The COVID-19 pandemic presented us with many challenges which sometimes turned into inspiring opportunities. Many sectors – work, culture, sport, to mention a few – were forced to reinvent themselves and the ways they function. Education, due to school closures, was among the sectors that suffered the most.
For this reason, teachers of eTwinning are invited to reflect with their students about their school in the “new normal” where blended learning will play a major role. Blended learning describes when a school, educator or student takes more than one approach to the learning process, which includes but is not limited to physical space, formats and means: on-site, online, classroom, outdoors, etc.
The vision of a “dream school” will be built on the values of inclusion, beauty and sustainability.
Teachers and students are invited to find beauty in their learning environment, at every level or capacity and elevate it to its highest potential. Beautiful and inclusive schools are designed to engage students from every culture, from disadvantaged backgrounds, with different sexual orientation and gender identity, or with disabilities. Sustainable schools are functional and accessible, embody eco-friendly practices and create the conditions to raise environmentally aware citizens.
The annual theme will be prominently covered by the eTwinning Spring and eTwinning Weeks campaigns throughout 2022, the eTwinning annual conference in October 2022, the eTwinning annual book, and in the professional development offer. Teachers will be asked to creatively reflect on their “dream school” together with their students: a school that supports blended learning, education for sustainable development, well-being and inclusion. Students will have an active role and get involved in various actions and activities – not only to co-design the school’s physical environment, but also to make it a space where their values will be reflected.
In relation to the proposal for a Council Recommendation on blended learning to support high quality and inclusive primary and secondary education, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel confirmed:
“Striving for a vision of better quality and inclusive education and training is by no means limited to the COVID-19 context. There is an opportunity now to learn and move forward from the most recent experiences. Today’s proposal maps a vision of the education we want to see in Europe. One that supports the overall goals of the European Education Area and Digital Education Action Plan to promote quality and inclusion, green and digital education across Europe.”
Join us in this year’s adventure, and let’s participate together in a dialogue that will give voice to initiatives of individuals, neighbourhoods, and local communities under the New European Bauhaus initiative of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
In this exciting wave of creativity, we invite teachers and students to ponder on but also realise their dreams for a better school and a better future.