Fostering teamwork and cultural awareness through school collaboration
More than ever, young people need critical thinking and intercultural skills. This month's Inspiring Practice article is about PEK, a ‘Traveller Flea’, who was the protagonist of an exceptional intercultural school project developed within the eTwinning programme.
Launched in 2005 by the European Commission, eTwinning is the largest community for schools in Europe. It offers a platform for teachers to communicate, collaborate and develop projects in a multicultural environment, through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
‘PEK, the Traveller Flea’ is a collaborative school project developed by teachers and 16-18 year old students from seven different European countries. Using different ICT tools, including the TwinSpace, Twinning’s safe online working space for teachers and pupils, they created a comic about PEK, a flea who travelled around Europe, discovering different cities, cultures and traditions, with a touch of humour.
To carry out the project, the students took on different roles including professional scriptwriters, illustrators, translators, and designers, and did so in groups of mixed nationalities. “The project brought me experience of working in teams and improved my English”, explained José Luis Rego, one of the Spanish students working in PEK. The resulting publication was translated into nine languages (Bulgarian, Czech, English, Spanish, Galician, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish) and presented in the schools and local libraries.
Do it yourself with the PEK step-by-step kit
PEK was awarded an eTwinning Prize in 2013 for its challenging transnational method of cooperation. The project not only covers various key competences (including digital competence and communication in foreign languages) and promotes intercultural understanding, but it does this through innovative methods and activities that can be easily adapted and replicated.
“Even if this cooperative work was difficult to achieve, students experienced the benefits of team-working and good communication. Achieving the final product gave them a real boost to their self-confidence in many ways” - Anne Gilleran, the Pedagogical Manager of eTwinning, commenting on the PEK project.
The eTwinning platform offers a repository of step-by-step guides to successful projects, which have been created by the eTwinning teachers themselves, and revised by pedagogical experts. The ready-made kits aim to guide teachers through the entire process, specifying the objectives, process, subjects involved, students’ age(s), and evaluation/follow-up activities. You can access PEK’s project kit here.
Project information & resources
- Students age: 15-20 years old
- Countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey
- Subjects involved: Art, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Informatics / ICT, Language and Literature
- Key competences: Cultural awareness and expression, Digital competence, Communication in foreign languages, Social and Civic competence
- Step-by-step project kit
Launched in 2005 as the main action of the European Commission’s eLearning Programme, eTwinning has been firmly integrated in Erasmus+, the European programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, since 2014. Its Central Support Service is operated by European Schoolnet and supported at national level by 36 National Support Services. Over 287,000 teachers and 134,000 schools are registered in the platform, which is available in 26 languages. Learn more about eTwinning on the project website.