The 2021 ASEFClassNet School Collaboration project on “Well-being of Teachers and Students” engages secondary & vocational schoolteachers from ASEM Countries in a virtual peer-peer collaborative platform. The objective is to jointly create a “ASEFClassNet Handbook – Pedagogical Stories from ASEM Teachers”. The stories will illustrate how teachers across Asia and Europe cope within their different educational & cultural contexts and ensure a holistic learning environment and well-being of their students and themselves – despite the ongoing challenges in teaching and learning.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused severe disruptions in the education sector and heavily affected teachers, students and parents alike. School closures and the move to full home-based learning globally had far-reaching effects on the teaching & learning environment, ranging from challenges linked to curriculum development & delivery, access to technology to the lack of social engagement etc. This collaboration will focuses on the Wellbeing of teachers, students and parents at the secondary education level and includes 4 specific activity strands: (1) Wellbeing & Mental Health (2) Parent-Teacher Collaboration; (3) Pedagogical Knowledge & Digital Competences and (4) Intercultural Understanding & Exchange.
“Be the Change – An Effort” discussed the responsibility of everyone towards the environment and society. It gave students the opportunity to understand that community service is an essential part of life and prepares them to take responsibilities by inculcating in them the will to contribute positively to their societies. Following the strategy “Learning by doing,” students will be engaged in a plethora of activities online and on-site. During this School Collaboration, students tackled societal conditions in their countries – how societies are changing with time and formulate ways to bring positive changes. They also conducted research on the formulated laws and necessary frameworks by governments to create better and safer societies.
This School Collaboration combined various tasks and methods to equip students with practical life lessons “What makes a happy life”? In today’s work, individuals and societies often focus solely on success and money. In the school context, educators prepare students for exams and mainly teach them how to deal with professional problems. They often forget and underestimate the importance of teaching about values to build a happy life. Shouldn’t teachers also be guides for their students and help them stay happy and fulfilled? In this School Collaboration, teachers helped students explore questions about happiness and teach them necessary soft skills to improve their self-confidence.
“Let’s Turn into Something Beautiful” included two project components: 1) learning session and invention of chemical products that enable us to reduce the use and generation of hazardous substances at a low cost; 2) generation of ideas on how to turn waste into beautiful handicrafts. This School Collaboration enhanced students’ knowledge in green technology. The outcome was posted on a blog/website and shared with the local community.
“Postcard from the Edge” engaged students in a global writing community to experience the pleasure of writing and to express their thoughts with peers from Asia and Europe. This School Collaboration built empathy and a sense of urgency among young writers to develop a greater understanding of themselves, their own and other cultures. The writing journey began with hand-written postcards and ended with poems, essays and stories published on a joint blog.
“Around the World in 70 Days – The Backpackers” was a sequel School Collaboration from 2018 that created a backpacker trip itinerary across both Asia and Europe. Students planned a detailed journey in their own countries based on a 7-day schedule and linked it with the itinerary of school peers abroad. The itinerary included routes, modes of transportation, hotels, must-visit places, local cuisine and a sightseeing programme. The final product was a travel guidebook published on a travel blog, and maybe inspire students and teachers for their future holiday plans.
The objective of this School Collaboration was to raise awareness on water conservation at home, at school and in their local communities and to share ideas on how to save water. Students experiences were published on BlogSpot, which allowed all participants to learn about different approaches towards water conservation in Asian and European countries. Furthermore, students took pictures and videos of water facilities at home and produce videos based on their observations of how water is produced, used, and conserved in both regions.
“Asia-Europe Wildlife Heroes” was a School Collaboration that created awareness about the current condition of wildlife in Asia and Europe. The destruction of natural habitats, illegal poaching, the spread of invasive species and diseases are examples of anthropogenic activities that greatly contribute to the dwindling of wildlife. Our wildlife provides ecosystem services such as pollination, control of pests, nutrient cycling and decomposition. As active participants of a global community, students were challenged to participate in contributing to smart solutions to this worldwide challenge.
This School Collaboration was the sequel to “The World is a Big Classroom” from 2018. Students described and illustrated their daily lives and daily life lessons in multimedia products such as videos, photos, and graphic designs. The School Collaboration sensitised the students to detect similarities and differences amongst them, and to learn how to develop mutual respect through sharing personal learning stories.