Food for Thought is an Erasmus+ project.
The project "Food for Thought" is supported by teachers and students from four countries - Greece, Turkey, Portugal, and Poland. The institutions involved constitute a mixture of experienced participants and newcomers. The project topic explores the connection that exists between food and a number of primary aspects of human activity and culture. It offers a variety of perspectives and constitutes a concept that is easily grasped by the age group of our students (12-15 years old). This journey reveals the importance of food as a cultural element uniting Europeans not only in the course of their history but in their common future as well. It also tries to sensitize adolescent students to the benefits of a healthy diet and its contribution towards well-being and mental balance. Finally, it introduces the subject of producing and managing food in a world of overpopulation, pollution, and steadily decreasing natural sources - only by keeping the biodiversity of our areas blooming we have a chance to achieve the sustainability of the ecosystem and the food production. In particular, the project is divided into four sections:
- Art and literature - students become familiar with the timeless presence of food in major forms of art and literature, something that proves its importance as a cultural element that unites people of different socio-cultural backgrounds.
- Folklore and tradition - the primordial reference to food in folk tradition and popular culture reveal the astonishing amount of similarity that European nations share on the subject.
- Health and well-being - the dependence of people's diet to home-cooked meals, which are often based on traditional and straightforward recipes, and the avoidance of fast-food consumption help adolescents grow up properly and build a healthy body both physically and mentally.
- Biodiversity and sustainability - the acquaintance with these very important concepts enhances the environmental consciousness of our young students and gives them motives to devote all their energies to preserve the viability of the ecosystem.
The activities of the project intend to help participants obtain and improve primary competencies related to values, skills, attitudes, and knowledge. The tangible outcome has the form of questionnaires, videos, posters, photographs, student diaries, booklets, handicrafts and more. Moreover, by taking part in these tasks students will develop their ICT, language and communication skills. The intangible results appear in the way students refine their critical thinking, open-mindedness, tolerance, participation in discussions, and expression of their opinion. The outcome of the project is continuously presented at schools, on the school and project websites and the eTwinning platform. All activities take place at local and international levels so that a big number of students are able to join, experience and benefit by them. The number of students and teachers being involved in the activities of the project is much larger than the actual participants in the LTAs since project work is accomplished in the course of normal lessons and also outside the classroom environment through workshops, excursions to institutions and enterprises and meetings with interesting people. The host parents and the members of the local communities are informed about the project through various dissemination activities. We project adopts a holistic approach that involves a cognitive, practical and psychological dimension of learning. The practical application of what has been learned aims to positively influence the attitudes and behavior of the participants. The project also also follows an open-ended learning method, which allows for multiple solutions to problems, during which students learn to accept and respect the views of others. Additional ways of work include blended learning, group work in multinational teams, competitions, games, learning through experience and discovery, developing critical thinking skills, using communication and cooperation. Beyond specific benefits related to the topics of our project, there is also the long term advantage of working in a varied socio-cultural environment. An Erasmus+ project resembles a contemporary small-scale multicultural society and strengthens individuals' positive perceptions of the world around them. This project brings to fruition the vision of the participating schools. It attempts to improve the quality of educational output and the sustainable development of cooperation with current social and international partners. It promotes the share of examples of good practice through visits to partner organizations, the development of competences of students and teachers, the use of eTwinning, and the validation of mobilities output, learning outcome and the results of nonformal learning.