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ICEPO - young people promoting understanding between the nations

About the project

ICEPO is a joint project between Iceland and Poland and is aimed at involving teachers and students from partner schools in intercultural dialogue. It will hopefully lead to better understanding between the nations and building tolerance towards differences. In consequence it will result in the development of conscious civic societies. Positive attitude towards other cultures will be for young people a key to their future work mobility and equal chances in looking for work or further education opportunities.

How did the project come into being?

In autumn 2008 the conference “Building Bridges – Making Partnerships between Iceland, Norway and Poland”  was  held in Gdansk in Poland. It was the Fundusz Stypendialny i Szkoleniowy in Poland which organised the conference and the goal was to form partnerships between Poland and the EFTA countries. At the conference the teachers from the Framhaldsskólinn í Austur-Skaftafellssýslu and Zespół Szkół Nr 2 im. Eugeniusza Kwiatkowskiego first met and decided to build a partnership. After returning home the teachers began to write an application for a mobility project. At the end of February 2009 the schools got some good news: their application had been accepted and the official duration of the project is from the 1st of March 2009 to 30th of June 2010.

The whole project can be divided into several stages:

- establishing partnership (spring 2009)
- exchanging intercultural knowledge (2009 – 2010)
- using the common cultural knowledge to produce together something worthwhile for the others, including local community (2009 – 2010)
- the partners will visit each other in the school year 2009 – 2010

During project implementation there will be prepared a set of teaching materials/ lesson plans presenting cultural heritage and adapting cross-curricular approach, including history, geography, social studies, literature, etc. Students will get involved in collecting materials from the tradition of their country. They will also learn about the tradition of the partner school country. They will improve their knowledge of foreign languages thanks to the innovative teaching methods - CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning), also by the analysis of the materials from the partner school. ICE-PO will also be registered as an eTwinning project.

Materials used in project implementation will include: books, films, theatre plays and performances, historic sources, literary works and information from authorized websites.The whole project will be implemented with the use of modern communication and IT techniques. The final product of the project will be a common website of partner schools which will contain among others a set of teaching materials ready to use in the future as a teaching tool in the updated curricula of partner schools or by other schools and teachers. Students from both schools will produce together a Polish-English-Icelandic phrase book with short practical information about each country. It can possibly be used by Polish immigrants in Iceland.

When we write these words in April 2009, twenty young people have already started their collaboration with their partners.

Hjördís Skírnisdóttir (FAS Höfn, Iceland)
Anna Wojcieszyn (Szkół Nr 2 im. Eugeniusza Kwiatkowskiego,  Dębica, Poland)