The activities of Federazione Nazionale Insegnanti - Centro di Iniziativa per l’Europa. (FENICE) – a no-profit teachers’ association are directed towards the promotion of European Cooperation in the field of Education, Training and Culture to contribute to the construction of a common European educational space, an indispensable step for the creation of the United States of Europe.
The activities carried out in last fifteen years have allowed the creation of a vast network of relationships with institutions and experts residing in numerous European countries and in the European Commission, and they can be summarized as follows:
1. Participation as promoters or as partners to 22 transnational partnership projects co-funded by the European Union in the field of education and training within the Socrates, Leonardo and Youth programs, the Lifelong Learning program and, finally, Erasmus +. Two projects written and coordinated by FENICE received an award: one as an E-Quality label Grundtvig and a second as a Star project.
2. Creation of the six-monthly periodical, Scuol@Europa, with a scientific committee that also acts as a double-blind referral committee. The magazine, now in its 26th edition, has been published in paper edition up to number 14 and then in electronic version, sent to about 4400 Italian speaking institutions, teachers and trainers. The presence of numerous foreign experts among the authors of the articles and their participation in seminars and training courses has allowed the dissemination in Italy of various educational experiments thus contributing to the initial and in-service training of school staff.
3. Creation of a newsletter in three languages (IT-EN-FR) sent to about 10,000 institutions and experts from all European countries and beyond.
4. Production and dissemination of educational materials carried out through the multilingual websites www.fenice-eu.org, www.languagesbysongs.eu, www.languagelearning.eu and www.edutheatre.it of which the first two are still active.
5. Organization of a teacher training course "Formation aux techniques théâtrales à l'utilization des enseignants de FLE" held in Bucharest with the participation of teachers of French coming from various European countries.
6. Organization of two international conferences lasting two days each carried out respectively in Brussels (2012) and in Naples (2017). The first was also a fair of European language projects, while the second, preceded by a call for papers and followed by the publication of the acts reviewed by a special scientific committee, involved researchers, decision makers, language teachers from 22 countries not only Europeans.
7. Organization of a workshop on "Teaching a language while having fun: examples of good practice in four countries" (2009) and an interactive seminar (2012) with the aim of disseminating the products and results of other four innovative European projects on teaching a foreign language.
8. Dissemination of news on education, the world of school and university through a Facebook page that appeals to 826 people and a profile on LinkedIn, the latter included in 5% of the most visited Italian pages and with over 2600 links with teachers, trainers and experts from various countries.
The choice of topics on which to engage in European partnerships was not accidental: after several initial experiences, FENICE dedicated a special attention to multilingualism and interculturality, themes addressed by her in 13 of the 22 projects completed. The importance of multilingualism and the learning of multiple languages has been seen as a necessary support for cohabitation in a world where ever-increasing mobility and the prevailing globalization risks levelling everything by imposing the English language only as a means of interpersonal transmission and, thus doing, marginalizing if not by suppressing other languages and consequently their cultures. FENICE is now involved above all in the protection and enhancement of the Romance languages legacy of great cultures (see www.languagesbysongs.eu).
In these years of experience, FENICE has also acquired an intangible heritage made up of expertise, managerial ability and, not least, of third party and independence that represent an immaterial determining value to make things together.
Prof. Giampiero de Cristofaro