İstanbul Teaching-Training Activity Meeting (19- 23 February 2018)
The second international meeting of the project took place in İstanbul, Turkey with the partners from Spain, Romania and Hungary. The two-year project; “No Stereotypes But Diversity” is funded by Erasmus +, Action 2, School Education, Strategic Partnership. The meeting took place between 19th and 23rd February, 2018. Teachers and students from Turkey, Romania, Spain and Hungary met to discuss the subject “stereotypical thinking about nationalities, discrimination and forms of discrimination” and plan the key actions of the project.
19th February 2018, Monday
After the arrival of the project teams in İstanbul, project coordinators and teachers from partner schools met in Istanbul Mustafa Mihriban Boysan Middle School. After welcoming the teams, they had the opportunity to see the school and the classrooms.
According to the schedule of the day, in order to have the students know each other well an ice breaking activity was held. The students were given a couple of questions written on a piece of paper and were asked to make a circle. After that the students moved in the circle and asked the questions to each other. They changed their seats every five minutes, so that they could know each other better.
To know better about Turkey, the hosting school made their presentations about Turkey, İstanbul, Turkish education system and the school. The students also made a presentation about the meeting subject, we talked and discussed about stereotypical thinking about the participating countries, stereotypes and discrimination issues in Turkey, especially about the minorities and refugees living in Turkey. The students told about their observations and researches about the subject. We had a chance to look from a different point of view and learned much about stereotypes and discrimination.
After having lunch at school, we head off to our neighbourhood Bagdat Street.
20th February 2018, Tuesday
One of the main aims of the project and the meeting was to cooperate with the NGOs to discuss the subject. So that, a meeting with Multeciler (NGO) took place in the conference hall about “Take a step forward”. Merve and Bilge from the NGO welcomed the students and they gave information about the activity about stereotypical thinking about nationalities and discrimination.
They first gave some time to know each other and after that they gave each student a new identity. Then they read some situations and asked the students to take a step forward if that situation fits them. They asked the students questions about their identities. At the end of the activity, they invited everyone to sit down in his or her final position. They asked each student in turn to describe their assigned role. After the students have identified themselves, they asked them to observe where they were at the end of the activity. They ended the activity with some evaluations questions.
The Hungarian team made their presentations about their country, school and education system. We had the opportunity to learn about the Hungarian culture and education.
An important part of the day was the observation trip to Sultanbeyli Mülteciler Foundation. We had a chance to visit the centre which was established to make the life of the refugees in İstanbul better and to support them in daily life in many ways. The students were able to see and get information about the centre, what kind of problems did they have and how they were solved. It was a very impressive experience for all of us.
At the end of the day, we took a boat tour in Bosphorous which separates İstanbul into two continents. And after the boat tour we saw Üsküdar, which was one of the oldest places where you can observe the culture and the spirit of İstanbul at its best.
21st February 2018, Wednesday
On the third day of the meeting, the teachers gathered in the technology and design room to discuss about the evaluation, dissemination of the project results. As it has been decided before, certain tasks were given to the partner schools for evaluation methodology, web page of the project and selection of the students. We also talked about the tasks done by the partners. We decided the exact date and the topic of the next meeting in Romania.
In the meantime the students had a handicraft activity with Merve and Burçak, the visual arts teachers from the Mustafa Mihriban Boysan Middle school. They have pictured the sketch of the project logo on pieces of canvas beforehand. The students were given the canvas and asked to paint the pictures. After that they brought up every piece together and made the picture.
After the meeting of the teachers and the handicraft activity we met with Pınar and Numan from SGDDS-ASAM (NGO) for the “Who am I?” activity. Before starting the activity the representatives of the foundation asked a few question about discrimination and stereotypes to the students and asked the students to write about the groups or people that were objected to discrimination and why. When the groups formed they chose a colour for each group and told the students to close their eyes. After that they put the students’ back different colours of papers. They told the students to open their eyes and behave each person without telling them who they are according to the colour they have on their back. At the end of the activity the students told about who they were and how they felt.
After the workshop we went to the Balat district with the students where they could see the multicultural face of İstanbul, as it is the best place for observing the multi-national and multi-religious aspect of the city.
22nd February 2018
The fourth day of the visit started with the workshop called “Human Security” held by Hakan Ataman who is a representative of the HYD-AMNESTY NGO. First he introduced himself to the students and then he explained the activity to the students. He mentioned the concept of safety for a refugee. He asked the students to consider themselves as a refugee or an immigrant. Then he put labels as safe and unsafe places and asked the students to move to the places where they feel themselves safe or unsafe. Then he asked them why did they feel so and the activity ended up the students telling their reasons about it. The students liked this activity so much, as they had the chance to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes.
We continued with the e-Twinning session with Hatice Turhan. We made an evaluation of the e-twinning usage and the page of the project with her. She also showed us how we can publish the activities done about the project and helped us to prepare a video of the meeting. In the meantime, the students were gathered in the music room for web documentation. They made four groups and each group tried to make the video diary of the meeting and afterwards they completed the online evaluation form made for the İstanbul meeting. In this form they answered questions about how well the facilities and activities were made, they made an evaluation to measure the success of the meeting.
After that the Romanian team and the Spanish team made their presentations about their countries and education systems. We had an insight of different cultures and learned about the differences and similarities in between.
In the afternoon to make all the groups interfere with each other more and to take a step forward between the cultures an intercultural programme, with the parents and students from the hosting school, was held. The programme started with the “Zeybek” dance show of the Turkish team. Next the students of the Spanish team sang a traditional song and asked the others to involve. The programme continued with the traditional dance show of the Romanian students and teachers. Later on all the quests were called to get on the stage and danced all together. It was the same as for the Hungarian team. But before them the Turkish team performed the “Roman” dance show. Later on the Hungarian team performed a traditional song with the attendance of the audience. The cultural interference gave an opportunity to understand and know each other better.
23rd February 2018
On the last day of the programme, when the teams arrived at school we took the students to the IT room to write feedbacks of the meeting. They were asked to write about the most memorable part of the meeting and the city. All of them wrote about what the thought about the city, country and the school. They also wrote about the subject of the meeting what were they thinking about stereotypes before and how they concluded.
Meanwhile the teachers gathered to make an overall evaluation of the meeting and to talk about the activities done and to be done in the next meeting.
After that, having lunch at school the students head to Topkapı Palace and the teachers completed the evaluation forms of the İstanbul meeting.
We completed a week; full of cooperation, workshops and activities done to understand and respect the differences of each other, by handing the certificates of attendance.