NEWS

Kick-off Meeting February 2020 TPM1
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On February 25th and 26th February 2020 representatives from Empathy for Children met in Ljubljana, Slovenia at the Institut za Raziskave to launch the project.

 

The ‘kick-off’ meeting was a great success and the team agreed that the first steps would include the implementation of a website, the creation of a database of schools and educational institutions, consultation with stakeholders, and securing support declarations from prospective partner schools and higher education institutions.

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E4C Website and LOGO  Ready to Go!
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on 25th February 2020, the E4C team was pleased to release the new project logo which will be posted on the upcoming E4C website, added to letterheads, and so on.  The logo is based on an international symbol of empathy. 

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The E4C partners met to agree on the content and possible uses for this Empathy for Children website which was published on 3rd March 2020.  I is hoped that the E4C site will provide a user-friendly platform in which all tools and information can be easily accessed by anyone wishing to apply the E4C methodology in their school(s).   

E4C Project Overview and Letter of Intent Sent to Schools
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On 4th April 2020 A project overview and letter of intent was sent out to each school wishing to participate in the E4C project. The overview provides basic information as to project’s implementation, while letter of intent is a document outlining the understanding between schools and project partners parties which they intend to formalizes a joint venture agreement for cooperation in the project.

Zoom Meeting of Partners, 25th May 2020

Project partners met online to discuss the previous kick-off meeting in Slovenia and agree on roles and responsibilities for the various partners.  It was agreed that such meetings should take place on a regular basis.

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Wedbsite translated into 5 Languages

On 30th April 2020, the Empathy for Chidren website was translated into the four languages of the European partnering regions as well as English.  The website can now be viewed in German, Slovenian and Italian and Slovak.

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Regional Partners Meet to Discuss Upcoming Training

On 4th May 2020, the project partners held an online meeting to agree the final details for the piloting of the Empathy for Children methodology.  The discussion included agreement on the possible venues for the 5-day transnational training of teachers in the E4C methodology which will take place in Bratislava, Slovakia and a programme of events was agreed.    

2nd Regional Partners Meeting with Iban Sandahl 
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On Monday 11 May 2020, EFC partners met to discuss how best to meet project deadlines during the coronavirus lockdown.  It was decided to begin the transnational training for teacher later than originally planned in the hope that there will be some easing of the Coronavirus lockdown by then.

 

Despite the fact that the EFC team are determined to provide face-to-face training in Bratislava, it was still considered prudent to put contingency plans in place for online training if delegates are unable to travel to Slovakia. A provisional timeframe for training towards the end of September was agreed upon, although precise dates depend on the availability of Iben Sandahl. The team will meet again online on 25 May with the aim of finalising training dates.

Steering Committee Meets Online

On 25th May, the E4C Steering Committee met online to discuss the transnational training period and confirm the availability of participants from the partner regions.  The participating partners agreed on the transnational training period, the availability of teachers from the partners’ regions, contracts and the first payments followed by an open discussion, suggestions and other issues.

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The transnational training for prospective teacher trainers is still scheduled to go ahead at the end of this academic year despite the present Coronavirus crisis. 

The transnational training approach will be based on the first 5 days of training of 4 teachers who will become teacher trainers and who will then cascade their knowledge to other teachers within the Bratislava region research community. The training will be held by Iben Sandahl sometime in August or September 2020 (to be agreed upon). In total, there will be 20 participants attending the 5-day training in Bratislava.

Online Meeting on Upcoming Training

On 8th June 2020, the project partners met to discuss the possible number of attendees and how to raise the profile of the E4C project.  It was revealed that the interest in the project was far greater than originally expected.  The partners agreed that although all interested parties were welcome to attend, not all could be given the role of teacher trainers.  It was therefore agreed that participants should specify whether they would like to be teacher trainers when they first register for the E4C training.  

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Online Partner Meetings - 22 - 23 June

The first emails confirming teachers enrolement in the Empathy for Children were sent to teachers on 10th July 2020.  A list of schools expressing a strong desire to attend was posted on the E4C website. 

Online Partner Meetings - 22 - 23 June

On 22nd and 23rd June 2020, the regional partners held another online meeting to finalize dates for the E4C workshops. It was agreed that all information should be posted on the website with regular statements from Iben Sandahl as her participation in the project had clearly generated a great deal of interest.  

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Online Partner Meetings - 22 - 23 June

on 8 July, 20, those teachers who had already enrolled in the Empathy for Children training, were given the opportunity to meet Iben Sandahl online to discuss the possible format for workshops and meet other teacher participants.

