The visited schools
One of the most delicate phases in setting up the project was the choice of the schools to be visited by a teacher and a trainee teacher, both from another partner country, in the autumn – winter period of the school year 2008/09, as envisaged in the work plan.
In the case of some countries (Austria and Italy), the school to be visited was chosen as the same school of the teacher who, in turn, would have visited another school abroad for a period of observation and teaching of a certain teaching unit, as envisaged by the project.
The choice was anyway based on the fact that the chosen school might have been considered as a standard school, from the point of view of the teaching and learning organization.
The school should have had classes of lower secondary school, i.e. with pupils attending their 6th to 8th schooling year (usually aged between 11 and 14).
In the following documents a brief description of the ‘cultural’ context of each of these schools is provided. They aim to provide not only information about the type of school and its didactical organization: they also offer inputs about the type of dialogue between teachers and pupils, about the relationship between school and parents, about the pupils’ social background, about the local environment, etc.
The descriptions of the cultural’ context of the schools to be visited, made available by all the project partners by the autumn 2007, were viewed as necessary to provide those who were to attend training course for the mobility of mathematics teachers, with points for reflection upon the possible differences or similarities between those contexts, that could be referred to schools as well as to different countries.
The project tried to underline the fundamental importance for a teacher who may possibly teach abroad, to be able to reflect upon the role played by each culture in the educational process as well as of a good intercultural communication.
The final part of each of the following documents provides a general indication of what was provisionally to be taught in the respective schools in the period between October and December 2008, chosen for the visits to take place.
The project team needed this type of information in order to identify the topics to be proposed to both visiting teachers and student teachers, so that they might set up a teaching unit concerning one of them. That teaching unit would then have been experimented (in a foreign language) in the visited school.