Community development

Bilingual Montessori class in PL/CZ border region

Establishing new bilingual Montessori primary class in Polish-Czech border area to build crossborder cooperation between Polish-Czech community.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Agata Suchanek

Petrklíč help z.s.

http://petrklichelp.cz

Czech Republic

Who is joining forces?

Campanella z.s.

https://www.montessori-ceskytesin.cz/

Czech Republic


PSP Terlicko (primary school)

https://www.pspcierlicko.cz/szkola

Czech Republic


Pracownia Punktum Montessori

http://www.montessori-punktum.pl/

Poland


Idea

Idea pitch

Although we live in CZ/PL border area where both nations interact for centuries there are still many prejudices which prevent good neighborhood relations. We believe the education is the most powerful weapon to change the world thus our objective is to establish a primary bilingual class based on Montessori system which root principle is education for peace. This will enable daily contact for both PL and CZ families living on different sides of the border and thus build better relationships.

Where will your project idea take place?

In the Polish-Czech (PL-CZ) border region - border town Český Těšín.

What is the local challenge?

In the area concerned there are three specific groups addressed by our project: Polish (Cieszyn, PL), Czechs (Český Těšín, CZ) and historical Polish minority living in CZ (Český Těšín, CZ). This is a consequence of division of the town of Cieszyn in 1920 (after WWI) between Czechoslovakia (now Český Těšín) and Poland (now Cieszyn). The division did not satisfy any side, and there are still hidden and persisting conflicts that manifest in different forms and situations, like chauvinism in different scale and forms. The fact that within 100 years since the division of Cieszyn there hasn't been any bilingual school founded neither on Polish nor on Czech side of the border proves that there is still lack of real societal cohesion.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

We see the possibility of integration of all three communities through creating the bilingual Montessori school whose education principles respect the wisdom of all cultures.
As our experience from already working bilingual Montessori kindergarten Campanella z.s. shows, it is possible when daily contact of families is enabled. This kindergarten is the only one in the region but without possibility of Montessori school continuation.
We aim to create a place where children from different environments by discovering the world together will become more prone to accept the differences of cultures and thus build positive relationships.
We plan to start with a small alternative class which gives more possibilities to be flexible in terms of activities, parental and community engagement.

Who are you doing it for?

Short term:
Our project is aimed at children, families, communities from both parts of PL-CZ border who are interested in bilingual education, cultural diversity and cross-border cooperation and who want support development of European values, common understanding and respect of all cultures, care for their environment and that of others
Teachers and educators interested in developing their teaching competences in the field of alternative education and working on bilingual level
Long term:
Grammar school(s) interested in providing alternative education next to traditional one
Decision makers on regional and national level influencing national educational system
Parents and families that through implementation of the project will discover the possibility of alternative education

How do you plan to get there?

Training of the teachers already interested in the idea according to the Montessori method in AMI centers (https://amiprague.cz/am)
Starting the cooperation with the stakeholders to promote the idea and create the possibility to build the community
Campanella z.s. kindergarten and PSP Terliko will share the idea with families in CZ and Punktum Montessori in PL
Establishing coop. with the PSP Terlicko that will incorporate our Montessori class into its structure and further develop along with the national schooling system
Renting and renovating the space for implementation of the project-the City Council of Český Těšín has already confirmed the possibility to rent its spaces
Creating the WWW and free library on Montessori & education
Buying and producing the Montessori tools

What are the expected results?

Stable ground for building PL-CZ alternative education system (educated teachers, place for implementation of idea, growing number of families interested in participating)
PL and CZ families get closer to each other on everyday basis- growing community with higher tolerance towards other culture
Accessible alternative (Montessori) bilingual education to all children in the region
Growing awareness of alternative PL-CZ education and its benefits in the region
Growing number of children naturally prone to discover the world (not deformed by the traditional educational system)
Established system supporting Love to Lifelong Learning among children
WWW and library - complex website providing necessary tools and information+well quipped library
Classroom equipped with Montessori tools

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

There already are many sources proving there is positive impact of Mont. edu on building civic society.
M. Montessori said that the work of the child during the early childhood years is the building of the man of tomorrow.
Williams and Keith (2000) point to the conscious cultivation of democratic principles underlying Montessori education.
Important principles such as individuality, liberty, freedom, responsibility, and empowerment are prominent in Montessori philosophy (Brehony, 2000)
Therefore we believe that introducing Montessori method in connection with bilingualism is sowing the seed that will bring visible and effective synergy for future generations.
By promoting the project idea and creating the community of families involved the culture of tolerance is growing.

What is your story?

We believe that education is the most powerful weapon to change the world therefore we want to create the environment which empowers love to lifelong learning and civic engagement.

Formally there is no border between PL and CZ but we see that prejudice and stereotypes remain in people's minds and create obstacles in building cooperation and democratic communities and tolerant environment. We believe that in an environment full of respect and understanding both nations can not only live according to democratic values but also enrich each other in many fields and build new quality of relationships.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Trainings for two teachers at AMI centers (CZ or PL) - 20000 EUR
Montessori tools - 10000 EUR
Space rent and renovation - 4000 EUR
Administration cost - 1500 EUR
Website - 1000 EUR
Free library - 2000 EUR
Project manager - 11500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Bilingualism in Montessori
Interdependence of education and civic society building
Possibility of ways of making big changes outside large urban centers (on periphery)

Team

Petrklíč help z.s.

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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