Numarul 2 / Anul 2019

  Complete Edition


  In memoriam Adia Chermeleu

  Building up European identity in primary education
Claudia Borca, Călin Rus, Simona Sava

Building up the personal identity is a lifelong process, as identity can change, according with the groups of belonging, with new knowledge and changes of beliefs and contexts. There are more stable components of identity, like the values and attitudes, but there are contexts and experiences that sharpen different aspects of the identity. The article argues that education systems in Europe have responsibilities in supporting learners to develop their competences to act as citizens at local, national and European levels and thus have also the legitimacy to contribute to the development of a European identity and of a sense of belonging to Europe. Furthermore, it argues that such a process can and should start already in early ages. Therefore, teachers in primary school need appropriate competences to foster a positive identification of children with Europe and European values. They need to master intercultural competence, appropriate pedagogical and methodological approaches, they need to reflect on how to design teaching and learning contexts meant to stimulate, in a joyful, playful, attractive and consistent manner the building up of a European identity. The article mirrors the training needs of primary school teachers of 3rd and 4th grade in Western Romania, to develop these competences and be able to foster such process. The assessment of the training needs of primary school teachers involved covered all aspects of the competence, including values, attitudes, as well as the knowledge about EU, and their reflection on their teaching practices. The conclusions of the analysis can be useful for further training programs and reconceptualization of (initial) teacher education.

Key words:European identity, primary school education, teacher training, intercultural competence

  Intercultural Competence in Education to Foster European Identity
Agostino Portera

The paper summarizes the results of a qualitative study that aimed to identify the positive outcomes and opportunities, as well as the risks related with the identity building in migration and living in a multicultural context. Research consisted of a 7-year longitudinal case study, during which the life-stories, conflicts, crises, and problem-solving strategies of 23 young people of Italian origin with migration experiences – some of which were still living in Southern Germany and some of which had returned to Southern italy – were observed. The sample was composed of both adolescents with intellectual disabilities or other psychological and social disorders and adolescents who seemed to have benefited from living and growing up in different cultures. From the biographies it was possible to identify the main risk and protective factors related to migration and life in a multicultural context, and the adequate coping ability associated with their development. Based on the main findings of the study it was also possible to hypothesize that migration can inhibit or facilitate the fulfillment of fundamental human needs. So, the qualitative data was analyzed in order to identify the needs which seemed to be related with the harmonious development of the personality and a tentative theory of fundamental needs of human development was proposed. Finally, the results suggest that intercultural education can play an important role in determining whether subjects experience enrichment and growth or increasing difficulties or mental illnesses and social disorders. Therefore the paper takes the position that education can be an effective measure for fostering stable, flexible and multiple European identities. Given the research results, intercultural education, as developed and applied in a European context, can be considered as the most appropriate approach.

Key words:identity, risk factors, protective factors, fundamental needs, intercultural education.

  Intercultural education in the primary school education in Romania: ways to achieve and integrate it in curricular documents. Students perspective

Intercultural education is unanimously recognized as one of the new dimensions of education. In Romania, in the 6th grade, students aged 12-13 years study a subject with this name, according to the curricular documents entered into force in 2017. At the same time, in various other subjects, especially from the socio-human area, numerous elements of interculturality are found in each educational cycle. Because in the primary school education it lays the foundations of the later stages of formal education and personal development of the students, we were interested to see the support that this new dimension of this type of education benefits in the school curriculum from Romania. The results indicate a strong support for intercultural education from school subjects such as Religion, Personal Development, Social Education. This article includes the results of a research we conducted with the help of the survey based on a questionnaire, to identify how the students from the bachelor s degree specialization "Pedagogy of primary and pre-school education" relate to the possible ways of achieving and integrating the intercultural education in curricular documents at the primary school education. We wanted to identify the point of view of the students, the future teachers from primary school education, which is why the research was carried out at the end of the last year of their undergraduate studies. The conclusions show that there is a certain knowledge of the problem of the intercultural education at the primary school education, based on the university studies and the experience in the classroom, from the teaching practice or from the current activity of the students already working in education. However, we cannot fail to notice the significant differences between the points of view of those who have experience in teaching activity, including during high school education in a pedagogical high school, compared to their colleagues who have a much lower didactic experience.

