Bridging the Gap: Improving EU Teaching in Secondary Schools

The Educational Development Unit of the IES is organising a series of training workshops and seminars in Belgium. The IES is a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and regularly organises activities on different subjects about the European Union. The focal point is to provide a number of academic services to disseminate its research and to stimulate academic and public discussion on topical European Issues.

As a result, the IES is organizing a series of workshops and seminars for individuals who teach the EU in secondary schools and/or train secondary school teachers. Through these seminars, teachers will learn how to teach about the European Union, as well as learning the latest about its institutions. This project is aimed to teachers from both Western and Eastern Europe.

Why does the IES organize these trainings?

The goal of these two-day workshops is to stimulate excellence in secondary teaching in the EU in schools and training institutions within and outside the EU. Thanks to a grant from the Jean Monnet Programme, expenses will be refunded to all participants. This will make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to participate and will reinforce social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, active citizenship, gender equality and personal fulfilment.

Our objectives

In addition to the two 2-day workshops, secondary teachers will receive an end-of-year handbook, a dedicated online module, a series of webinars and related webpages. These are designed to:

  • Improve the quality of education in secondary schools on the topic of the EU
  • Increase the level of participation and knowledge of the EU
  • Encourage independent thinking

In sum, bridging the gap will effectively increase the skill set of secondary teachers, teacher trainers and students on the vibrancy and challenges entailed in ''Learning the EU''

The training workshops are designed to ensure that secondary school teachers come away from the two days with a profoundly increased personal knowledge of the EU as both an object and subject of teaching and a permanently enhanced series of skills, approaches, tools and methods by which teaching the EU can be successfully undertaken in the secondary school classrooms. The results of their observations and recommendations will be picked up in the impact of Activity 2 in the form of the Best Practice Handbook and the Website.

The handbook will be a permanent record of the substantive and pedagogic outputs of the teacher training workshops; gathering together insights, experiences and advice from five key geographic EU and non-EU regions.

Six Bridging Webinars for Secondary School Teachers and University Lecturers: Six separate opportunities to discuss online the challenge of teaching EU in the classroom. They make a real impact in real time, but have the convenience of being recorded permanently and disseminated to other relevant parties. The half dozen or so IES ‘Teaching EU ‘ Webpages are another permanent feature offering a high degree of impact thanks to their content of observations and best practice suggestions on making the EU more accessible and memorable in a classroom environment.

The strongest, most long-term impact of all is likely to be comprised in the e-module, which represents a permanent feature by which teachers, and even laypersons, can gain increased knowledge and expertise on the key aspects of EU integration. In either 6 or 12 month format, and if possible, within an ECTS format, the module would be laid out in a series of webpages allowing individual and interactive learning that can make a permanent difference to those who complete.

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