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“Once upon a time...in Europe” is a Grundtvig Learning Partnership in which the following countries participate: Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

The partnership's general aims are to:

  • Contribute to the development of LLL quality and to improve intergenerational learning.
  • Promote social cohesion, a sense of European citizenship, intercultural dialogue, gender equality, creativity and innovative ICT-based content, pedagogies and practices for LLL through European literature.

We think that elderly people have time to enjoy reading books and this project will give them not only the opportunity to make the most of their time but also to increase their knowledge in European literature, history, social skills and, in general, the fundamental key competences. With the project “Once upon a time in…Europe” we will contribute to the acceptance and dissemination of literature from the participating countries.

We have selected 9 relevant books to read together: The House of Bernarda Alba (SP), Blank Gaze (PT), The Leopard (IT), Zorba the Greek (GR), The Ugly Duckling (DK),
Mediterranean Breviary (HR), The Missing Rose (TR), The 13 Yule Lads of Iceland (IS) and Travels with Herodotus (PL). The motivation to read, to see interesting European cinema and to learn the use of ICT, prompted by personal, social and economic needs, is a good starting point for our students to achieve the second chance they are looking for. They will be provided with the necessary tools to enlarge their knowledge, not only of their own cultural reality but also the cultural and historical backgrounds of other European countries, by building their own criteria and sharing other points of view.

Regarding methodology, all the activities in this project are based on the theories proposed by Vigostky, Brunner and Aussubsel with the aim of attaining a motivational uplift in our students as well as an improvement in their significative learning. We will try to combine some of the theoretical underpinnings of these reading groups such as Rosenblatt’s reader-response theory, Bruner’s scaffolding theory and Vygotsky’s ideas about social interaction with the benefits and advantages that a virtual learning environment offers. In this way, we will encourage on-going quality LLL through innovative methods and practices based on the use of ICT. We will use Moodle to host our online reading groups. The learners will participate actively reading books, searching information about countries, their history, their literature and the cinema and with group work during virtual sessions on Moodle, Facebook and also face to face during the meetings.

In summary, the project aims to be a melting pot where we will mix the history, the culture and the literature of the participating countries. We want the books to be a meeting point which will strengthen intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, equality between men and women, social cohesion and the feeling of an active European citizenship. Our literary ship will embark on a wonderful European journey where barriers (discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation) will be broken down.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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