Erasmus+ Kick Off Meeting Minutes
Erasmus+ Kick Off Meeting Minutes
Berlin Cosmopolitan School
29 November – 1 December 2017
Welcome and Introductions: During this time, visitors joined us for lunch followed by presentations from each partnering institution. BCS Erasmus+ research team membersstarted with an overview presentation of BCS Kindergarten and Preschool followed by a presentation from the University of Madrid’s Teaching and Learning Center, Pickler Haz and the International Childcare and Educational Centre. The information obtained by all participants during these presentations allowed a deeper insight and understanding into the specific competencies and skillsets that each international partner is able to contribute to the project.
Campus Tour and Break: A tour of BCS Kindergarten and Preschool was given by two educators where participants were able to ask clarifying questions from the presentation given prior regarding the overallstructures and programming that BCS provides to children.
Research Concept Presentation: Members of the BCS Erasmus+ research team presented the concept and intellectual outputs to ensure clarity with all partners gaining a deeper understanding of the grant and the opportunity to ask questions specific to the numerous learning outputs indicated.
Work Ethics and Values Presentation: Members of the BCS Erasmus+ research team facilitated a discussion regarding work ethics and values. Together with all international partners, a list of team working norms were created and are to be revisited at each Transnational meeting and enhanced if necessary. The team working norms are as follows:
As a team, we will:
- Communicate openly and honestly in order to build on one another’s ideas.
- Respect each other’s differences, but keep the goal clear (for the children).
- Encourage and motivate each other to enjoy the process through humor and positivity.
- Use flexibility and critical thinking to collaborate on shared goals.
Collaboration and Idea Sharing: Due to the time, this was combined with dinner, which was attended by Erasmus+ research team members and international partners.
Breakfast: The day started with a breakfast and a reflection of day 1 with international partners.
Berlin Tour: Following breakfast, a tour of Berlin was given by a BCS Erasmus+ research team members to the international partners titled ‘Berlin though a child’s eyes.’ While the tour gave a bit of an insight about life in Berlin for children, the tour facilitator connected the tour to the research concept with numerous provocation exercises. This tour was followed by a reflection luncheon back at BCS Kindergarten and Preschool.
Organization and Planning: A lengthy discussion was held regarding the overall organization and planning framework that we would all use during our three year partnership together including a mutual calendar review for possible dates for transnational meetings and, trainings, and symposiums. Additional time was allowed for international partners to ask clarifying questions after an extensive review of the research concept presentation delivered one day prior and to extensively analyze the timeline as to which material products are due for the various intellectual outputs.
Contract Signing: International Partners individually met with the BCS Head of Administration to review, ask clarifying questions, and to sign the partnership contracts.
Team Drinks: The BCS Erasmus+ Research team and the international partners met for team drinks to continue dialogue regarding the project and the overwhelming amount of ideas that all members had started to have by this point in time during the 3-day kick off meeting.
Breakfast: The day started with a breakfast and a reflection of day 2 with international partners.
Classroom Observations: Following breakfast, the international team of experts split into individual pairings with each other to visit classrooms of the BCS Erasmus+ research team of teachers. Each international partner conducted observations of 30-45 minutes in three different classrooms (ages varied from 1-6, year groups 1-Preschool) to learn about the various approachesthat BCS uses as a part of the early years curriculum for children. Feedback during the observations were documented by each observer.
Classroom Feedback Session: The BCS Erasmus+ research team of teachers joined the international partners in a feedback session discussing the classroom visits and the relevance of the research topic funded as a part of this Erasmus+ grant. The international partners made numerous connections to the challenges faced in their representing institutions and how the research to follow will guide and hopefully deliver best practices for parents and educators to use when working in internationally diverse settings.
Next Steps and Final Thoughts: The team shared moments of gratitude for being a part of this research and hopes and wishes for the partnership together for the years ahead. Final clarifications were made surrounding some last minute questions and the team dismissed at 15:30 to prepare for the BCS Winter Party that evening.