COMENIUS 1.1 “STORIES OF WAR” FINAL REPORT

1. JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROJECT. REASONS WHY WE STARTED WORKING ON IT.

Nowadays, Europe is undergoing an important historical process: creating a common European space and a new European identity. The Socrates Agency promotes educational projects aiming at that idea.

Our project wants to give a hand to the creation of European brotherhood and identity, to avoid national borders in Europe.

We would like our students to know that peace is the only way to go ahead. All our project country partners have suffered wars and conflicts in the recent past, members of our families have lived and witnessed the negative consequences of a war. It is important for our students to know what happened, their own grandparents can tell them about it. Then we hope our students will be conscious of the dangers and implications of any warlike conflict.

2. AIMS OF THE PROJECT. DEGREE OF FULFILMENT

The main aim of this project is that students from the different countries taking part in it understand that friendship is the only way to avoid new wars/conflicts all around the world.

The original project was based on two objectives:

•  First of all, making students understand how stupid and useless wars are, and making them conscious of the sufferings of the population. Those who suffered the most were the poor. This will be achieved by the gathering and recording of interviews to old people. We want our students to interview their own grandparents. This way they will learn that wars cannot solve any kind of problems.

•  The second objective is very important too: we want to make students speak to their grandparents or old people of their environment. They must find so interesting to listen to their experiences. They should keep in touch with them and create even deeper bonds. It is a means of recovering oral tradition and reinforcing the relationship between generations.

We think we have been able to make our students understand the nonsense of wars. What's more, their interest and implication in the project has increased as it was being carried out. They have spoken to old people about topics/things they don't usually do. We want our students learn from their grandparents' experiences.

The old people involved in the project have been touched with emotion when they remembered the Civil War and the sufferings they lived then. Grandparents shared all their memories, the hard experiences of war times, with their grandchildren and this helped the students to feel a new sensibility.

3. PLANNED CONTENTS

We have worked on all the contents or areas the project included:

•  Wars as source of suffering
•  Relationship grandparents-grandchildren
•  II World War
•  English: text translation, oral interaction
•  New Technologies:
•  digital video recording:
•  post producing
•  editing
•  subtitles
•  Creation of the internet site of the project
•  Setting up FTP server
•  Setting up Web Server,
•  Define and write web pages, etc.

4. METHODOLOGY

•  Periodical meetings of students and teachers participating in the project
•  Meetings of the teachers involved, in order to organize, guide and follow the project
•  Elaboration of questionnaires (interview guides)
•  Interviewing old people
•  Recording interviews
•  Posters making/elaboration/creation
•  Transcription and translation workshops
•  Edition and subtitling video clips
•  Out of school: watching films, going to exhibitions (pictures, etc) about the II world War

5. ACTIVITIES

Students have been carried out the following activities:

•  Interview of veterans of XX century wars
•  Recording of some interviews
•  Gathering and selection of the recorded interviews
•  Digitalization of the filmed material creating a hypertext that should be interesting and useful for students. It should show how absurd wars are.
•  The new hypertext should be in CD and in the internet, at least in the Italian school web site/ web page.
•  Meetings: three transnational meetings were planned. Meeting 1 to meet the partners and decide the main guidelines of the project. Meeting 2 to choose the interviews to be included in the hypertext and meeting 3, at the end of the academic year, to show the resulting products and evaluate the process.

All the partners carried out the planned activities, except for the international meetings. Although the original project included 3 meetings, only two of them were carried out. The first one took place in Estonia and it included the aims of the planned first two meetings. The second, in Italy, to show the products, revise and assess the process of the first year of the project.

ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN EACH SCHOOL
(not all the activities have been developed by all the schools)

•  Explanation of the project to the School Council a commission formed by the headmaster and by all teacher of the school
•  Explanation of the project: aims, activities, etc. to the students
•  Periodical meetings of the participating teachers to set the criteria to be followed, the timing/calendar, decide the activities, evaluate the process...
•  Periodical meetings of the participating teachers and students These weekly meetings took place during the break or in the afternoon
•  Meetings with the headmaster team of the school
•  An initial letter explaining the main features of the project was written and sent to participating students' families these explanation, in some country, was done with a meeting.
•  Visit to poster exhibition.
•  Watch movie
•  Gathering materials about the Civil War: books, pictures our students found at home, etc.
•  Meetings at school in the afternoon: students, teachers and old people of the own, mainly their grandparents, met to record the interviews. We followed the questionnaire we had prepared before. Then we had a good time talking together.
•  Workshops: interview selection, transcription and translation into English.
•  Mounting filmed material and adding subtitles.
•  Meeting with teachers and parents of students. (before leaving to Estonia and Italy)
•  Meetings after coming back from Estonia and Italy to show teachers, parents and students what we had done there: photographs, videos, tasting typical products, etc.
•  Making posters with photos from the transnational meetings in Rouge and Matera.
•  Hanging some of the recorded interviews in the school Web page. Some pictures and explanation of the project were also included.

