« 100 years after, our future begins », this project title provides the link and mirrors the starting and the finishing point for our Erasmus+ project which is intended to last for 23 months. In 1919, after the First World War, peace was restored with the help of the Paris Treaties. In 2019 our final meeting is going to take place in Lille and thus one hundred years later, our pupils will be asked to actively create their own future and to learn from mistakes from the past. Europe’s lapse into dictatorships, the Second World War and the Cold War are part of our commemorative culture as well as changes in politics and society in 1989/90. ‘Our future begins’ is meant to be a reminder not to focus on the past only but to actively create our own future based on a knowledge of the past and to understand current political and social processes and to participate.
Four schools from Germany, Poland, Turkey and France participate in the Erasmus+ project which is outlined here. The project focuses on 1919 as a shared historic event and on common current social and political processes like migration and populism.
The project is divided into four phases, which have their own topics. In phases one, two and three we are going to deal with topics that are pieced together in phase four. In the first three phases respectively two schools will work closely together in order to give the students the opportunity to organise a European youth peace conference with the aim of creating a common and peaceful future exactly one hundred years after the Paris Treaties. Current topics from the first three phases, migration, populism and change, are the challenges which young people have to face and which they have to overcome as active European citizens.
1st phase 08/2017-01/2018 topic: migration; meeting: Frankfurt, Germany – Friedrich-Dessauer-Gymnasium
2nd phase 02/2018-07/2018 topic: populism; meeting: Samsun Tr. – Özel Samsun TAKEV Anadolu Lise
3rd phase 08/2018-01/2019 topic: change and transformation; meeting: Bialystok Pl. – Zespol Szkol Ogolnoksztalcacych Nr 2 w Bialymstoku
4th phase 02/2019-07/2019 topic: creating a common future; meeting: Lille Fr. – Eocle Ozanam
The project is being dealt with in assigned classes for the duration of 23 months so that we can guarantee continuity in the working process and at the same time students can disseminate the European idea and develop it further. As every citizen is part of the creation of a common future, students who can disseminate the European idea play an important role, especially in times of emerging populism and fears.
Throughout the project the students are researchers and at the same time ambassadors. Across borders the students find out about similarities and they experience history as an element which connects them. Due to their work the students become ambassadors of a common European identity which focuses on and respects diversity and which -in contrast to populism- does not understand it as something that is dividing but rather understands European diversity as an opportunity for a future that is theirs to create. This approach, which is student-centred and task-based, requires us to include extracurricular experts and locations. Expert consultations and discussions with politicians and social groups and organisations are important sources for information for the students. They fill the acquired knowledge with real experience and create an emotional link. Accordingly, the visit to representatives of the EU at the end of the project, during which the students are going to present their findings and are going to experience themselves as active citizens and are perceived as such.
The distribution of tasks between the schools which participate allows for a continuation of our work after the project will have finished in 07/2019. In order to document and disseminate our work, we are going to create the following products:
project website (France), book about the project (Poland), exhibition of the project (Turkey)
The German school is going to coordinate the project, even after the official ending. During the creation of the project idea further projects like student exchanges between our schools were started, which need to be coordinated even after the end of the project, and they offer further content for a follow-up of the project results after 07/2019 for more common activities.