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New Project Partner 22 July 2020

The Empathy for Children team is pleased to welcome Lucia Škrovanová as the new Bratislava project Coordinator.  Lucia takes over from Jozef Lavička who has left the Bratislava Municipality to further his career in higher education management.  We would like to thank Jozef for all his hard work and wish him all the very best.

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Meeting - Covid-19

On 10 August 2020, a meeting was held by the project partners with Iben Sandahl in attendance.  Although the meeting was called to finalize the workshop venue, most of the time was spent making contingency plans in the event of COVID-19 Lockdown in schools.   It was generally agreed that the lockdowns were inevitable and there would be no choice but to deliver the October Empathy for Children workshops online. 

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Emergency Meeting Held to Agree COVID-19 Contingency Plans

On 20 August 2020, a further meeting was held by the project partners with Iben Sandahl to Lucia Škrovanová (Project Coordinate)  to decide how best the teacher-training workshops could be delivered to teachers online.  Iben Sandahl agreed to make alternative resources that were better suited to online delivery and the team trialed Zoom as a platform on which to host the five-day event.

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FaceBook Page Published
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On 20 August 2020, the Empathy for Children Facebook page was published.  It is hoped that this will provide an excellent platform through which teachers, trainers, and other stakeholders might share ideas, and experiences and generally receive updates as to the progress of the project.  

Still Hope for In-person Workshops August 22, 2020

The Empathy for Children partners continues to plan for in-person teacher training in Bratislava despite the looming threat of schools locking down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the event that the training might be in-person, the partners have booked conference facilities at Elementary School Hlboka Cesta, Bratislava.

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UTRIP Host Partners Meeting 14 September 2020

The Empathy for Children partners Met online in a meeting hosted by UTRIP, the Slovenian partners, to make a final decision regarding the possibility of moving the teacher-training workshops to an online format.  It was unanimously agreed that there was no other option but to deliver the training online as the COVID-19 pandemic was worsening across Europe and travel restrictions would prevent many teachers from attending in person.  

Training Workshops to be Online
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Participating schools and individual teachers were informed on 20th September 2020 that the Empathy for Children teacher training would be online.  All participants were provided with updates via email and messages posted on the website and social media.    

Iben Sandahl Agrees Final Workshop Arrangements

On 30th September 2020, a meeting was held between Iben Sandahl and project partners to make final arrangements for the delivery of the online teacher-training workshops. Iben Sandahl presented training materials for discussion and a detailed programme of event agreed. 

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Pre-workshop Materials distributed

On 2nd  October 2020 participating schools and individual teachers were provided with training information and materials with dates, online conferencing links, and graphics in preparation for the imminent start of the five-day online training.  

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On 5th  October 2020, all those planning to participate in the five-day online training were sent instructions on how to join the meeting and what is expected of them to ensure the workshops run smoothly.    

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5th October Transnational Meeting Slovak TPM2

The first day of the Transnational Partners Meeting hosted by the Slovak Partners (Felix Skola) focussed the discussion on Transnational Training and I.O.1 - The Toolkit for teachers and students.

The final version of the Certificate of Attendance for participating teachers agreed.  

ONLINE ONLINE  Capital of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava; Sukromna Zakladna Skola Felix;  Infomedia Formazione;  ECECE;  Institut za Raziskave in Razvoj Utrip Zavod

 

The second day was dedicated to the defining and distribution of tasks and responsibilities among partners and associated partners for the first piloting phase of the project.  This discussion went on to look at the role and involvement of the local and/or regional authorities and educational institutions and schools for the piloting in Covid 19 crisis

The meeting ended with discussions regarding budgeting issues during the Covid-19 crisis.

Online Training Workshops a Great Success!

From 5th to 9th October, the five-day online training for teachers in the Empathy for Children methodology took place.  The event was hosted by Iben Sandahl who provided participants with training manuals at the start of each-days training.  The training was extremely well received by all those who attended.

On 9th October, participants received all materials and presentations used during the training and these were also reformatted and posted on the website.

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National Training Begins for Teachers and Parents

Following the online workshops, teacher trainers began to explain the Empathy for Children methodology to colleagues and interested parents.  Unfortunately, such teacher trainers were unable to visit other schools in their regions due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and all training was therefore delivered online.   

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Steering Committee Reviews Training Workshops

on 14 October 2020, the E4C Steering Committee meet to discuss the success of the Empathy for Children online workshops and agree on the next steps.  Much of the discussion concentrated on finalizing the Empathy for Children Toolkit so that teachers could begin to implement some or all of the methodology in the classroom. 

