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Bridges over troubled waters

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

A project on democratic values as bridges to active citizenship, through exchanges of views between France and the Czech Republic.

This Erasmus+ project (KA2, small scale project) is a continuation of the Erasmus+ strategic partnership LabSchoolsEurope: Participatory Research for Democratic Education (2019-2022). It has multiple aims:

  • make explicit the fundamental values of democracy

  • strengthen students' civic and psycho-social skills

  • encourage communication, cooperation and leadership

  • use stories - past and present - involving these values to build resilience and ability to overcome obstacles


Lab schools aim to implement, develop and disseminate research-based educational approaches as widely as possible. The European lab schools gathered in the framework of the LabSchoolsEurope project emphasize education for values and democracy. The teachers and researchers participating in this project have endeavoured to document concrete practices implemented in the different countries; teaching material and guides resulting from our work will soon be available online.


The new project – Bridges over troubled waters – is in somme respect a follow-up of LabSchoolsEurope: it intends to work on the similarities and differences in values and conceptions of democracy in France and the Czech Republic, by putting them in their respective contexts, but also by encouraging intergenerational dialogue within families and by deconstructing with students any stereotypes and preconceived ideas that raise barriers between world citizens. Finally, it aims to extend and strengthen the cooperation between Labyrinth Skola in Brno (Czech Republic) and Lab School Paris (France) on a long-term basis through exchanges between their students and teachers.


Various activities will be implemented throughout the year to create an environment that fosters identification and appropriation of democratic values, while seeking to promote the sense of belonging and well-being of each student, as well as that of the entire learning community. In doing so, we aim to support the development of transversal skills such as civic, interpersonal, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, encouraging students to take initiative and to engage in a proactive way.


In addition, because the project is based on cooperation between two schools where English is introduced at an early stage in the curriculum - and French is also introduced at Labyrinth Skola from secondary school onwards - we expect not only effective and smooth communication between the students, but also enhancement of their language skills and openness to other cultures.


Specifically, the goal is to promote awareness of democratic values through thematic activities carried out, at first, remotely in each school, and then jointly during physical meetings in each country. These meetings will take place twice a year.


To enable students to reflect on their personal values and the values on which democratic societies were formed in the Czech Republic and France, they will be invited to conduct interviews with elder people (parents, grandparents or other people in their environment) and will report on the knowledge gained from these intergenerational discussions, seeking to identify the values they embody by placing them in a historical context. The formalisaton of this knowledge may take different forms, namely artistic or more scientific forms such as writing songs, creating a show or a film, writing articles, giving a conference, etc., thus creating symbolic bridges that support the cardinal values of a given community, while seeking to compare and better understand the specificities of the Czech and French contexts.


Proposed timeline

  • September-November 2022. At least five days will be devoted to the Bridges over troubled waters cross-curricular project (which may be spread over ten half-days). Various disciplines will be involved: history-geography-EMC, French and English languages and literature, music, as well as – for 10th graders – the International Baccalaureate preparatory workshops Theory of knowledge (TOK) and Creativity-Activity-Service (CAS).

  • December 5-10, 2022. First "project week": trip to the Czech Republic with 18 students from the Lab School Paris and five members of the educational team (detailed program under development).

  • January-April 2023. Continuation of the project remotely in both schools, reinforcement of the student discussions, especially with regard to the final presentation of the project.

  • 22-26 May 2023. Second "project-week": 18 students from Labyrinth Skola and five members of its pedagogical team will come to Paris. Preparation of the final restitution of the project at the Czech Cultural Center.


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