TOGETHER: implement service learning in schools

To get digital cultural heritage enhanced.

Berlin Cosmopolitan School participates in an innovative educational project aimed at developing materials that encourage the development of professional, technological and personal competences of students and staff, improving academic and cultural knowledge for BCS students.

The terrible impact of the COVID-19 emergency has put an unprecedented pressure on the cultural and creative sector across Europe, unveiling the need for higher attention, resources and a process of modernization that should first and foremost be sparked from the young generations. The discussion around digital transformation of cultural resources has been around for years now, although it has still not led to the significant impact expected. Now, the aftermath of the pandemic demands for a clear acceleration, that is going to be effective only if remarkable investments are made to provide the necessary skills and competences to the future professionals in this sector.

The project TOGETHER aims to support young students in school to engage creatively and critically with the cultural resources through the smart adoption of digital technologies. This change of paradigm will call for a re-thinking of the fruition of cultural wealth, that should be digitally enhanced to improve its flexibility, accessibility and potential for inclusion. Teacher capacity, in this context, will be among the main challenges, since education practitioners may lack confidence and experience in developing young people’s creative digital skills. For this reason, TOGETHER aims to support them with adequate training and professional development to make digital creativity emerge and be applied to cultural heritage.

Teachers have a crucial role in supporting learner development and are key change agents in school development. The report “European ideas for better learning: The governance of school education systems”, developed by the ET 2020 Working Group on Schools, encourages the transformation of schools into “open learning organisations”, enabling teachers and school leaders to improve both their pedagogical and their organisational practices concurrently through local collaborative research, networking and continued professional development.

The objective of TOGETHER is to develop an innovative methodology to engage secondary school students in community-based participative activities for the digitization, enhancement and protection of cultural heritage, in accordance with the principles of service learning and project based learning.

What are the expected results of the project?

Teacher’s Handbook and Competence framework

The Handbook will be a meaningful pedagogical resource made available for the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of secondary schools’ teachers and leaders, providing them with an innovative educational model that leverages on digital creativity skills to formulate concepts of Service Learning and project-based learning aimed to involve students in initiatives for digital enhancement of local cultural heritage.

TOGETHER Digital Creativity Academy

The Academy will be an online educational platform that will host the digitized version of the Handbook’s modules previously developed during IO1 and a Toolbox with a collection of tools, instructional materials and multimodal resources complementary to the Handbook. The aim will be to create an open online environment that will be useful for secondary school teachers and leaders to integrate the learning path taken with the Handbook, thus enhancing their learning experience. The Academy will also serve the purpose to create a social hub between all users scattered across EU, thus leading to the formation of a community of practice.


21st Century Learning

Contemporary teaching styles also require contemporary pedagogical leadership, where teachers and educators are actively seen as contributors. As our teachers and educators are constantly reflecting on their practice and sharing their knowledge in professional learning communities in different educational settings, they also need to be exposed to the changing values of the next generation and have a deeper understanding of how best to deal with changing values. As we aim to strengthen our approach to transdisciplinary learning with social and emotional competences as a core component, it is crucial that teachers and educators are able to reflect on how values for the next generation can be addressed and supported in their current teaching styles. EBS Europäische Bildungsstiftung gGmbH is a lifelong learning institution that is addressing this challenge with passion, motivation, creativity and commitment with European partners with whom we are collaborating on this current challenge.

Our overall aim is to engage in a change of perspective with European school leaders and teacher educators in order to address the challenges that exist in our respective institutions today. Ebs Europäische Bildungsstiftung gGmbH, an evolving and learning institution, will further develop its understanding of the required competences that are rightly expected of our children and students in our care.

Together with all stakeholders of our school and all EU partners (management, teachers, parents and administration) we would like to define the educational institution EBS Europäische Bildungsstiftung gGmbH as a learning organisation, equipped for 21st century education and fostering a quality relationship with teachers and pupils. To achieve this, we want to ensure a higher quality of teaching for our Generation Z and Alpha students. The complexity of this process allows for a solution-oriented, appreciative and creative way of staff development that is enjoyable and promotes lifelong learning for all learners, adults and students.