On the 14th September 2021 Erasmus+ project SELAM held its closing International Conference in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. The SOLIS project (Developing wellbeing and social inclusion: achieving success through understanding of cultural diversity) held a 30-minute discussion panel with partners from UK, Norway and Greece appearing via video call to introduce this new project to over 100 teachers and education professionals. SOLIS is funded by the Erasmus+ KA2 Program (Strategic partnerships for school education) and started with a digital kick-off meeting in December 2020.
The SOLIS project was presented through the discussion panel at the International Conference in Turkey. The project aims to create a sense of belonging in students – a right to be included – no matter their background or ability by exploring the nexus of wellbeing, inclusion and diversity. The innovative use of Digital Storytelling will be a key tool in reaching these objectives, highlighted by Loughborough University, a leading educator in this field. Ongoing SOLIS research was also presented by Research Paths – looking into Inclusive Education Approaches and tools currently used in UK, Norway, Lithuania, Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Malta. The report of this research will be available on the SOLIS project website and will help inform the creation of digital tools to support teachers and increase the wellbeing and inclusion of students, no matter their background. SOLIS will also lead to the creation of a resource library of at least 80 digital stories, as a result of teacher training and local workshops with students in all project partner countries.
Digital Storytelling is central to the holistic whole-school approach of the SOLIS project, looking at training teachers on how to employ this eminent tool in a classroom setting to help students share their story and increase understanding of where students come from and what they face. By helping students reflect on who they are, their values and relationships, and listening to their peers doing the same, strongly supports their development tasks in adolescence, allowing for evolution of identity management, handling and building of new relationships and information processing – key objectives of the SOLIS project.