GENDER VIOLENCE PREVENTION BEGINS WITH US
The alarming data on the increase of violence against women in all Western countries and especially against young women has led us, schools from different European countries, to join our efforts to work in the prevention of violence against women.
Our main goal was to promote a change in a culture based on stereotypes that diminish the role of women in contemporary society. We started from the deconstruction of pre-constituted models such as the model of masculinity or the myths of romantic love to provide other fairer and more equitable models.
The fundamental objectives of our project, closely related to some key competences, were the following:
giving information and providing data on the definition and dissemination of gender-based violence and its characteristics (Citizenship Competence);
raising awareness about equal dignity and value of people in various contexts (Citizenship Competence);
developing the ability to modify one's attitudes by learning to recognize in oneself and in otherspreconceptions, wrong idealizations of interpersonal relationships, violent behaviour and attitudes that connote a "culture of oppression" (Personal, Social and Learning to Learn Competences);
raising awareness about an appropriate use of digital technologies with particular reference to the phenomena of cyberbullying and sexting (Digital Competence);
developing the ability to learn and work both collaboratively and autonomously, which are skills that though not strictly connected with priorities, can be enhanced thanks to the methodologies used (Personal, Social and Learning to Learn Competences);
developing the ability to use different languages appropriately and effectively for communication (Multilingual Competence).
The participating teachers received an initial training in order to get familiar with the themes of gender violence and gender diversity, to promote mutual respect and to combat stereotypes. Teachers learned to adopt "gender lenses" and became more capable of identifying actions that might reveal the first forms of "violence" even among students.
The participating schools were:
ISIS Oscar Arnulfo Romero - Albino, Bergamo (Italy - coordinator,
Jelgavas 4. vidusskola - Jelgava ( Latvia)
IES Al Ándalus - Almería (Spain)
Agrupamento de Escolas de Barroselas (Portugal)
Lycée Val de Garonne - Marmande (France).
The work-team involved in the project consisted of several teachers and students aged 16 to 19. Each country’s group (approximately 24 students and 5 to 10 teachers) worked on transnational and local activities. The participation was also open to students and teachers not directly involved in mobility. Their numbers were different from school to school (from 40 to 150 students) and this enabled the promotion of a culture of prevention and non-violence among a larger number of students.
The teachers involved in the project teach linguistic, humanistic, scientific and technological subjects. Several have been involved in European exchanges, others are academic trainers in the field of innovative pedagogical practices and some are experts in equality and coeducation at school. This diversity of competences allowed them to support students in different activities.
Students worked in two complementary directions: a more documentary one (investigation, comparison,recompilation) and a more emotional one, which led to the production of more personal and creative results (two videos, narrative/poetic texts and an app to prevent gender violence among young people).
Five short-term exchanges were planned and carried out. They were the culmination of the activities that had previously been developed in all the schools. Students did some research on the topic and performed several tasks, following the plan. All the activities were monitored.
An eTwinning project was also developed and we used Twinspace, especially during the most acute pandemic phases: the forum to work collaboratively and the platform to upload the results of the research.
On 25 th November we organised events in each school, some of them held jointly.
An active methodology, based on collaborative work in transnational heterogeneous groups, using innovative pedagogical practices (project-based learning, game-based learning...) was used throughout the project. During the planning and the process, itself, discussions were organized so that everyone, students, teachers and parents, could express their ideas.
We obtained two main results:
a website that collects all our experiences and productions as a way to disseminate them and to make them available for other people to use.
a formal agreement involving all the participating schools with the aim of promoting a greater awareness of gender issues in new generations, especially in the school context.
Both were created to outlive the project as our long-term contribution to prevent this form of violence at school and to eradicate violence against women in our society.