Key words:primary school education, interculturality, teaching experience, university studies, teaching practice of students

  The construction of European identity in fourth grade history handbooks

The fourth grade represents the first year of study of the discipline History for students in pre-university education. Before being a matter of civics, the European identity is a historically grounded construct; therefore, we naturally wondered whether the issue that we have not only an ethnic or national identity, but also a European one is, even incipiently, raised when teaching history. Our analysis started from the definition of the concept of European identity, to the general perception of Romanians regarding Europe according to Eurobarometer data, to reach the analysis of the school syllabus in the History discipline and then to the textbooks constructed starting from this syllabus. The conclusion we reached following our approach was that, as the school syllabus supports the formation of the national identity first and on a secondary place, the sketching of elements of European identity (through the elements related to the history of the national minorities in Romania, the location on the map of Europe of the events in the history of Romanians, discussing in different topics subjects such as the European Union or presenting some important personalities for the history of Europe), the three existing textbooks, available and at the decision of the teachers have an accordingly approach, that we consider to be correct. The European identity cannot be built before the national identity, historically speaking, and for the age category to which we refer (9-10 years), in the condition of one course hour per week, the simultaneous construction of the two types of identity (in other words teaching the history of Romanians and universal history at the same time) is difficult to achieve. Therefore, we believe that the choice for national history and identity before the European one is properly substantiated. The national and European identities cannot be constructed from the simple enumeration of historical names or data. The well-built explanation, accompanied by carefully chosen examples is essential in teaching history to this age category and, of course, in the solid construction of one s own identity (national and European).

Key words:Europe, European identity, history, handbook, syllabus

  Strengthening European Identity by promoting multilingualism in education
Gabriela DOMILESCU Cosmina Simona LUNGOCI

Actual understanding of multilingualism refers to the ability of individuals to consistently use two or more languages in communication. Knowing several languages facilitates international mobility and cooperation, fosters educational and professional integration, strengthens people s belonging to the European community as European citizens. Many European citizens are motivated to study another foreign language because of multiple reasons, especially the personal and professional advantages of language skills. However, it is also important to understand why many others are not currently studying foreign languages or are limited to the knowledge of English as second language. Some may consider foreign languages not to be essential for their lives, others may consider teaching methods too academic, rigid, less attractive, too boring, other may be traumatized by their school experiences. Whatever the reasons, solutions must be found to overcome these hesitations and learning fears. The purpose of these study is to investigate students representations (future teachers) on European multilingualism and their attitudes towards the acquisition, knowledge and practicing of foreign languages in Europe. In order to establish the theoretical framework of our research, we have reviewed official studies elaborated by the European Commission, specialized articles and papers addressing the issue of multilingualism in European context. Using a questionnaire based research we aimed to identify students (future teachers) reasons for choosing the study of a foreign language; the extent to which students know and exploit the benefits of European multilingualism and how they think it could be promoted by them, as future teachers. In line with the results of our research, we intend to we intend to highlight ways of promoting multilingualism in education..

Key words:education, foreign language, multilingualism, teacher training

  Erasmus mobilities and European identity- an exploratory incursion

The Erasmus programme - EU`s flagship student exchange programme – has drawn more and more scholarly attention in the last decades, proportionally with its expansion. In this context, the link between an Erasmus experience abroad and European identity has also been explored by a series of studies. This paper aims to “zoom in” on this matter through a review of the literature that deals with this topic, touching also upon some of the relevant theories and policy documents for the study of this subject matter. To begin with, it will provide some clarifications about the concept(s) of (European) identity, putting them in the context of the Erasmus programme. Further on, it will engage in a mapping exercise of the some of the various approaches that have been taken, the case studies and the research methodologies that have been used or the results that have been observed in the dominant literature on this subject.

Key words: Erasmus mobilities, Erasmus programme, student mobilities, European identity

  Doing Educational Research – Overcoming Challenges into Practice. Book review
Ekkehard NUISSL