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Teaching better, learning more
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea of the project "Teaching better, learning more" emerged from within both the board of headmasters and the teaching staff, especially the language teachers, after the school inspection of June 2013. The inspection report showed that the teachers' didactic practice is insufficiently geared to the pupils' educational needs as well as to their profile. Precautionary study coaching using interactive methods and differentiated tuition occur too incidentally as teachers too often adhere to cognitive approach and assessment. In addition the teaching staff experiences difficulties coping with the changing educational environment within Genk's social context. Since it is the teachers' professional qualities which are the main motor to innovation on the shop-floor, we would like to offer the opportunity to a number of our language teachers to attend two European courses, which in our opinion could provide an answer for the needs of our pupils and teachers. We choose language teachers because they are confronted with poorer results and because it is in particular the knowledge of languages which can arm pupils for the future. Knowledge of languages will make living and working in Europe easier and will stimulate the interest for and openness to other cultures. The observation of the language lessons at Dene Magna will allow the language teachers to learn how the British teachers handle the Common European Framework of reference for Languages (CEF). We are convinced that such European experience offers the best possible warranty for dissemination of innovative ideas and a new approach at our school. It will help us to open up school life across the borders. We would very much like to send one member of the board of headmasters as well as one foreign language teacher to attend the European course "Evidence based teaching and learning" in Malaga, Spain, organised by the VSKO. We would expect them to get acquainted with "evidence based teaching and learning", as well as to make a link between academic research and their/our teaching practice so as to enable an analysis that will contribute to improving our skills. In addition, it will help us assess the real learning benefit of the Formacom Plus Project. Finally, the confrontation at Malaga with the ideas and views of other European colleagues will be extremely useful and instructive. The course "Outstanding learning" at Dene Magna, Mitcheldean, UK, also organised by the VSKO, focuses entirely on pupils' learning, as it includes pupils into their own learning process and makes them responsible for this process themselves. This approach fully corresponds to the needs of our school's pupils, and therefore we would like to offer the opportunity of a "jobshadowing" experience at Dene Magna to one member of the board of headmasters and three foreign language teachers (English, French and German) of our staff. By first drawing language teachers of the three foreign language departments into the analysis and improvement of the teaching approach of our pupils we hope to spread the innovative ideas within the various school departments in a very short time as well as to enthuse more colleagues and pupils at our school for innovative European horizons.

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