Having in mind the main goals of the project, the proposed activities will support European priorities of KA 2 project in national/EU international context in multidimensional aspects:
1. The project will answer the challenge in supporting attractivity of teacher profession: all categories of teachers involved in the project (in-service preschool teachers, university teachers/teacher trainers and pre-service preschool teachers) will get opportunity to enhance their skills in innovative methods of education, to use ICT in education, to present their creativity, sense of human understanding and believes that teacher profession is a way how to help in developing child individuality and personality as well as in supporting social/mankind development. On the other hand, besides teachers competences enrichment, international cooperation will enhance the individual pedagogical thinking of teachers and their educational ethos.
2. The project will face to the issues of at-risk preschoolers in kindergartens and inclusive early childhood education. Conference presentations and peer reviewed journal articles will support debates on preschool education in international environment.
3. The project represents very fruitful ground for international cooperation and internationalization of universtities. There will be a platform for acquiring new theoretical knowledge and sharing good educational practices/experiences. International dimension of university colleges involved in the project will be enhanced by common meetings and video debates. An increase of teacher staff mobility and broadering of teachers´ international network is expected.
Therefore, five University Colleges Teacher Trainings out of four countries will participate in our project, (i.e., Slovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal). In this way, the project covers a large variety in cultural and educational backgrounds existing in the preschool educational systems in Europe (see European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Eurostat, 2013, 2014). Each country (except for Belgium) will build a professional learning community on teacher sensitivity as a basis for inclusive preschools environments. Each professional learning community will consist of 2 teacher trainers, 10 inservice teachers and 10 preservice teachers. Based on the principle of co-teaching and videofeedback (LoCasale-Crouch, 2016) the professional learning communities will practice teacher sensitivity during free play situations with preschoolers between 2.5 to 6 years old. Next, they will film and label good practices. The professional learning communities will also internationally share and discuss their findings. Two Syrian teachers will mentor and coach the professional learning communitites in developing outputs that are applicable in the educational process of all children, including refugee children. Learning from other teachers and teacher trainers (both nationally and internationally) who struggle with similar issues of inclusion will enhance the professional development of all teachers (cf. lifelong learning, European goal).
This project results in four outputs which have significant contribution in terms of impact and transferability for the participating and non-participating European countries. First, we aim to develop informative, interactive videos concerning teacher sensitivity and inclusion in preschool (Output 1). These videos will act as input for the PLCs. Second, the PLCs will experiment with making good practice videos on teacher sensitivity as a basis for inclusive preschool environments (output 2). Third, the interactive videos and good practice videos will constitute the basis of an Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for inservice and preservice teachers (output 3). For the development of the MOOC, our project builds on the validated Belgian Playing-2-gether online course (Vancraeyveldt et al., 2015). The MOOC will be available in Dutch, Slovak, Portuguese, English, and French. Finally, preservice and inservice teachers will become ambassadors of Playing-2-gether as they will be trained as coaches for other teachers.
Therefore a coaching manual (Output 4), together with the MOOC, will be disseminated during national and international multiplier events.