A year of inclusion in eTwinning

Throughout 2017, eTwinning embraced its annual theme – inclusion - in the broadest sense possible, examining how education can be effectively mobilised to promote the fundamental values of inclusion itself.

eTwinning annual conference in Malta

“Inclusion is not treating everyone the same, but it is affording everyone the same opportunities,” was the main message of Mark Penfold, Babington Academy, UK, at the eTwinning annual conference in his inspiring keynote speech, “The meaning, philosophy and practice of inclusion in a digital age”.

The conference continued with numerous workshops on topics surrounding the theme of inclusion, such as social and emotional learning, decentralised technologies, intercultural competence, and gender equality and diversity. The first conference day was topped off with the prize award dinner to acclaim the best projects of the past year. On the final day, Evarist Bartolo, Minister of Education and Employment of Malta, stressed the need for true inclusive practices instead of “one-size-fits-all” approaches. He called for placing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights above cultural values and religion.

eTwinning book: Building a culture of inclusion through eTwinning

The latest eTwinning book presents a selection of projects and activities promoting inclusive education with a focus on three aspects:

  • how to overcome geographical obstacles
  • how to enhance intercultural understanding
  • how to deal with educational challenges.

Kyriakos, age 12, one of the students quoted in the book, says: “We came closer to people living in a different part of Europe, without taking a boat or a plane, and in the end, we became good friends.

Open the book and discover the world of inclusion-enhancing projects.

Professional development opens doors… also to inclusion

The year included numerous professional development activities on inclusive approaches for members of the eTwinning community. For instance, a School Inclusion workshop in Bratislava, Slovakia offered ideas on how to work with diverse learners such as Roma community members, and pupils with Special Educational Needs. 

Another workshop, Creative and Cultural Education - Inclusive Approaches, gathered 130 participants from 25 countries in Munich. It promoted the power of creativity, curiosity and cooperation, and explored links between curriculum disciplines. You can watch a video about it here.

The year of inclusion in eTwinning is over, but the work continues. How might we turn ideas about inclusion into action in our schools and classrooms?