The courage to cross borders

The summer school of the ACROSS project was held at the Aeres University of Applied Sciences Wageningen (Netherlands) from 4 to 9 June 2018. It hosted 23 students of pedagogy of vocational subjects and 9 lecturers of didactics or social pedagogy from six European countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Netherlands). The main aim of the one-week summer school was to familiarize students with modern teaching practices and to apply the acquired knowledge on the basis of cooperation in international teams during the preparation of their own team teaching unit. A specific requirement was an application of social topics to the teaching of the subject of their specialization. The curriculum, created under the guidance of experienced lecturers, was tested directly in real classes at two Dutch secondary vocational schools.
The Institute of Education and Communication was represented by 5 students of the part-time study field "Pedagogy for Teachers of Vocational Subjects", who enriched their teaching by interesting interactive teaching methods, e. g. didactic game, role-play and project teaching.
The most important benefit of the event was to gain experience in overcoming the limits of one's own uncertainties, fears and stereotypes that emerge during work in a multicultural environment. Students were taught to understand thinking of participants from other countries, to find comprehensible tools for presenting classroom topics and to take into account the specific characteristics and needs of pupils. Above all, they also tried to find out deeper contexts in the subjects they had taught. This fact is in accordance with the main aim of the ACROSS project which is actually being run at the IEC – across the study fields, disciplines and human horizons.

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