Philosophy of the NEOS association
Principle of Parallel Work
At NEOS schools pupils and students are regarded as experts of their own business. Teachers take seriously students' matters, their requests and their potential. Therefore, at NEOS-workshops students and teachers work on the same issues in parallel groups and carry together their results.
Principle of Delegation
The international NEOS- student’s workshops are prepared on a long-term basis at the individual NEOS-schools. For some time different classes and/or courses are working on a defined issue, which will be relevant for the next NEOS-workshop. Afterwards, 4-5 students as delegates of their individual school travel to the workshop to present the working results of their course, and to develop these results together with the delegates and the results of other participating schools. At last, the final results of the workshop will be presented at home again.
Principle of Solidarity
Every active NEOS school pays an anuual member fee of 333,- € This money is managed by the coordinating NEOS school (at the moment Europaschule Köln) and is spent for common NEOS events like international meetings. In case of a meeting, in addition normally each partcipant (student and/or teacher) has to pay an own cotribution about 60,- € for the participation undependant on the workshop’s location. Normally travelling costs for every participant are covered by NEOS funds.
The costs on the spot (this means meals, accomodation, local excursions, cultural program) have to be afforded by the school who is carrying out the meeting. The responsibles try to get donations and support by local authorities or foundations.
Creating enduring relationships
NEOS schools realize the importance of establishing enduring relationships for an enduring common work between teachers and students. To realize this they try to do the following:
- establishing theme oriented exchanges
- starting early with international contacts per e-mail
- working with one or two foreign partners on common issues
- regular teachers’ meetings
- regular foreign projects
- discussions about values and worldviews
Working on a common vision
NEOS schools are sharing the following visions and working on their realiziation:
- As the base of every school programm the “Cologne Declaration” becomes the joining and obligatory basic idea on every Europe Oriented School.
- Every student of a Europe Oriented School at least two times during his/her school carreer participates on an exchange with a foreign country
- The meetings of students from different European schools and countries are structured for endurance. Meetings never restrict themselves to a period of a few days, but are linked in common project themes.
- International projects are established in every Europe Oriented School in every year corresponding to the students’ state of knowledge.
- The language of lessons inside of European projects is either English or the native language of the particular partner school.
- International projects at Europe Oriented Schools are accepted, promoted and financially supported by The European Commission in Bruxelles.
- At the end of their school time students of Europe Oriented Schools have a European consciousness by keeping their own national and cultural identity.
- Teachers of Europe Oriented Schools regularly participate at Europe oriented trainings. They achieve the enduring improvement of their technical and linguistic competences.
- At the age of 16 students of Europe Oriented Schools are able to make the following statements:
I have learned democracy.
I was taught to act in a responsible way.
I have learned to search for peaceful solutions of conflicts and to try them out.
I’ve learned a lot about different people, cultures and societies. In our lessons we’ve worked about their history and about their actual political reality, about conflicts at boarders and about ethnical mixed regions inside and outside of Europe.
I’ve come to know strange food. I know something about festivals in other cultures.
I’m conscious of the diversity of other cultures, but also of my own.
I’m able to recognize the common features and the differences.
The behaviour and the ideas of strange cultures which confused me in the beginning, I’ve learned to understand much better now.
If the behaviour of people from other cultures appear to me strange or worrying I’m able to talk with them about it to learn to understand them.
I am able to approach other people without fear.
When I meet people from other countries and cultures, I do this open minded and with respect. I have no prejudices but I’m interested in their reality.
I know that we also share worries, hopes, values and dreams with other people.
I know the world of work in at least one other European country.
I’ve developed an awareness for the necessity to share the resources of this planet and to treat them in moderation.
Two foreign languages I speak well, I’m able at least to communicate in two more.
I’m able to express and to understand even complicated facts in a foreign language.
I’m not inhibited to communicate in a foreign language, also when I don’t speak it perfectly.
I have learned that there is no “right” or “wrong” way of living.
I’ve learned to take my point of view and to accept other points of view – as long as the Human Rights will be preserved.
I know how to get the information I need and I’m able to sort it out.
I had teachers who were an excellent example for everything. They gave me always support and took my questions seriously.