Projects

Parents International (IPA) participates in several projects on European and international level.

A non-exhaustive list:

Parents Engage

Parents International coordinates another interesting project that will hopefully have an impact beyond its original direct target group, refugees, and will at least help the inclusion of all migrant children, including European migrants in school and society.

The PARENTS ENGAGE project will enhance the teachers’ capacities to design effective responses for school – family links, informing refugee parents to be actively involved in their children education. For this to be achieved, PARENTS ENGAGE is addressing the multiple needs of its target groups, as follows:

a) Teachers: Considering the increased flow of migrant and refugee populations since 2015 in Europe, schoolteachers struggle to work in multicultural environments, by improving the education of disadvantaged migrant and refugee students being in peril of ESL. As such, school staff needs to respond effectively to these challenges and be trained in multicultural environments on how to support these students and their parents. The project emphasizes on the provision of consolidated tools and training material for teacher staff, effectively supporting their professional development.

b) Parents: Migrant and refugee parents’ participation in school life is hindered through multiple barriers and challenges within educationa and society. There is often less engagement by them in school processes and in their children education while many migrant students lag behind in educational achievements. Strengthening parental inclusion in local structures could enhance their involvement in their children’ education. PARENTS ENGAGE will focus on this potential, by leveraging the knowledge and initiatives already carried out by CSOs in collaboration with schools on parents’ engagement in school education and in schools system.

c) Students: migrant and refugee children tend to show lower academic performance compared to non-migrant children or are more likely drop out school. Thus, they need a safe and inclusive environment enabling their school life’s integration. The active parental involvement can lead to higher academic success, more time spent on homework, and fewer discipline problems, with all features remedying disadvantage and tackle students’ Early School Leaving (ESL). Hence, the enhancement of migrant children’ education, by focusing on educational interventions that increase the refugee parents’ involvement in their children education, is a primary aspiration of the PARENTS ENGAGE project.

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Building Bridges: Good African parenting In Europe

When African families come to live in Europe, they often struggle to find connection with the European way of living. This also applies to the way they raise their children. Although they work and live in Europe, they do parenting “the African way”. There’s nothing wrong with their parenting skills in an African society, but unfortunately this is not one-on-one applicable in Europe. This project therefore aims to build bridges by socially including African families in our European society. This will be done, among others, by improving assertive communication skills of parents and increasing their knowledge on children’s rights and education which leads to more interaction with the school and other parents from outside their community. If peer counselors show parents good examples of activities they can do with their children, they will go outside more and stop isolating themselves, only being in contact with their own community. Furthermore, experience experts informing parents about the possibilities for their children to participate in activities in the neighborhood according to their personal interests and skills, will lead to more children of African communities going to scouts, music school,…

This is Parents International’s first small-scale Erasmus+ project where we aim to learn a lot from the Belgian organisation of Ethiopian parents, Yenetabet. They organize a weekly Ethiopian school for children. However, up until now this is mainly to learn about their home culture and language. Parents drop the children off and go shopping. This project, and more specifically the ‘parent café’ that will be set up as follow-up activity after the end, aims to transform the Ethiopian school into a lifelong learning environment encouraging parents to learn life skills and competences necessary for a better social inclusion of themselves and their children into the society.

Co-Map – Collaborative, Community mapping of young people’s learning experiences during
COVID-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented threat to this ambition illuminating existing
inequalities and creating new vulnerabilities as communities struggle to cope with sudden, unprecedented changes to economic and social life.  The Co-MAP project responds to the urgent need to understand these impacts in relation to the most vulnerable young people, including refugees, and to ensure that school leaders, teachers and parents are equipped to respond to their recovery needs. Co-MAP will work with a social justice theory of education that understands education practice as constituted through the complex interplay of policy, the school environment and family and wider community. As such Co-MAP will bring these three key constituencies into dialogue. Co-MAP will work with school leaders in 25 schools (5 in each country) to build a state of the art comparative case
study of national and local policies for schooling during the pandemic. This will include a study of how definitions of vulnerability and categories of ‘at risk of exclusion’ have shifted as a result of the social and economic precarity created by the pandemic and how schools have attempted to adapt pedagogies and practices to meet the needs of the ‘newly vulnerable’.
Examples of inspiring practices will be collected through this process and shared via the online learning platform developed through the project. Co-MAP will then make use of participatory, arts based methods bringing into dialogue young people (100), teachers (50) and parents (50) from 10 schools in five participating countries (Greece, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary and the UK). These inter-generational, cross sector groups will work together to undertake collaborative, community mappings of lived experiences of learning through the pandemic. Mapping will focus on identifying barriers and enablers and consider the roles and functions of people, resources, materials, spaces and places as well as opportunities for young people’s agency and self-mediation of learning. This will be followed by a series of artist led ‘Maker Space’ encounters that will teach young people new creative skills in comic-making and animation and “provide the freedom to play, experiment, tinker and exchange ideas” (Rowsell, 2020:14 drawing on Marsh). collaborative ‘digital conversation’ space designed for ongoing conversations between teachers, young people, parents and artists and will facilitate up-scaling of the project outcomes and an Advocacy Toolkit, responsibility of Parents International will secure the sustainability of the project with all beneficiary groups beyond the period of funding.

