This is a post from Tina Reddin in Dundrum College of Further Education.
EPIC is a two year student and teacher mobility project with European partners in Norway, Estonia and Germany funded by Erasmus+ through our National Agency Leargas
Why we got involved and wrote an application
The rationale was two-fold namely:
1. To enhance the learning experience of students and to provide them with the opportunities that the experience of working in another European jurisdiction can provide, including increased motivation and engagement, societal awareness, multi-culturalism, initiative and relationship management, critical thinking skills and obtaining a heightened awareness of the vocational specialism.
2. To build the capacity of our FET / VET teaching staff to contextualise the European dimension of their vocational specialisms in line with European educational frameworks and best practice.
The aims and objectives of the project include:
The project aims to foster a culture of student peer support within the college, for example, the funding and the mobility aspect of the project enables students from different areas of study to work and travel together in another jurisdiction, something which we could not accommodate in Ireland. The development of these new relationships will create sustainable, supportive student networks for further dissemination of learning across the wider college community on their return.
To provide an opportunity for FET / VET teachers to align themselves with the best international practice. The staff mobility dimension of the project provides an opportunity for our teachers to up-skill and re-skill in both pedagogical and vocational specialisms in a non-formal and supportive learning environment and will we suggest enhance their capacity to deliver quality teaching, learning and assessments within their vocational specialisms.
Dundrum CFE is keen to develop European partnerships across all of our vocational specialisms, this project will build capacity in project management of such initiatives and will lead to the development of sustainable future strategic partnerships by building strong teaching and learning partnerships.
Our experience of this project to February 2020
Three teachers and three students from various business courses travelled to HKHK, Haapsalu in Estonia, teachers for 2 day observations and students for a fortnight placement. The success of the mobility is evident in their evaluations and the video created by one of the teacher participants.
Three teachers and five students across many of our humanity disciplines travelled to KVT, Trondheim in Norway, one of our Norwegian partners for the same duration as the Estonia mobility. Again the learning has been immense and this is evidenced in a video created by a DCFE teacher, a compilation of some of the many photographs our students took during their visit. Our students had the opportunity to engage with each other in a social context, meet students from other nationalities.
In the case of Trondheim our students were joined by students from Sallynoggin CFE and our teachers had the opportunity to collaborate together as ddletb teachers as well as working with Norwegian teachers.
As for Estonia, our students met French and Hungarian students also on Erasmus+ mobilities. This too added to their enjoyment.
I write this as we await the arrival of our Norwegian visitors, both teachers and students on Monday next….