The Uniting Difference project successfully completed one of five major training sessions of the programme, bringing the Teaching for Early-Learning Methodologies to teacher-trainers in Croatia and inspiring more action to help keep young Roma children in the public education system.
The Uniting Differences project is a pilot project to address equal access to education for the Roma children in Croatia. The goal is to train staff to help keep Roma children in mainstream schools, starting with preschool-aged children. The project also seeks to improve the broader education environment by providing training and materials on the newest and most effective teaching methodologies, which can be used in any classroom.
This session in particular was a training session on the Teaching for Early-Learning Methodologies publication and practices, so that the teachers in attendance can now provide workshops for other teachers who will use the material in their schools.
This first Training of Trainers workshop of the project took place in Sveti Martin na Muri, Medjimurje County, Croatia, with trainers Prof. Hristo Kyuchokov and Zsuzsanna Sabo. Prof Lorin Anderson, the editor of the methodology publication, addressed participants from South Carolina, U.S.A., via video conference. Corinna Noack-Aetopulos, CDRSEE’s Programmes Director, moderated and lead the workshop, which was on Oct. 24 and 25. A total of 16 teacher-trainers attended the workshop.
Workshop attendees called the weekend “inspiring” and said they now feel more in touch with how it feels to be in an “inferior position” in schools. Â The workshop especially raised awareness about the importance of communication and the complexity of communication processes, teachers said.
“I picked up a very good idea here of how to involve parents,” one teacher commented. “I realised how difficult it is to put somebody else’s hat on.”
Much discussion centered on the dilemma of integration vs. assimilation. Teachers and workshop leaders had meaningful debates on ways to turn integration into two-way process, an enhancement for all those involved.
The next Uniting Differences training-of-trainers workshop will be held on November 21-22, 2014.