Archive of European Projects

How Children Learn
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The partnership feels that "How Children Learn" is ground-breaking and innovative and will have a lasting impact on all the participating schools, their local authorities and other education stakeholders across the partner regions and beyond. This is not just a one-off project, it will have a continuing influence for dynamic change and development in learning and teaching. The project has developed out of an initial identified need for schools to adopt new learning strategies and innovative ways to prepare pupils for life, study and work, relevant to the rapid changes of the 21st century. We need to respond to the immediate challenge of improving and bringing more relevance to the early years and primary learning experience. The project outcomes will make a significant contribution to the competences and resources available to teachers and the wider school communities. We will increase and build on the international experience for two of the partners following a previous Comenius project and bring in other schools new to international partnerships. All the partners are very enthusiastic and committed to working together and each school is keen to contribute to all the project activities and take a leading role in specific parts of the work programme. The partnership of six schools will be led by Kirkhill Nursery and Primary School, Aberdeen, which has experience of two previous international partnerships under Comenius. Manstad skole has worked closely with Kirkhill in their previous Comenius partnership, and will learn by taking a strategic supporting role in project organisation and management. All the partners have been chosen to bring specific recognised strengths to the partnership and to provide the necessary base of experience and expertise. Internationally recognised external experts are involved and have a role from the outset of the project. The preparatory work has begun, communications regularly taking place, a programme of electronic seminars in May to prepare for a professional, trouble-free approach to project activities. Finer detailed planning is underway. Three groups of skills will be the focus of our investigations - Basic, Transversal, Global. We will investigate certain cross focus themes e.g. use of business contexts, how to recognise and assess learning which arises out of play and informal learning. We want to prepare children adequately for the reality of living and working in Europe with open borders and to increase the understanding of pupils and teachers of the benefits of being part of a European family. The objectives of the “How Children Learn” Early Years partnership are to: 1 improve the way we meet the core needs of pupils – to be solution-focused, independent learners, resilient and better prepared for change in life, study and work, both today and in the future; 2 enable teachers to be better equipped with improved skills, competences, teaching materials and pedagogical resources; 3 actively encourage the pupils and the teachers to develop a European perspective, belonging to the "European family" 4 work towards the recognition and wider adoption of project results and outcomes using local, regional and national networks, and international associations; 5 identify, by the end of the project, which local/regional/international organisations are interested in our work, and how further funding can be harnessed to carry on this work. Results include material for use in schools, strategic planning, professional development and further studies. These include: written, audio and video records of project activities; trials of new ideas, methodologies. Pupil encounters, teacher commentaries; specific teaching and learning methodologies, materials, resources, lesson plans. Analyses and findings, final recommendations e.g. an analysis of how play and informal learning can develop skills, how to record and assess this. Three published sets of case studies: innovative methods of developing skills in young children. Benefits to be gained from being part of a "European family". Impacts will be far-reaching and significant. An immediate impact for all the partners will be knowledge and experience gained by investigating best educational practice in action in the partner regions which have been specifically chosen to demonstrate innovative methods and contexts for organising early years and primary learning. In the long term: Teachers think more creatively, are better prepared and use a wider environment for learning. Pupils learn from wider sources, become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Schools, local authorities and other stakeholders benefit from increased material to add to research and other studies, additional contexts for providing professional development. Tested educational approaches, methodology and resources for developing educational practice and policy in early years and primary phases.
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5 Partners Participants