The partnership ”Sweets’ Taste along Europe” is aimed to facilitate the social inclusion by cooking for trainees and trainers, based on researching on various kinds of sweets and desserts from the partner countries, meaning traditional recipes and on creating future didactic means to help improving and innovating the process of learning.
Coordinating School: Liceul de Turism și Alimentație Dumitru Moțoc, Galați
1. Colegiul Tehnic Transilvania – Brașov, România
2. Sule Muzaffer Buyuk Mesleki Ve Teknik Anadolu Lisesi – Manavgat, Turcia
3. I.S.I.S.- Istituto Statale Istruzione Superiore ”Luigi de’ Medici” – Ottaviano, Italia
4. Aplicaproposta, LDA Training Centre – Braga, Portugalia.
Our project was accepted from a reserve list and it started later than in the application, meaning on 31st December, 2019. Due to the pandemic which started immediately after our first project meeting in Brasov, 25 -29th Febr. 2020, many things that were meant to be done face-to-face couldn’t be achieved that way anymore. As we were waiting for the things to come to normal, we used the technology to realize what we could from all the activities and products. That’s why we asked for a project extension with 8 months to our NA and we got it, we extended our project until August 2022. Alternatives were sought and created by the means of the technology which can substitute and help at realizing the objectives:
- increasing the students’ social skills (realized by means of the technology: online meetings, chatting on WhatsApp, on Facebook, playing Kahoot games, collaborating at the creation of material for Sweets booklet, exchanging recipes made by them on WhatsApp, which turned into a nice and large community where they discuss all the time etc.)
- enhancing the teachers’ professional competence (IT and English abilities and professional knowledge sharing with the other teachers so far as they were involved in WhatsApp discussions with the students only in English, in creating IT products, in moderating online meetings).
- decreasing the schools’ dropout rates by promoting learning to learn (as there have been mainly online lessons, students’ dropout rates have decreased and this was for the benefit of our project as students at risk were glad to be involved in online creation of movies, presentations and IT products creation and continued attending the online classes)
- developing students’ abilities in finding solutions, their critical thinking as a consequence of applying new technologies to make traditional products as a means of socialization, (they were consulted with regard to the EU Sweets booklet creation, its structure and content and contributed with their own recipes, with regard to the website and Facebook page content and on every occasion and activity organized)
- growing the Ss’ coding, computational, logical and critical thinking (by the Codeweek activities)
- enlarging the Ss’ self-esteem, self-confidence and motivation (they have already got over the shyness and other emotional barriers by chatting on our WhatsApp group where everybody is encouraged to talk and the atmosphere is very open and also during the meetings where we played a live Kahoot game and they had the chance to see one another, too).
- growing teachers’ social skills (during the common activties they were involved and had the chance of socializing with the other partners) and upgrading their knowledge on nonformal activities meant to stimulate Ss’ motivation, activities organized locally on Erasmus Days and Halloween or in collaboration on European Language Days, Codeweek etc.
- improving the students’ IT knowledge (they used Web 2 Tools in realizing their presentations, in creating videos, drawings, in editing photos, in creating logos and posters, in editing videos, in helping creating the website page or blog, the newsletter, the Sweets ebook and in all the stages of the activity planning and implementation in schools).
Web 2 Tools were used by both students and teachers at creating the project products, such as Canva (for logos, posters, presentations etc.), Storyjumper (for ebooks), PosterMyVall (posters, banners), WortArt (logo, design text), google docs and quiz-maker (for voting and surveys), YouTube (video creation and uploading), Padlet (a posting wall), Linoit, Google Meet (meetings), PhotoFunia (calendars), Chatterpix and Voki (students’ presentations), Publisher și Adobe spark, Collage Maker, animoto, VİMEO, Kahoot, emaze (virtual exhibition) etc.
When the situation allowed us to travel, we were able to achieve almost all the Learning Activities in the project:
- C4 (“Better teachers, happier students”, short-term joint staff training on social inclusion and personal development, in Braga, Portugal), September 2021
- C1 (“Sweet as honey – blended mobility”, in Italy), in October, 2021,
- C2 (“Traditional Sweet Decorations”, blended mobility, inTurkey), November-December, 2021,
- C3 (”Hospitality along Europe”, blended mobility, in Galati, Romania) is due to take place in July, 2022.
