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What is Cooler World

 

Sustainability is an important theme all over the world today. For the human beings, it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources. As the earth´s human population has increased, natural ecosystems have declined and changes in the balance of natural cycles have had a negative impact on both humans and other living systems. Returning human usage of natural resources within sustainable limits will require a major collective effort. It can be made by change in the ways of living, reappraising economic sectors and work practices, developing new technologies and adjustments in individual lifestyles. The "Cooler World" project is needed to enhance the knowledge of sustainability and influence individual attitudes and activities of teachers, trainers, experts and students. The aim of the project is to educate professionals who prioritise sustainability in their decisions and practices in working life.

Sustainable development is a pattern of resource usage that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations. Achieving these objectives requires cooperation at local, national and international levels. The "Cooler World" project is needed for establishing a durable social network among the partners for developing and promoting sustainability in vocational education throughout Europe.

The overall aim of the "Cooler World"-project is to promote a sustainable society by enhancing the knowledge/awareness of sustainability (self-efficacy in environmental and socio-cultural questions) and influence individual attitudes and activities of teachers, trainers, experts and students. During the project, the partners from 7 European countries will create an online eco-game (and an encyclopedic mini-dictionary and a digital info package) to improve and integrate teaching and learning sustainability in vocational education of food production, agriculture, tourism, business and administration, mechanical and electrical engineering, consumption and health. The aim is to educate professionals who prioritise sustainability in their decisions and practices in working and everyday life.

The main objectives of the "Cooler World"-project are to:

  • Encourage active ecological citizenship
  • Improve the knowledge of sustainability, sustainable development and influence individual attitudes, activities and ecological behaviour of students, teachers, trainers and experts
  • Bring European dimension into schools' curricula and develop cross-curricular learning
  • Use edutainment: supporting and motivating the learning process by implementing an educational eco-game
  • Improve ICT and language skills and enhance cultural awareness

During the Cooler World project the partners (students, teachers, trainers, experts) will create an on-line eco-game for mechanical and electrical engineering, food processing, agriculture, tourism, consumption, business and administration and health study programs. The content of the game is based on the schools' curricula and everyday activities, but also on the levels, innovativeness and interests of students. Every school produces their own content for the game. It presumes cooperation within and among schools and it improves ICT and language skills, develops crosscurricular teaching and learning, increases motivation and supports the learning process. Every school will also build an IT centre where students from different study programs can work together, practice their ICT and language skills and cooperate at local, national and international level. During the project students will make an encyclopaedic mini dictionary and a digital info package about sustainability. This way everyone gets familiar with the terms of sustainability and contents in different languages.
The project will have a common website/platform that shows all information about the project, partners, process, status, results and dissemination of the project. Students will be involved in all processes. Through these actions good practices will be shared and sustainability becomes an integrated part of vocational education and different professions.

The partnership will establish a durable social network among partners. Meetings and working together will improve all participants' language skills and cultural awareness. The partnership activities give the

1. Students

  • better knowledge and understanding of the importance of sustainability in their own future work and lifestyle (changes in ecological decisions, practices and behaviour)
  • real contacts with students from other European countries (which improves: European citizenship, international cooperation, language skills, cultural awareness)
  • new, individual and motivating ways of learning, use and develop their creativity, improve their self confidence and professional skills
  • a long-term impact will be the willingness and readiness for international mobility in future professions

2. Teachers and trainers:

  • understanding the importance of sustainability in their own work, decisions and practices
  • knowledge of vocational education, the curricula of partner schools and countries
  • information about different learning methods, materials and learning spaces (transfer of good practices)
  • knowledge about the latest development in working life in their own vocational field
  • improved language skills and cultural awareness
  • improved ICT skills
  • longterm and active partnership with partner countries (further cooperation and development of vocational education in Europe)

3. Organization/institution:

  • a wide, durable and active European social network
  • improved knowledge about sustainability in vocational education and working life in Europe
  • improved quality of vocational education (education corresponding to the demands of society and working life)
  • enhanced language skills and cultural awareness of the staff

4. Experts/working life:

  • knowledge of some of the latest developments in ICT, their own profession, vocational education and working life procedures in European countries
  • information about sustainability and sustainable development (challenges and possibilities)
  • professionals who are able to work in a sustainable way in their companies
  • intercultural understanding and competence

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