This is a two year project aimed at students from secondary level courses. Students and teachers from schools of seven countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, Bulgaria and Turkey) will focus specially on disadvantaged students (being “disadvantaged” here applied to all those with fewer opportunities for some particular reason: socioeconomic disfavoured background, disabilities, minority groups, etc) and work to promote the development of key entrepreneurship competencies and soft-skills. This will be done by adopting project management methodology in the solving of real problems, through the development of projects.
With globalisation and the challenges Europe nowadays faces, it is of great importance to prepare creative, well-educated and entrepreneurial citizens who, whatever their walk of life, have the spirit and inquisitiveness to think in new ways and the courage to meet and adapt to challenges.
As educators, in order to help build a sustainable future for all, we need to stress this need, focusing mainly on the students who, for the enunciated reasons, need our help the most.
All schools in the partnership share this belief and feel this need, a combination which made us work together in this project, at the same time we will be addressing a common European need.
Our main objectives include: fight socioeconomic exclusion of students with fewer opportunities / SEN students; enhance students’ possibilities to succeed in life, by promoting the development of basic soft skills and relevant entrepreneurial skills; raise awareness of the need to develop entrepreneurial skills; benefit teachers and the wider school community through the provision of these skills and develop a process for certificating soft skills.
One teacher per country will attend a training activity on entrepreneurial education and project management approach and then will replicate/ implement the learning outcomes in respective schools, involving other teachers and students. Students will attend a special course of English (storytelling, role plays and other communication skills) and will be divided in heterogeneous teams to solve problems, presenting practicable and real solutions. In the case of the SEN students included, since they are rather autonomous and functional, teachers will also help them prepare their presentations, although with the necessary adaptations.
There will be a school contest to choose the best solution to the problem and corresponding public presentation, as well as who will represent the partner school in the following short exchange, where a transnational contest – SEM (Smart, Entrepreneurial Mind) TALKs – will be held, with the participation of all school winning teams. In each exchange (except for the first, which refers to the training activity for teachers), 2 SEN schools out of the total number of participants will be included. In total, each exchange foresees the participation of 2 students per country and 1 teacher.
The winning team will be awarded a certificate/Diploma and a prize chosen by the hosting school. All students participating at transnational meetings will be assessed on the soft skills shown at the Talks, by the attribution of special certificate. A common understanding of the core principles and issues relating to the assessment and accrediting of soft skills will need to be understood by all partners prior to participation in transnational meetings and SEM Talks contests.
We envision it will have impacts on many levels, developing students’ motivation, communication, civic and presentation skills, at the same time it will also help them develop critical thinking, problem solving, enterprising and team building skills, which will be necessary to meet the requirements of the world of work. Better integration at school and more self-confidence, improvement of skills in a foreign language, enhancement of transversal skills, intercultural acceptance and empowerment are also expected. Equally important, by increasing motivation, we believe it will help students with fewer opportunities envision a better future for themselves. All this combined together can help fight early school dropout. The development of these skills will also help SEN students, in the sense they are thought in a wat that aims at the development of autonomy and functionality.