Final Draft of the E4C Toolkit Created

Between 28th October and 9th November 2020, the English language version of the Empathy for Children toolkit underwent proofreading before being translated into German, Italian, Slovenian, and Slovak.  Copies of the final product were sent to schools and posted on the Empathy for Children website.

Timeline

On 30 October 2020, a meeting with Iben Sandahl was held to discuss any issues with the first draft of the E4C Toolkit

 

On 2nd November 2020 the 2nd proofreading of the E4C Toolkit was completed.

By 9th November 2020, the final changes to E4C Toolkit was ready to be distributed.

Steering Committee Agrees Assessment Tools

On 5th November 2020,  the Empathy for Children Steering Committee met to agree on proposed assessment tools and how these could be better suited to online completion.  Ways to improve the delivery of the E4C methodology online were also discussed. It was agreed that a follow-up meeting should be arranged in the near future to produce online assessment tools.

UTRIP Hosts Assessment Tools Meeting

On 20th November 2020, project partners discussed with UTRIP partners the precise nature of the E4C assessment tools and how they could be completed online due to the COVIS-19 lockdown restrictions. The partners met again on 23rd November 2020 to develop assessment tools using google forms.

Assessment Tools Ready for Use

on 1st December 2020, the final documents for four assessment tools to be used by participating schools were prepared.  These were reproduced as google forms and on 8th December the E4C assessment tools were shared with participating schools via the E4C website. 

More Resources to Support Online Teaching

On 11th December 2020, the project partners decided to design two additional strategies for implementing Iben Sandahl’s methodology online. it was clear that the E4C methodology as outlined by Iben Sandahl could not be fully implemented online during the Covid-19 lockdown as it relies heavily on in-person teacher and teacher/student interaction. 

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Regional Workshop Takes Place in Slovakia

Teachers were invited to attend workshops from 1st to 3rd February 2021 for two hours each day so as to learn more about the assessment tools and discuss alternative strategies during the lockdown. The strategies involved using eco-mapping with which to promote discussion between students and teachers regarding classroom group dynamics, and the use of non-violent communication as a means of promoting empathetic exchanges within the classroom. 

More Resources to Support Online Teaching

In February 2021, the Empathy for Children team created a 32-page workbook to complement the toolkit and which is far better suited to online delivery. The booklet focussed on helping students to understand universal human needs and apply this understanding to empathizing with others and learning to recognize the role that unfullfilled needs play in determining unwanted behaviour.  

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Human Needs Workbook Distributed

In June 2021, the human Needs workbook designed in February was made available to schools through the Empathy for Children website. The booklet was designed to deliver aspects of the Empathy for Children methodology both online and in person.  The first of a number of empathy videos produced by participating schools were completed and posted on the website.  These videos are designed to inspire teachers and students and show how the difficult concept of empathy can be better explained using video. 

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21st September Online Meeting TPM3 Italy 

The transitional meeting was hosted by Austrian partners and a wide range of issues were discussed.  Feedback was collected about the first piloting phase and checks were made on the online results of the monitoring and assessment tools. New questionnaires and monitoring tools for the second round were discussed and preparations were made for new schools to exchange experiences among teachers. A Plan for the second piloting phase of the project was agreed upon with a provisional start date in September and an end date in  March, which may have to be extended to the end of the school year. 

Regional Training to Include Needs Booklet

In October 2021, Empathy for Children implemented regional training with teachers with a focus on the booklet for online training.  This was necessary as in many partner countries the COVID-19 restrictions were still negatively impacting the ability of teachers to deliver the methodology in person.   

25 November 2021Italy Regional Workshop

The Italian project partners from Infomedia hosted a regional workshop to present the current status of the project and a number of key issues.  The workshop provided training for teachers and the implementation of the national piloting second round.  Issues related to Covid were addressed as approached to the assessment of results.  Overall the event covered the dissemination of the E4C methodology, modeling, and the fostering of the empathy methodology both with parents and with pupils.

6 December 2021 Austria Regional workshop

ECECE, the Austrian partner held its own regional workshop in December 2021 in which attendees learned more about the implementation of the national piloting second round and how this may be impacted by the Covid pandemic. Assessment tools and results were explained and approaches to the dissemination of the E4C methodology to both parents and pupils were carried out.

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Toolkit Adjusted 

On 30th December 2021, The Empathy for Children toolkit was adjusted to support both online and in-person delivery.  Key activities that were suitable for teaching online and in the classroom were identified and recommended during a period of uncertainty for in-school teaching.  

First Draft og E4C Guidelines 

The project partners made a start on the first draft of the E4C guidelines with the aim of completing them by march 2022. The first draft will focus on how the Empathy for Children methodology is to be delivered.  A final draft intended for august 2022 will have additional sections dedicated to data gathered from the assessment tools.

