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John Simkin

Spring Day in Europe 2004

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Join us again for Spring Day in Europe in 2004! This year, we will be focusing on the englargement of the European Union.

The European Union is on the verge of a historic moment. Ten new countries are set to join the EU on 1 May 2004 and three candidate countries are preparing for membership.

Spring Day in Europe gives schools the opportunity to debate and celebrate the enlargement of the EU. The future of an enlarged Europe belongs to its youth, and with this in mind, Spring Day in Europe reaches out to teachers and pupils across the continent.

Every school in Europe is invited to take part in Spring Day in Europe 2004, an event where schools hold their own 'Spring Day' on Tuesday, 23 March 2004 or around that date.

To register, go to the new Spring Day in Europe registration page at http://futurum2004.eun.org/. The new Spring Day in Europe website will be launched at the end of November.

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For Spring Europe 2003 I organised a online student debate about European issues using an Invision forum.

http://www.intst.net/humanities/informatio...urope/index.htm

I'd be interested in doing something similar this year if anyone is interested. You can read an account of our experiences last year on the European Virtual School site:

http://www.en.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/vs-h...ang=en&ov=30229

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I do believe that the students from my school, Fredrika Bremer Upper Secondary school would like to do this kind of debate with your pupils.

Aren´t my students too old with respect to your students? I hope not.

I would like to do it with a group of interested students not with a class.

My collegue Peter Tollmar is keen on this too. We did this kind of debate quite often with students from American schools. But never in the context of Spring Europe.

Mayby there is a trace of these debates at the www.fredrika.se. Go to Projects and then go to Learning bridge.

www.fredrika.se

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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As the history and the situation of the EU was one main topic of my politics lessons in year ten I would be interested in a debate as mentioned by Richard and Dalibor. The best day for us would be March 24th.

By the way I think my students belong to the EU-sceptics and have mixed feelings about the enlargement. But they can express that better than I can. :rolleyes:

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke

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The best day for us would be March 24th.

I would like to run the debate for the whole week, perhaps beginning on Monday 22 March and running it through to Sunday 28th. It is very much a 'virtual', asychronous debate and the more time we give to it the better.

This year I am going to avoid giving any class time to the debate, working instead with students who volunteer and can be expected to participate in their free time. I am going to open it only to my junior students (13-15 years old).

I think it will work much better with a few committed students from each participating school but have 6 or so schools participating.

Teachers will be expected to help moderate and 'direct' discussion. I think slightly less topics this year but along similar lines:

Single European Currency

European School Curriculum

Immigration

United Nations Security Council - should there be an 'EU' member?

Combined Defence Policy - should Europe have one?

The Widening Of The European Union

Integration of Eastern Europe

Nationality - what do you understand?

Languages - what should you learn?

United States Of Europe - what do you want?

Additions? thoughts?

I will pre-register the students. They will have different access rights and permissions. For example they will not be allowed to PM, email or start new topics.

All I will need is the full name of the student and the name of the school.

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This sounds thorough Richard. When do you want the names of students? I think an Australian input will be useful in that Europeans will need to explain many of these concepts. Australia has the geographical size and the cultural diversity, but of course not the population. We don't have the land borders and immigrationis a very contentious issue.

eg Where does "Europe" begin? I guess it ends with Ireland. Is Greenland part of "Europe"? (Tasmania is always being left off the map of Australia.)

As an outsider to the issue I would also like to consider the local laws. We now have national road speeds. How unified are European laws regarding, say copyright, divorce, capitial punishment, interest rates in banks? I only mention this because I feel the age group will be interested in aspects that will affect the individual.

PS what does PM Mean please?

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As I said before I would be interested in joining the debate but my students would be slightly older: 16 and 17 years old. Even though I did the topic in my class not all of the students are willing to participate; I also will work with volunteers; running the debate for one week is a good idea.

Some additions to the list of topics:

how democratic is the EU;

does the EU affect the students, how?

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke

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This sounds like something our sixth form students would be interested in too - and maybe some of our year 10/11s. It's a great idea - communication for real purposes!

KerryD

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Thanks for the feedback, some good ideas, keep them coming.

Pauline - PM is Private Message just like I'm about to send you :)

If I disable this and email, it will prevent students from communicating privately with each other and (more importantly) with anyone else who happens to be on the internet. Also the students will be registered by me with a special email address so that no private details will accessible to anyone.

As for the registration of students, we can wait until early March to worry about that.

I like the idea of an Australian school being involved for the reasons you suggest and also because the asynchonous nature of this means that neither of us need participate at ridiculous times of the day.

Kerry/Ulrike - for this activity I'd like to keep it to 13-15 years (y9-10) for students who are English first language but perhaps allow older second language students. For older students there will be the opportunity starting in February for an international online debate http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...st=30entry908

If anyone is interested in participating it is important that you register your details on the Spring Europe site http://futurum2004.eun.org/ww/en/pub/futurum2004/index.cfm

With 9 weeks to go there are already 1864 registered schools.

The site also has useful information, posters etc. in easy to download format.

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I just registered my school for "Spring for Europe, 2004".

I hope that many students keen on debating European matters in English language, will come forward at my school.

I think that the topics proposed by Richard are good ones. At the same time I worry about that they are confusingly too many. Wouldn´t it be better to have one main topic like "European Union today and in the future" ? And under this headline then discuss all the proposed matters? We do have only one week to our disposal!

("Greenland" is a part of Europe. It still belongs and is administred by Denmark.)

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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I worry about that they are confusingly too many. Wouldn´t it be better to have one main topic like "European Union today and in the future" ? And under this headline then discuss all the proposed matters? We do have only one week to our disposal!

I think we had too many last year but we do certainly need more than one. I think six topics will be about right.

With one topic thread it is difficult to control (chair) the direction of the discussion when too many threads are added at once. Because students are replying to each other we can end up with three or more threads in one and it can become quite confusing.

Also when a student logs on, it is important that they can contribute to more than one topic at that time. With six topics they can make six contributions without having to reply to themselves. :lol:

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I think six topics will be about right.

I think this is a very good suggestion as it offers students a variety of topics and offers the opportunity to include a larger number of students.

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Richard, you did run the similar debate last year. You do have far more experience than me about the debate in this European context, namely Spring for Europe. I think that time aspect is important. One week of debating is a short time.

When we run debates with American schools we always had at least four months at our disposition. The participants of debates needs time for reflections. Therefore six topics is probably all we need to avoid confusions.

I would like to have the debate topics prior the debate. I think that I would like to prepare my group of students with the help of discussions around the topics some week before we start debating.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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I would be very interested in this debate. But, unfortunately, this year I do not teach the students whose curriculum treat in-depth the European Union. I will try to convince my colleague to take part in the discussion.

Is there any possibility of opening up a debate in Spanish? Núria Salvador, my last year colleague in the Spanish team in Spring, is trying to start up a topic in this forum for Spanish teachers involved in Spring.

Richard, I suppose you have work enough. I suggest this possibility just in case it does not mean additional work.

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Is there any possibility of opening up a debate in Spanish? Núria Salvador, my last year colleague in the Spanish team in Spring, is trying to start up a topic in this forum for Spanish teachers involved in Spring.

Richard, I suppose you have work enough. I suggest this possibility just in case it does not mean additional work.

Great idea. We have a number of Spanish students and Spanish learners at the IST who might like to contribute to this debate. Obviously my Spanish is not quite good enough to moderate it (:D, but I'm sure we can find someone prepared to help out.

Perhaps we might have a third language (for us preferably French)? I like the idea of multilingual students participating in similar debates in different languages.

I'm very happy to set this up!

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