Dive-in Dialogue training in Barcelona

Dive in Dialogue is a project co-financed by Erasmus+ funds. The aim of this project is to involve European disadvantaged students in Dialogic Gatherings, improving their key competences and fostering their inclusion in school and in society. Teachers are trained and empowered to use and disseminate this practice, working transnationally and reaching disadvantaged students, their families and communities.

Two Hungarian schools that participate in COMAP were invited by the European School Heads Association to send their representatives to participate in the training of the project in Barcelona on 28–29th, September, 2022. Accompanied by three teachers from Serbia and members of the ESHA staff, the Hungarian teachers had the opportunity to listen to theoretical lectures, attend practical workshops and visit a school. The training was organized by the University of Barcelona, through the Community of Research on Excellence for All (CREA-UB).

After the preliminary lectures of university professors Teresa Sordé Martí and Javier Diez-Palomar about the methodology of Dialogical Gatherings, the teachers of the Mediterrani School, which is located in Campclar, a peripheral district of the city of Tarragona, Spain gave practical advice to the participants. The other project partners, Razvojno Izobrazevalni Center Novomesto Kentro from Slovenia, Merimnas Oikogeneias Kai Paidiou from Greece and Association National Roma Centrum Kumanovo from North-Macedonia also brought their educators to the training and participants had to opportunity to ask several questions about the implementation of the project.

In the afternoon the project partners worked in country groups practising the methodology of dialogical gatherings and then helped CREA with developing an evaluation tool for the project by describing the various indicators that are used for the evaluation of competencies in the Hungarian and Serbian educational system.

On the second day of the training the ESHA team visited the Casablanca school to watch how dialogical gatherings are implemented in this school. The school building’s decoration shows their efforts to serve as a learning community for the families of their neighbourhood. Short descriptions of the dreams of the students, families and teachers hang from the ceiling of the corridor written on various forms (clouds, birds and planes, respectively) that have been cut out from paper. The walls are decorated with children’s works and large posters indicating the co-operative spirit of the school.

The participants could visit six different gatherings where classes of children aged from 7 to 10 were discussing adapted classics, e.g. Oliver Twist, Romeo and Juliet or The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This was followed by a discussion where the participants had the opportunity to ask practical questions about the implementation of dialogical gatherings. The principal of the school provided some very useful advice and shared her personal experiences. This visit proved to be the most important part of the training for the ESHA team, because they could see how the method worked in practice.

The breaks and the travel home were filled with discussions about the plans of implementation in the future in one Serbian and three Hungarian schools.