First meeting of START THE CHANGE partners!
On 2nd and 3rd of March 2020 the project partners from Croatia, North Macedonia, Portugal and Belgium have met in Zagreb, Croatia, for the kick-off meeting of the START THE CHANGE project. During these two days, the project coordinators from 7 partner organizations: INOVA+ (Portugal), MCEC (North Macedonia), FFE (Croatia), NEPC (Croatia), SIRIUS (Belgium), Primary School Ivan Meštrović (Croatia) and Agrupamento de Escolas Josë Estëvâo (Portugal), have met and discussed the project activities.
The key aim of the meeting was achieving common understanding of the project design and policy focus with appreciation of different country contexts and issues to be addressed by the project activities. MCEC, INOVA+ and FFE together with partner schools examined the anticipated activities to be done directly with schools and compared the commonalities and specifics of country contexts and policies in regard to education, teachers and students. With the expert facilitation of two partner networks, NEPC and SIRIUS, the partners identified the topic of the desired policy change to be followed through all project activities, which is the promotion of student voice. All partners agreed that the promotion of the student voice and participation, opens up the space for achieving the intercultural understanding, appreciation of diversity, volunteering, solidarity and active citizenship in school communities.
The partners discussed in more details the first key activity which is the qualitative research with students using focus group methodology. The aim of the research is to investigate the students’ perspective on the school and local community and in what ways they feel and do not feel accepted, heard, seen, by adults and peers. Afterwards, these insights will inform the project experts in developing the educational material, curriculum and teacher training.
Also, as the COVID_19 crises is affecting different countries, the partners discussed the potential risk to the implementation of project activities to be done directly with schools.