Reorganisation II: Focusing the Handbook
According to the new timetable, the digital work in inter-school groups was supposed to start in January 2021; however, the coordinators asked for a video conference at short notice and reported on January 19 that the Christmas holidays had caused a clear “kink” in the students’ motivation. The apparent lack of prospects as well as the approaching report cards and final exams clouded the mood of the students and led to great concerns and increased efforts on the part of the teachers involved to keep in touch at all (some of the teachers had not seen their students in person since October at this point).
Against this background, all partners feared a loss of quality of the project if the previous schedule was to be maintained. Therefore, on February 12, 2021, the coordinating institution – after good and helpful advice from the Pedagogical Exchange Service – applied for an extension of the project until August 31, 2022, which was granted.
On this basis, the project partners, especially the teachers, decided to pause the cooperation of the students until after the summer holidays in order to focus on teaching missed lessons and preparing for upcoming exams (note: the initially planned pause until May did not seem to make much sense, as some of the students are graduating and cannot continue to participate in the project after the summer holidays; therefore, a resumption after the holidays was preferred, with special involvement and introduction of the new students).
Nevertheless, it was in the interest of all participants not to lose sight of each other and the project goal, which is why the students created digital tours of their own school and – if possible – continued with the existing tasks (information research and taking 360-degree photos of the chosen peace or conflict site). In parallel, teachers shared current experiences and challenges in a dedicated classroom on GPENdialogue, advising each other and giving each other hope and confidence. The schedule has been adjusted accordingly:
Parallel to the work with teachers and students, the experts involved from the Berghof Foundation, the Vrijen Universiteit Amsterdam, the Comenius Institute (external partner organisation) and the EKD/GPENreformation met about quarterly during this time to discuss the continuation of the project and to work on the structure and content of the accompanying handbook. In the course of this, it was decided and applied for to publish the handbook as an e-book in order to be able to design it in multimedia form and link it directly to the EduMaP.
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