Common activities made so far:
- the opening of the project International Conference held on 19th February 2020 at Galati, Romania with indirect participation of the partners who sent videos with greetings,
- the opening of the project International Conference held on 19th February 2020 at Galati, Romania with indirect participation of the partners who sent videos with greetings and introductions, where local media and local school teachers were present.
- FIRST PROJECT MEETING at BRASOV -25 -29th FEBRUARY, 2020 where various aspects have been discussed: the presentation of the participants and of the project and setup of the project agenda and further activities;
- Logo and poster contests where students uploaded their work on etwinning and the best were chosen by vote.
- International Language Day video shooting;
- Codeweek where students had to draw sweets using different pixel art, mandala, using any innovative and artistic IT tool. For all the activities here we got the Certificate of Excellence for our project;
- a Kahoot realized by the coordinator and played by students on a common meeting on 9th February 2021 on Safer Internet Day.
Collaborative products made so far:
- Our final main product, the EU Sweets Booklet, created with Storyjumper and it can be accessed here www.storyjumper.com/book/read/98995946/603220f864812. We have different religions: Orthodox,Catholic and Muslim and consequently, we have separate chapters with unique holidays but worth adding them. It is a complete guide with recipes and pictures which can also be used as a didactic tool.
- 1st Year Activities Newsletter made with Canva, where every partner completed their part with their local activities. The coordinator completed the common ones.
- Common Needs Analysis with the teachers’ and students’ needs about social inclusion and personal development was made in each institution and then a common analysis report at the partnership level was realized by the coordinator together with the Portuguese partner to be used for the staff course in Portugal (C4). Based on the report, the organizers and facilitators drew the outline of the course held in Braga.
- Students’ Chatterpix and Voki introductions published on our WhatsApp group and etwinning.
- 2021 Calendars made by students using PhotoFunia and uploaded on etwinning and whatsapp group.
- A common video called Sweet Taste of Languages, made with Animo, containing one traditional recipe from each country both in English and in their native language and uploaded on Facebook page of the event LinguaFest IX Week 2020 and on youtube at https://youtu.be/OTIPLQy9BxA.
- etwinning project where every partner completes the Pages with their activities.
- a Linoit with students’ Christmas and New Year’s day wishes
- an Emaze virtual exhibition with the project activities
- project website and blog
- Facebook page
- Sweet Map
- Erasmus Days events in Romania (Galati and Brasov) and Turkey
- Codeweek activities in each school
- Halloween sweets/artistic/pumpkin contests in Romania (Galati and Brasov)
- Sweets preparation videos made at school or at home before and during winter holidays – all the partners
- Sweets cooking demonstrations by the older students – Italy
- Children’s Rights Day, 20th November Webinar (Galati)
- Smore virtual bulletin – all the partners
- International Tolerance Day webinar – Galati
- World Disability Day activity which tried to raise awareness on tolerance and acceptance and non-discrimination
- cooking events or contests in all the schools,
- Galati Zoom online meetings were held with the local coordinators, a Facebook page was created www.facebook.com/Sweets-Taste-Along-Europe-109620410536274,
- a website was realized on sweetstaste.wordpress.com/ where we have uploaded all the activities and products,
- a blog was also made sweetstaste.wordpress.com/blog/, a WhatsApp group was created, with 134 participants at the moment, both teachers and students, from all the countries, where socialization was made and recipes were exchanged, etwinning project registration which can serve as a website as everything is uploaded there, too. We got the parents’ permits for all the students involved in the project to publish their work or image on the internet.
Learning through socialization and by doing things, even if online so far, has been used successfully in order to get the students more motivated to learn in these hard times, to help them better understand some notions and make them overcome them and become more confident.
The impact on STUDENTS (so far):
- the activities helped at reducing the percentage of drop-out students, students at risk got involved and found the activities pleasant as they were creation, artistic, IT kind of, exactly what students prefer instead of just learning by heart notions. In each school, there were reported at least one student at risk who got involved in activities and who was very interested by the topic, liking either to cook sweets or to draw or edit something on the internet, and at least so far, they haven’t dropped school.
