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Opération "calcul" à Graphoville
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Subject: Our proposal targets the “Numeracy skills” in the key competences for the Lisbon strategy by creating an arithmetic aid unlike any that exist at present. Rationale: The 2012 PISA survey, in which mathematics was the key area of assessment, found that in many countries, pupils are not proficient in basic elementary arithmetic. In Bulgaria 43,8% of pupils (24.3% in Luxembourg and 22.4% in France) are “underperforming in mathematics under level 2” (basic arithmetic in primary school). In the same countries, numeracy skills are lower than the average for the 64 participating countries. Many tools have targeted literacy problems, but very few seek to combat a lack of elementary arithmetic skills (innumeracy) which is one of the surprising, if not unbelievable and very disturbing new “discoveries”. Numerous interviews with teachers and trainers in the partnership countries have shown us that there are no tools to help learners (young people and adults in difficulty, in illiteracy or post-literacy situations) to practise thinking and calculating from realistic situations that also add an element of fun. A model sequence, one of the 20 we would like to create, has been set out on paper and tested at NOSL with young people with a high risk of dropping out. Both the pupils and the teachers thoroughly enjoyed this approach. Description of the tool: In previous projects, Euro Cordiale created the language tool “Bienvenue à Graphoville” in three versions (FR, EN and DE) which were all awarded the European language label. Our future tool will have some hundred typical characters going about their daily lives in Graphoville, each with a specific job and a personality all their own. We intend to use this panel of characters in 20 sequences from everyday and professional life to get the young people interested in and using elementary arithmetic. Thought and reasoning are constantly solicited and made easier by hints and questions, while encouraging learners to find out for themselves. One of the innovative aspects of the tool is the fact that all the exercises are integrated in sequences which each contain a full story around a theme. This makes it easier to understand the problem at hand and increases the learners’ motivation by making them part of the story and asking them to solve the problems presented in an appealing way. In the tools used in schools, the “problems” are purely technical and do not give realistic contexts with characters with whom we can identify. The main objectives will be to create the mechanism and meaning of the four operations, simple percentages, the rule of 3, common measurements, simple fractions, proportionality, etc. Each sequence will require learners to use mental arithmetic and estimation. The tool will exist in an interactive online version and as a paper version that can be downloaded free of charge. It is true that a large number of schools still use paper versions even if there is an interactive version as well, as we found with our previous tools. The tool will be produced in FR, DE and BG. Consortium: The consortium includes 7 partners from 5 countries (FR, LU, DE, BE and BG comprising people involved in mainstream education, (EQF levels 1 to 5), adult education, teacher training, specialists in the creation and dissemination of teaching aids. Target audience: The tool is intended for the most fragile pupils in secondary schools and vocational schools and young trainees in vocational training. Impacts: The composition of the consortium will ensure a direct impact with the partners’ target audiences: The Académie de Reims (Reims education authority) will use it for all pupils enrolled in the “mission générale” system to fight the problem of opting out (a potential of 15000 young people). In Luxembourg, the NOSL will use it in all the classes concerned and spread it through the Collège des Directeurs to all vocational high schools. ZAWM St Vith use it internally and will use in the German-speaking community and Wallonia and Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine Westphalia). The PGS Penyo Penev of Silistra will use the tool in their courses and will disseminate itin the professionnal schools of Bulgaria. AOB in Berlin will use it in its elementary arithmetic lessons. In 2013 the Euro Cordiale website received 147,845 visits from 194 countries with a bandwidth of 12,358 Gb, which shows the considerable potential impact when the tool is put online.

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