“Short forms beyond borders” (SFBB): AN ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships Project

The “Short stories and short forms” team of the CIRPaLL laboratory has received funding from the Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships program. This European research program aims to promote transnational projects set up by networks of teacher-researchers in Europe in order to develop and share innovative practices in the fields of education, training and youth.

With the “Short Forms Beyond Borders (SFBB)” project, we intend to work collaboratively on short forms as a tool for cultural, educational and social mediation in Europe. The relevance of short forms is becoming more and more visible in today’s society. Brevity is becoming a way of doing things, a question of time and style, indeed of thinking. Examples of short forms include short videos, text messages, short stories, Instagram stories, sound fragments, television series, short speeches, sales pitches, news briefs, slogans etc.

“Short forms” is an innovative concept that can reach many targeted audiences. The present project aims to develop teaching approaches and pedagogical tools and programmes for young people, with a particular focus on the definition and use of short forms for cultural, educational and social mediation in Europe (literary, artistic, cultural, communicational, journalistic, social for example). Our project aims both to instruct young Europeans in the management of short professional and cultural forms and to respond through these outputs to the needs of migrants to find their place in European culture. Short forms become a means to develop and affirm social connections and cohesion, while also serving to encourage the expression of individual and cultural identity.

These tools will be put to the service of activities that foster a sense of belonging (students belonging to Europe, the integration of migrants, the exploration of foreign spaces in the context of tourism), while taking into consideration individual and national identities.

Specialists will consolidate skills and tools and will share competencies with a growing audience of teaching professionals who wish to develop the use of short forms tools for cultural, linguistic and pedagogical mediation.

PARTNERS

Specialists of short forms from six European universities (Angers, France; Athens, Greece; Szeged, Hungary; Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Giessen, Germany; Leuven, Belgium) and a private firm, Baludik (Nantes), will work together to develop short forms as both tools and objects of pedagogical innovation and cultural mediation. Baludik develops a smartphone application to create educational and touristic itineraries (https://baludik.fr/). The tool will be used in the context of the project for pedagogical experimentations and tests.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

The project has begun in October 2020 and will end in September 2022. We will organize 6 meetings throughout the two years of the project (October, March, and June). These meetings will allow the members to coordinate their activities, and will also involve teaching sessions for professionals and students. The project will involve the mobility of professors and students (Masters and Doctoral). The indirect audiences of the tools in the project will be secondary school classes, and, if possible, young migrants. Tourists and amateurs of culture might also be interested in cultural products created by students in the context of the project. Short forms will be studied, created, used as tools and integrated into European programmes as a means to negotiate not only linguistic and cultural issues, but also social issues and questions of identity in Europe.

The first axis of the project will involve developing clear definitions for use by teaching professionals. We will also conduct surveys in the partner institutions to understand how short forms are currently being used in classrooms. A survey of online resources in the area of short forms will also take place during this first phase and will be pursued throughout the project.

We will also create a website to be used for the full duration of the project. Its database will be accessible and contributed to by partners and participants during the project; the resources will be made widely available after the end of the project.

In the third axis of the project we will develop pedagogical toolkits for cultural and touristic itineraries for intercultural and language learning.

The last axis of the project will involve organizing these tools to develop innovative teaching sequences and modules that could be integrated into Masters and Doctoral programmes at European universities. Sequences for use in training secondary school teachers (especially for the classes with young migrants) will also be developed.

The aim will be to report on the work carried out during a study day (June 2021) and a conference (June 2022).

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