The Initiator´s Foreword
by Louis Schmidt
How it all began ... Dublin 2008
Lifelong learning means that you never stop being curious. So I decided after many years of teaching English to apply for a Grundtvig grant – motivated by my daughters who had studied in Nottingham and Sheffield supported by an Erasmus grant. I applied for a teachers' training course in Dublin and was accepted. Studying at Trinity College was fantastic, the course itself an eye-opener. I got to know colleagues from various European countries, and besides learning a lot about Ireland and the latest methods of teaching English to non-native speakers of English I understood the true meaning of these courses:
Bringing together people from all over Europe, spreading the European idea, finding out what it means to be European. I learned that we all have a lot in common, but at the same time appreciated the cultural and linguistic differences which is a real treasure trove. But the most important experience was making friends, and developing lifelong friendships.
Back home I decided to spread the European idea, letting other people profit from my experience, and because we Europeans have the same historical roots, the topic of the Grundtvig project was soon born:
Our common heritage.
I put the topic on the Grundtvig database platform, and was found by the first partner – Henk Rijkeboer from the Netherlands. That was the start of “Contributions to the European Heritage”.
Soon we found a school in Lugo/Galicia in Spain (Centro E.P.A.) with our Spanish colleagues José Armesto and Maria Rodriguez and another school in Martina Franca/Apulia in Italy with our Italian friends Mariella Candio and Maurizio Seggioli. But the Italian agency did not fund them, so we looked for another partner and found them on Lesvos: Aeolis - Cultural Development Society of Lesvos Island with our colleagues Ifigenia Georgiadou und Christos Sotiropoulos.
After four years of working together on the project we became friends – all involved teachers and students alike. Without our students the project would never have come true, without their enthusiasm, their willingness to meet people from other nations and without their support it would not have been the same. Seeing the result of our project, the friendships which have developed and the joy of meeting each other in all the different countries, it was worth it.
Thank you all.
This project will not end. It will go on …
Ludwig (Louis) Schmidt
The Coordinator´s Foreword
by Henk Rijkeboer
This website has been created by four European adult education centres. They used Grundtvig, a European platform for adult education.
Grundtvig is part of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) that focuses on all organizations, institutions and associations providing general education for adults, whether they belong to the formal, non-formal or informal sector. Participants can be adult education centres, museums, libraries, prisons and welfare organizations.
A Grundtvig learning partnership is a unique programme. Not the outcome, but the process is important. It is the experience and cooperation with European partners which add value to our organizations and to yourself.
The European History Project
Each school presents a number of examples of historical contributions to the European culture. You will find these topics on the following pages. These are our contributions to history from a European perspective.
We want to highlight the historical and cultural exchange between different European regions and countries. In this way we hope to stimulate interest in history getting aware of the mutual influences of the various parts of Europe. We are convinced that this can be a contribution to the development of a European consciousness.
I hope you will enjoy reading our pages.
Henk Rijkeboer, project coordinator
Presentation by Louis Schmidt