https://comapproject.eu/

SAILS – Safe & Autonomous Internet-based Learning Strategies

The greatest health crisis experienced by the world in this century has radically changed the way we relate to each other. Face-to-face interaction has been reduced to a minimum and it is increasingly common to communicate through a screen. The same has happened to millions of students, teachers and families, who have seen that from one day to the next they went from a face-to-face educational system to online classes.
The aim of this project is to provide students, teachers, schools leaders and families with tools to make appropriate decisions facing the conflicts that COVID-19 has caused in the processes of learning, communication and socialization of the school community.
The methodology proposed in this project aims to be radically different from previous attempts to raise awareness among students about good behaviour on the net, the management of their autonomy and appropriate and safe social relations. With this objective, we will develop a fictitious social network in which we will reliably represent the potentially dangerous scenarios that can occur in this context . This will be accompanied by tools for teachers, school leaders and parents. Parents International is in charge of developing the toolkit for parents.

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Parenting Together (PAT)

Building on the success of ELPIDA, the main objective of this project is to improve quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities (PWID) by empowering family members and especially parents of PWID and offering them an awareness of how better to support the needs of children and young adults with ID. The project aims to achieve this goal by developing an e-learning platform that will provide interactive educational modules that will cover the main areas identified that families of PWID need training, awareness raising and/or attitude change. The modules will cover issues posing main challenges in the lives of families with PWID, with special focus on younger children:

  • Road to getting a diagnosis
  • Collaboration with professionals and development at home
  • Inclusive and specialised education choices
  • Universal design
  • Family and community inclusion
  • Parent well-being

Furthermore, other intellectual products such as a case management system handbook tartgeting professionals and a training and mentoring framework for parent and peer advocates are developed over the course of 30 months, together with an advocacy toolkit for making implementation with policy support possbile.

https://parentingtogether.eu/

ParENTrepreneurs

The initiative wants to develop an innovative model for promoting of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education based on the key concept that education, and in this case entrepreneurship education, happens everywhere, particularly in those environments where education is first provided: in the family. This 30-month project, starting in November 2019 will develop and implement a training package for parENTrepreneurs as well as tools to support parents’ learning: a social learning platform, a handbook for parents interested in continuing to learn after the training and a guide on how to assess competences developed. This will be based on a desk research and is based on a learning by doing methodology.

https://parentrepreneurs.eu/

PHERECLOS

PHERECLOS builds upon the theory of science capital and the experience that Children’s Universities (CUs) have made in the Third Mission of universities. With their engagement with children and young people, they became intermediaries between various actors in the educational and social landscape. As translators of the concerns, messages and knowledge of other parties (incl. business and industry, the state, civic society organizations etc.) they help to dismantle institutional boundaries of universities towards a wider society. The project will establish 6 “”Local Education Clusters”” (LECs), which bring together schools and further relevant actors in the education ecosystem of a particular pilot region, supported by a peer mentoring programme. The LECs will be incubators for enabling a dialogue between various parties and help to set up joint activities in (formal and non-formal) education, which help to develop collaborative learning environments as experimental testbeds for schools. At the same time they impact on the quality of science engagement opportunities in these areas.