Next Transnational Project Meeting to be Hosted by ECECE on 25th April 2022

ECECE will host an online Transnational Project meeting for the Erasmus+ Empathy for Children project (E4C) in Klagenfurt, Austria. The meeting will be led by The Capital of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava and include project partners Sukromna zakladna skola Felix Bratislava (SK), Infomedia Formazione Ferrara (IT), ECECE Klagenfurt (AT) and INSTITUT ZA RAZISKAVE IN RAZVOJ UTRIP ZAVOD. The meeting is to be addressed by the internationally renowned educationalist, psychologist and author Iben Sandahl who will lead the discussion on the effectiveness of the project’s implementation and its results.

ECECE hosted Online Transnational Project Meeting: TPM4

ECECE, the E4C Austrian partner hosted the latest online Transitional Project Meeting on the 25th of April 2022.  The main purpose of the meeting was to meet with partners at the end of the second piloting round. Unfortunately, covid was still present and the project partners decided to keep the meeting online. The aim of the meeting was to check the status of the implementation of the project and in particular of the Toolkit at the end of the piloting. After the fine-tuning activities due to the first feedback from the first piloting round, the Toolkit was finalized and translated into all languages  In addition, the partners shared the best approach for the implementation of the second project result and the Guidelines. The meeting also laid the foundations for the creation of an international network. In fact, the schools that participated in the experimentation and the teachers who took part in the training all expressed an interest in continuing to maintain relations with the other participants. 

Partners Meet to Agree Multiplier Events

The project partners met online to finalize any outstanding tasks and make preparations for each regional multiplier event.  The participants scrutinized the presentation of project results and discussed the implementation of outputs; The toolkit, guidelines, results of piloting, assessments tools, and preparation for the multiplier events.  The E4C Website and other dissemination activities were also discussed.

Final Videos Produced

On 16th May 2022, the remaining inspirational videos were completed by participating schools with invitation videos produced in Slovak, German and English to advertise upcoming Multiplier events.  On the 17th of June, Iben Sandahl prepared a welcome video to be shown to guests at each event.  

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Final Transnational Meeting Held in in Bratislava 

On 28 and 29 June 2022, the final project meeting was held in Bratislava. Thanks to the improved covid situation, the partners were able to meet in person. All partners participated in the meeting, which took place over two days. The meeting focussed on a review of intellectual outputs and Partner responsibilities in the conclusion of the project and assessment data.  The partners collated content for guidelines, partners presented evidence - social media, Facebook related activities. The meeting on the first day ended with a fabulous guided tour of Bratislava's Old Town culminating in a meal in a restaurant.

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Multiplier Events 2022

Final Transnational Meeting Held in Bratislava

On Wednesday 29th June 2022, Súkromná Základná Škola Felix, in collaboration with the Municipality of Bratislava hosted the Empathy for Children multiplier event in Bratislava, Slovakia.  Some of the achievements of the previous two years of the E4C project were on display as part of a larger exhibition.  The afternoon started with a short presentation explaining the history of the project together with a video message from Iben Sandahl.  Guests were then invited to view a number of exhibits, artwork, and videos created by the student and teachers and take the opportunity to meet members of the E4C project team.           

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Additional 3-day Training for Online Teaching

In order to ensure the E4C project did not lose momentum during the Covid-19 lockdown, the project partners invited teachers to attend workshops from 1st to 3rd February 2021 for two hours each day in order to learn more about the assessment tools and discuss alternative strategies for online teaching during the pandemic.  Teachers were presented with the E4C Teachers’ Booklet and discussed diagnostic tools such as eco-maps for understanding social interactions.  

Discussions begin with Partner Schools in SK
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25th

Designed, created and published the E4C website

On Wednesday 29th June 2022, Súkromná Základná Škola Felix, in collaboration with the Municipality of Bratislava hosted the Empathy for Children multiplier event in Bratislava, Slovakia.  Some of the achievements of the previous two years of the E4C project were on display as part of a larger exhibition.  The afternoon started with a short presentation explaining the history of the project together with a video message from Iben Sandahl.  Guests were then invited to view a number of exhibits, artwork and videos created by the student and teachers and take the opportunity to meet members of the E4C project team.           

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Felix School is in talks with schools to encourage their support for the Empathy for Children project. It is hoped that these ‘Partners Schools’ will release at least two teachers to attend transitionary training with Iben Sandahl’s in September 2020. These teachers will then act as teacher trainers across schools within their region to cascade the information, knowledge and skills gained from Iben Sandahl’s lectures and workshops.