starting point of our European courses. Since then we organised more than sixty one-week courses in Finland, Sweden, Norway, UK/Northern Ireland and Italy/South Tyrol.
In our staff three adult educators are responsible for our programme. On this website you find more information on our work and our course programme, unfortunately only in German.
Objectives and concept of our European courses
School Development in Europe
School education has been under changes in most European countries. PISA results, personalised learning, mixed-ability groups and last but not least inclusion are key words to describe this development.
However, this development in the European countries does not take place at the same time and in the same way. Cultural traditions, goals of educational policy and other factors lead to manifold ways in the development of school and learning in each country.
Learning across Borders
These differences offer a chance to learn from each other, not only across the border of nations but also across the boundaries in our own mind.
What are the elements of individual support of learners in Finnish schools and how is multi-professional co-operation designed and organised? Which effects do "individual development plan", its evaluation in "teacher-pupil-parents-talks" and "self-assessment" by the learners itself take on learning in Swedish schools? How do Italian teachers work in their inclusive schools? How do integrated schools in Northern Ireland deal with the effects of social division? How do Scottish schools under the Curriculum for Excellence work without standardised tests and rely on self-evaluation instead?
Getting to know to school practice and exchanging with teachers and learners in these countries offers plenty of stimulation for one's own work in school.
Differences are Stimulating
During the Comenius-2.1 project EU-MAIL (EUropean Mixed-Ability and Individualised Learning – 2003-2006 – www.eu-mail.info) we lived to see the exchange across borders as highly inspiring and stimulating for all participating.
Within the last 13 years, in which we have been organising European courses in this field, we experienced the same effect on the participants. Far from saying that getting to know to school and learning in another country leads directly to practical consequences in the school at home, evaluation shows that there are stimulating effects on the side of the course participants: opening up their minds and widening their view of their own school. Learning usually does not take a direct road.
Background and Practice
Presently we offer courses in different European countries which have taken roads of innovating to the improvement of learning. In the centre of all courses there are visits of schools and joint discussions with their teachers. The participants will gain deep insight in the practice of all levels of education, from pre-school to teachers training. In addition discussion with fellow participants from other European countries will inspire your learning. There will be also room for discussion about ways to transfer your learning results to your colleagues back home.
Our experienced facilitators will be your guide during the week. They possess a broad network of contacts and profound knowledge and experience. Detailed evaluation by the participants help us improve the quality of our work.
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