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Future Memory

Social projects targeting women are essential in breaking the circle of poverty. In 2018 a pilot project was carried out that targeted explicitly 11–14 years old Roma girls living in socially disadvantaged areas of Hungary to support them in achieving their academic and individual goals. This project is building on the pilot’s experiences and further develops a unique educational methodology that integrates experimental, environmental and art education. With this project, we have a double aim: on the one hand to facilitate an enjoyable learning process for the students, on the other hand to provide them with a safe and understanding environment by educating the adults they are most often in connection with, their own parents being the most important among these adults.

https://futurememory.eu/info-in-english/

Child-UP

CHILD-UP researches the social conditions of migrant children’s integration through social participation, taking in primary account gender differences, legal status and age groups. , with the final aim to propose an innovative approach to understand and transform their social condition. The project provides: (1) guidelines for dialogic activities in schools; (2) written and online training packages for teachers and other professionals; (3) a package for self-evaluation of activities. These tools will support co-action of teachers and other professionals, and coordinated planning between schools and their partners. Third objective is informing policies at the local, national and European level through dissemination and exploitation of research outcomes and tools. This objective can be achieved through the collaboration of three consortium partners, international and local stakeholder committees, and the implementation of an online portal containing a web platform conceived as a moderated wiki space and a digital archive hosting research materials and tools.

http://www.child-up.eu/

EuroFam-Net

The Pan-European family support network, under which family support and parenting policies are included, is combining both common goals across countries and the recognition of the specificities of cultural and family contexts. This Action builds collaborative pathways between researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, children and families, public and private agencies, and general society to create the necessary framework that allows to inform family policies and practices with the underlying goal of ensuring children’s rights and families’ well-being.

https://eurofamnet.eu/home

Families_Share

Families_Share – Socializing and sharing time for work/life balance through digital and social innovation – aims to offer a bottom-up solution and a co-designed platform supporting families with sharing time and tasks related to childcare, parenting, after-school and leisure-time activities and other household tasks – with a special focus on low-income families. The project also aspires to engage with the elderly by involving them in childcare activitites and by offering them support in shopping and adminitrative tasks, but also by involving them is socialisation family events.

https://families-share.eu/

Parent’r’us

The main aim of Parent’r’us is to support teachers increase parental engagement in children’s academic achievement and well-being at school by developing their competences through an innovative mentoring model based on a holistic approach. The project primarily focuses on parents from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Project website: https://www.parentrus.eu/

EEPN

The European Education Policy Network on Teachers and School Leaders is a Europe-wide network of relevant organisations (policymakers, practitioners, researchers and stakeholders) to promote co-operation, policy development and implementation at different governance levels, and to support the European Commission’s policy work on teachers and school leaders. This network is building on existing activities developed at European level, especially initiatives and projects supported through European Union programmes in the field of education.

Project website: https://educationpolicynetwork.eu/

Open School Doors

“Open School Doors – Developing diverse school / parents communities through innovative partnerships” is a European funded research project coordinated by TU Dresden. It has been aiming at developing a training framework for professional educators to support them in organizing the integration/inclusion of migrant students at school by engaging their parents, having extra focus on using digital technology.

Project website: http://openschooldoors.westgate.gr

ELPIDA

ELPIDA (E‐Learning Platform for Intellectual Disability Awareness) is an Erasmus+ funded project launched in order to equip parents of persons with intellectual disabilities – and professionals working with them with – the knowledge and skills to better support their children. The ELPIDA project meets the training and support needs of parents and guardians of persons with intellectual disabilities by offering an evidence-based online course about their children’s rights and needs. By educating parents, the project aims to create a positive secondary effect on the quality of life of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Winner of the Zero Award 2020

Project webiste: http://www.elpida-project.eu/index.php/en/

ELITe

An innovative project is aiming at

  • deepening understandings on the requirements for STEM teachers’ competence development at national levels, as conceptualized and expressed by policy makers, policy mediators and practitioners
  • developing, deploying and evaluating the effectiveness of an innovative methodology for STEM teachers’ flexible and reflective professional learning for competence development
  • supporting the uptake of the proposed innovative professional learning methodology by teacher training curriculum stakeholders, for better alignment of policy envisions relating STEM education to actual practice

Our team has been responsible for the development of training modulest on overcoming parental gender bias and parents’ previous experiences with STEM, and the development of European policy dimensions.

Project website: http://www.learning-in-teaching.eu/index.php/en/

Basic skills

Parents International decided to build a coalition of education experts, businesses, partner organisations and others to define what we mean by basic skills and competences to help parents in carrying out their duties. The goal is to define what really everybody needs to have skills and competences for life, for well-being, for labour opportunities and responsible citizenship. Once we have defined what we agree can be meant by basic, the next step will be to see what are the responsibilities for providing education on them. What is the duty of parents here? How to empower them if they also lack certain skills and competences? What is the role of school? What kind of teacher training is necessary for that? What is the role of NGOs and business? How should this be regulated? As many adults (not only parents, but also eg. teachers) lack these skills and competences, we need to go beyond educating children, for sure.

The first skills/competences/knowledge set has been finalised together with our partners:

Basic financial skills