 

ACTIVITIES IN CENTRES FOR TEACHERS

Some of the teachers taking part in the project have attended courses related to European Socrates projects:

•  New Technologies: digital video edition
•  European Programs

ACTIVITIES IN THE TRANSNATIONAL MEETINGS:

ESTONIA

- Teacher meetings to show our work: video watching, solving problems, guidelines, etc.
•  Student meetings
•  Teacher-student meetings
•  Visit Rouge Town Hall, talking to the major about the town, education in Estonia...
•  Visit Rouge's youth centre
•  Visit “Rouge Pohikool” school: classrooms, sports centre, music lessons...
•  Local newspaper interviewed the different teachers

 

Other activities:

•  Sports competition in the afternoon
•  Dinner tasting typical products from all the participating countries: Slovakian, Italian, Estonian, Hungarian and Spanish.
•  Ecological route in Voru county: hiking.
•  Trip to Estonia's highest place.
•  Visit Tartu: the city, University and Art Museum
•  Visit Tallin

ITALY

•  Welcome meeting day in Metaponto: teachers, students and families.
•  Visit ITIS Pentasuglia school in Matera
•  Teacher meeting: presentation of products, problem solving, new guidelines about video format, etc.
•  Meeting: Italian and foreign students
•  Visit Matera old town
•  Visit National Museum in Matera
•  Meeting old people in a retirement house in Matera to listen and record some of their experiences during the war.
•  Visit Altamura deposit with the prehistorical findings.
•  Dinner with all the teachers involved in the project
•  TV broadcasting of the project in regional TV channel 3 of RAI the Italian National TV
•  Walk around Rome

6. PRODUCTS OBTAINED

•  Video interviews, subtitled in English (common format) and translated to all the languages of the countries participating in the project. (Ready in CD and Web page)
•  The FTP site of the project ftp://80.23018.10
•  The Web site of the project http://www.itismt.it/diario/diario.htm
•  Questionnaire to guide the interviews
•  Posters
•  Photographs
•  DVD of the activities carried out in Rouge – Estonia and Matera - Italy


7. EVALUATION

Evaluation has been done all along the process, usually in the frequent teacher meetings to revise the aims of the project and their fulfilment.

In every international meeting all the partners have evaluated our work together, and the products we got.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

•  Degree of involvement of our students
•  Diffusion of the project in the area: families
•  Overcoming problems: solving technical difficulties.
•  Fulfilment of the aims planned.
•  Final product

As the project evolved students felt more and more involved in it. They have become more enthusiastic and ready to get responsibilities in the project.

Relationship between them and their grandparents seems to have improved. They have also learnt that wars are useless. These were the two main aims of the project, so we feel happy with the results.

The Spanish partner would like to mention another fact: “For our students, travelling to a foreign country has been something really special. Parla is a working class industrial town near Madrid and our students do not usually have the possibility to travel abroad. They have been able to meet people from other countries and cultures, it has been a great personal enrichment for them. They have lived themselves the European dimension”.

 

8. CONTINUITY OF THE PROJECT

Nowadays, the situation of the world shows the need for a systematic work on peace among the youth. This project tries to involve all our school community.

The Spanish partner, for next academic year 2004/05, will organize the first international project meeting in Parla.

During the first term they will prepare the meeting: they want to count on the educational and local authorities. They will try to involve the media too (local TV and newspapers). The support of the families will be very important too (for student accommodation).

The planned activities for next year are:

•  Cinema: watching films on wars
•  Theatre: plays about the war
•  Visit exhibitions
•  Workshop: translation
•  Workshop: reporting
•  Work in History
•  The local media: making the project known in Parla (2005/06)

And the products we want to get:

•  Audio/video recordings of more interviews
•  Selection of more interviews
•  Leaflet about old people memories (text and pictures)
•  Finishing the Web site
•  To publicize the job and the web site

9. THE PARTNERS

All the Partners have participated in the activities of the project in effective and complete way. All the objectives have been fully shared by everybody and the planned activities have been completed with the massive use of the new ICT technologies.

The collaboration of the teachers has been great but spectacular has been that of the students.

During the meetings in Rouge and Matera we have seen the birth of a group of friends and colleagues in the spirit of understanding and equality. During the meetings all the students have been settled in families