Our visit to Austria, February 2015.

In the first week of February we visited Plangeross, Austria. There we were guests in the Volksschule. A small school in a tourism area. Very small actually, with only ten students. All ten of them were in the same classroom. It was so informative to see how the teacher, Peter Schongerpayed attention to  all their specific needs. We saw that the children worked really well together, mostly in duo’s.  

AfbeeldingThe visiting colleagues from Ireland, Gozo and Holland had prepared a presentation or lesson, which fitted in the project Anti xenophobia. It was so nice to see how we all learn from eachother during this project and work further with eachothers ideas, related to education!  Yet, each lesson was different from another and very creative, informative and fun! 

Every schooldayteachers from one of the participating countries were doing their presentationThe day of the Dutch teachers went as followsThe children were interviewed about the project. They could tell what‘s most important and it was illustrated by some stories. After that they listened attentively to the story “Stonesoup”, which was presented in German.It was funny to observe how exuberantly the childrenreacted on their own languageIt was really relaxing for them not to have to follow the English language for a while.After the story was finished the children were faultlessly capable to convey the message: when one is prejudiced  a stranger is not trusted, only when working together and opening up to one anothertrust will arise and prejudice will vanish.

To get to know eachother better, we decided to take them to the school’s kitchen. There we made some typical Dutch, Irish and Gozo treats. We (the Dutch) cooked a traditional Dutch peasoup with the children.The children were together with the teachers cleaning and cutting the ingredients,putting them in the pan,stirringtasting…. In short it was realteamwork!The collaboration was a success, we were no strangers anymore to each otherAnd the soup?They loved it and even wanted to save some for next breakfast! 

AfbeeldingIn our quiz about Holland, we tried to start a conversation or even a discussion about several facts about our country. Not only the children participated, but also our colleagues were in a team! The best discussion was about our Dutch highest mountain “Vaalserberg”. Ofcourse our colleagues’ opinion was that Holland doesn’t  have mountains!Naturally for the winner we had a prize,a real Limburg applepie,brought all the way down from the Netherlands.

Also traditional Dutch donuts, so called “oliebollen”were not allowed to lackThe batter was being made with much care by ourselvesThe donuts were baked by one of the parents of a pupilalso an example of co-operation.

Finally we can come to the conclusion that also this visit to Austria in the framework of the PAXEP project has been particularly successful .

Newspaper  Austria.