Romanian – Norwegian cooperation
During the Follow-up Meeting held on May 23-24, 2019 in Bucharest, 18 Romanian educational professionals from the County School Inspectorates (ISJ), Teacher Training Houses (CCD) and County Centres for Resources and Educational Assistance (CJRAE), who took part in the training course “Building Democratic School Culture”, shared experiences and innovative practices developed to build democratic school culture in their counties. The course was held by the European Wergeland Centre during 5-10 October 2018 in Oslo.
Organised by the National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Vocational Training (ANPCDEFP) jointly with the European Wergeland Centre (Norway), the Follow-up Meeting aimed at showcasing what had been done and achieved by these professionals within their institution and in local schools since October 2018, at facilitating a further cooperation among them in the field of building democratic schools, as well as at improving the future courses to be organized by the European Wergeland Centre in the field.
A methodology promoting knowhow, supporting sharing, reflection and encouraging cooperation
The participants, experts from CCD Bistrita-Nasaud, CCD Bucuresti, CMBRAE, ISJ Dambovita and ISJ Olt, were confronted with a mix of methods including plenary discussions, small group work, presentations , storytelling to reflect upon several topics of the training and of the educational materials they designed and/or implemented after the Oslo course.
“What topics were addressed during trainings? How these trainings were accepted by the target groups? What were their impressions, learning outcomes? What worked well during the trainings? What is worth repeating? What were the challenges during preparation, implementation? What and why didn’t work? What changes are necessary? What follow-up activities were implemented after trainings?” were part of the questions addressed, in this respect, by the European Wergeland Centre’ facilitators who moderated the meeting.
What would you recommend to those willing to produce change at schools?
In order to strengthen participants’ work and facilitate further cooperation among the experts from different institutions several types of groups were formed. The professionals shared feedback on best practices to be borrowed from the others and on what inter-institutional relationships can be built, aiming at bringing more added value to their own activities. These include, for example, accreditation of thematic courses, thematic summer schools for experts from different educational institutions, elaboration of thematic guides for school curricula – which could be taken over and implemented at local level, in other counties too.
Teaching controversial issues through Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) and Human Rights (HRE)
The training session on “How to deal with controversial issues during training and in classrooms” was implemented to further develop expert’s skills. The educational approach to controversial issues and strategies on how to effectively address them were presented and discussed, having as a basis the Council of Europe’s training pack: “Living in controversy. Teaching controversial issues through EDC/HRE” .
Democratic school development
Based on the exchanges and reflection made during the Follow-up Meeting, the participants elaborated a number of recommendations to increase the sustainability of their projects, such as: further meetings at national level, presentation of their projects on an e-platform, creating an informal network of professionals for democratic school development.
The activities of the participants in the Follow-up Meeting are unfolded within five projects under the Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (ESAYEP) – the School Education (SE) component, financed by the EEA Grants 2014-2021. While the ESAYEP Programme aims at enhancing human capital and knowledge base in Romania, the SE component intends to improve skills/competencies of the Romanian educational experts in their field of service provision, democracy, human rights and social inclusion.