In its Communication adopted on 30 May 2017 on “School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life”, the European Commission proposes concrete actions to help Member States provide high quality and inclusive education for all young people, to support the acquisition of the knowledge and skills needed to participate fully in society, and underlines the essential contribution of eTwinning to this purpose.
In doing so, eTwinning will build on efforts already being deployed in 2017 to focus on the topic of “Inclusion”. This includes raising awareness on the necessity to cater for the diverse needs, abilities and capacities of all learners, especially those facing challenges or with fewer opportunities. Examples can include learners with special needs or who have a disability, those originating from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, migrant backgrounds or geographically depressed areas or war zones. Moreover, eTwinning will also look at inclusion in a broader sense, how education can be mobilised effectively to promote the fundamental values of inclusion itself.
In order to help develop better and more inclusive schools, the European Commission will increase cooperation among schools by making school partnerships and pupil mobility more accessible and enrich digital and intercultural learning, by promoting participation in eTwinning.
The EC Communication highlights that mainstreaming eTwinning use in all schools in Europe can help boost digital competences and open up classrooms. It is emphasised that eTwinning offers a safe online environment for cross-border education projects, and it provides schools with easily accessible tools to enhance their digital learning offer and to support intercultural and cross-border contacts between teachers and pupils.
Another objective that the Commission set out is to support teachers and school leaders in achieving high standards in teaching and learning. To this purpose, the EU will continue to develop online communities and resources for school professionals, including new eTwinning opportunities for student teachers.
Through eTwinning, the EU also encourages collaboration and peer learning among teachers in online courses and joint training events, which are vital for the professional development of school staff.
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