- they have changed their behavior, being more tolerant and more respectful towards other cultures and religions; as they got to know the other students and saw how nice they are in spite of their origin, colour or religion, they admitted that we are differentiated only by our attitude and character and not by our language or culture;
- they told us that they learned how to cook certain sweets they hadn’t known before, that’s why we can say the project developed new professional competencies;
- they have improved social skills as they communicate all the time on the whatsapp group;
- they found out that the whatsapp group and the involvement in so many activties can be an alternative to the social isolation, especially during these pandemic times;
- they communicate with few exceptions only in English on whatsapp or during live meetings, so they have improved language skills, too by using it almost every day;
- they enhanced their motivation towards study and towards school in general, telling us that eventually, school can be interesting for them.
- they discovered new interests and hobbies, either drawing, singing, or cooking and editing, they hadn’t been aware about before;
- they grew their self-esteem, some shy students or those who lack self-confidence have made some progress and they discuss more freely now.
The impact on TEACHERS:
- they have acquired new methods and techniques to struggle Ss’ social distance and keep them together, even if online;
- they have encouraged Ss’ participation in the activities by new and innovative IT tools, STEAM, STEM, CLIL and non-formal ones;
- they have acquired or improved the IT notions or their English for communication before applying them in their activities with students;
- they have developed the means to attract students to participate in the activities and to raise their motivation to stay at school and that school can be pleasant;
- they have improved the skills to deal with the online intercultural and intergenerational exchange, managing to deal with a large group of students, with different cultures and religions;
- they have overcome the generation gap, discussing with students as open-minded as they could and becoming their friends;
- they have shared the best practices with the other partner teachers through different meetings and events;
- they have taught and implemented knowledge about internet safety in students;
The impact on STAKEHOLDERS:
- The cooperation between school, parents, local community, civil society and the labour market was efficient as they were present at events when these were still possible face-to-face and got involved in decisions. Also, during the online events, the local community/ bussiness agents were present. In many cases their presence in a location/ meeting creates a positive socio-economic impact through local job creation, procurement or community investment. They showed their interest in some students’ work and in the possibility of a future hiring of them.
The partnership aims to provide the opportunity to trainees and trainers from all participating countries to get an insight of various modern ways of social inclusion and socialization, of traditional and fine European cuisines, in order to exchange ideas and experience, so that they should be able, at the end of the project, to form competitive professionals able to integrate in the society and groups (Ss), with abilities to create, promote and provide fine, valuable and extremely attractive methods and active teaching techniques (Teachers).
Due to the fact that some participating countries have a specific cuisine and unique culinary traditions, they will function as valuable sources for the Ss’ training courses. Moreover, we believe that the partnership will have a great impact on the participants’ professional experience, on their training as well as on their cultural awareness, all these aspects being reflected in the educational and professional training system from the participating institutions.
During the project activities and on its completion we expect to reach the following results:
– reduce the percentage of drop-out students
– change in their behavior
– develop new professional competencies and social skills
– find out about alternative activities to the social isolation
– improve language skills
– develop transversal skills
– acquire the means to become a better social people
– enhance their motivation towards study
– open new interest horizons apart from just isolating themselves
– grow their self-esteem
– acquire the methods and techniques to struggle Ss’ social alienation
– encourage Ss’ social inclusion by new and innovative techniques
– develop the means to deal with Ss’ lack of motivation and school dropout
– improve intercultural and intergenerational exchange
– overcome generation gap
– share the best practices and teaching methods through national and international events
-develop the international dimension of the European education.
– cooperation between school, local community and the labour market (especially considering volunteering activities and practices students are asked to do during the project)
This project is innovative because it intends to increase social inclusion skills both for teachers and students by activities that exploit traditional events and daily human life. By the activities proposed in the framework of this project, our goal is to diminish social exclusion on reasons of cultural, religious, ethnic, financial, educational differences. By involving students in common activities having as results pleasant products making (sweets, puppets, greetings, etc) we think that they will become much eager to deal, to accept differences, to think in a tolerant manner.