Teachers as learners, learners as teachers
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
Schools, as the training base of future generations, need the interaction of dedicated teachers and confident students. In order to develop our students' basic and transversal skills and to make them active citizens and Europeans, teachers must be up-to-date with professional skills. Social and economic differences, immigration, unemployment, international labour market and a quickly-changing system of values in European societies are challenges for students and teachers. Meeting these 21st century realities demands a high quality of education and a growing level of internationality.
Our project "Teachers as learners, learners as teachers" with five partner schools from Norway, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia and Italy aims at these priorities and focuses on three work fields:
1) Teacher training in innovative, learner-centred methodologies, e.g. CLIL, flipped classrooms, Dunn&Dunn
2) Active involvement of students in the teaching and learning process and in democratic school organisation
3) Creating a concept for European Days as regular school events beyond the project
TEACHERS AS LEARNERS. Intense teacher training helps us improve our own teaching skills, adopt new views, methods and tools to be able to meet complex classroom realities which often mirror trends in society. Professional teacher trainers support us. Our aim is to reach the best possible level of professionality and thus strengthen the profile of the teaching professions. Twelve teachers from each partner school participate in the project but many more will be active in teacher training of the new methodologies. Teachers outside the project can use the brochures we create on each of the trained methodologies to test and adopt new approaches, even beyond the project.
LEARNERS AS TEACHERS. It is essential, though not always reality, to adapt our teaching and school organisation to the needs of learners. We want and need our students' feedback on the new methodologies tested and trained. Students and the students' council of each school are actively involved in planning and evaluation of our training lessons and in an exchange on democratic school organisation. They practise and improve transversal skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and communication competence. Twenty to twenty-four students per partner school, age group 14 to 15 years, are project participants. Many more students will benefit from the project as they are learners in the training lessons of new methodologies and audience of the European Days.
We have chosen the topics "Migration", "Entrepreneurship" and "Common values" for our three European Days which are prepared by teams of students from each partner school and implemented during three short-term pupils' meetings. Active support by experts from companies, local and regional councils and charity organsiations offers a practical insight in these topics. Creating and testing a step-by-step concept for European Days enables the partner schools and others to repeat this regular school event beyond the project. We find it essential to encourage active citizenship in multicultural societies, present the chances of a European career market, promote the importance of common values, social competences, entrepreneurialism, ICT-literacy and language learning.
Only transnationality makes it possible to learn from each other in such a great variety of topics and fields. We need to look beyond borders to experience new ways, attitudes, mentalities and to overcome hindering routines and stereotypes. Five short-term training activities, two for teacher training and three students' exchanges with homestay, give us an authentic experience of other nations' culture and lifestyle. Intense communication has a major impact on the students', teachers' and host families' language competences. They overcome language barriers and speak our project language English more confidently and fluently.
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