Two types of Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) were implemented in different grades – Dialogic Literary Gatherings (DLGs) and Interactive Groups (IGs). Since January 2023, across two classrooms, the Bulgarian team conducted two sessions on a monthly basis in the first classroom and one session every month in the second. DLGs were implemented four times in the same classroom with 16 year old students but in different classes – twice in literature class, once in philosophy class and once in history class. An art innovation was introduced (twice) in the implementation of this DLG – students from higher classes were reading and playing parts of the chosen literary works in front of younger students.

An expressive ‘green’ therapy was introduced – students of different origins and ethnicities planted flowers in the frame of the initiative ‘Intercultural Gardens as Green Bridges’.

Impact and successes

Overall, the teachers involved reported that SEAs had a positive impact on the sense of belonging and the wellbeing of students. A positive change was observed in the case of a 16 year old girl of Palestinian origin. She had behavioural issues and was rejecting any rules. During DLG the girl read the chosen passage and then actively participated in the discussion. Her participation in the DLG has given her confidence and she realised that no one was ignoring or neglecting her because of her background; on the contrary, she was given opportunities to demonstrate her strengths which she subsequently appreciated. She has improved her behaviour and became a mediator helping to resolve conflicts. 

Lessons, learning and recommendations

As a result of the activities teachers could participate and observe by themselves the actual result and effect on the children and thus they appreciate the importance of SEAs. As one teacher said:

‘The process of creating a local micro example was very successful and important because examples from foreign countries sound very distant. The co-designed and co-implemented approach is the right one. It is slower in time but more sustainable.’