This project is about ESL and basic skills. The EU wants that ESL should be down on 10% in 2020, and we are far from that goal in the EU. Research shows that lack of basic skills is the main reason for ESL. If a student does not have the basic skills, she will meet many defeats in the classroom, which will cause absence and in the long run lead to ESL. We know that many schools take initiatives to prevent absence, but we believe that new generations of pupils need new methods of teaching. We believe that what is going on in the classroom is, what motivates students, they must meet victories not defeats.
Since ESL is a European problem it is natural for the four partners to try and develop methods of teaching, which will enhance basic skills and thus minimize ESL. Based on our Comenius project about immigration we know that especially immigrants and children of immigrants and some native speakers are in lack of basic skills especially in Math, National Language and Foreign Languages. Our goal is to enhance these basic skills in this group, which will lead to better marks, higher motivation and thus to less ESL. Our goal is to minimize ESL with 50% and to improve the marks by one grade.
We are four secondary schools, who have worked together earlier with good results, and who all have at least 10% of students with immigrant background. We are all very experienced in international cooperation. We have cooperated in a Comenius project: Immigration – a European Challenge. In the involved schools we have in different ways worked with ESL mostly with administrative initiatives, and now it is time to take the initiatives into the classroom, because administration seldom leads to more motivation. To get more motivation we need to find new methods of teaching. With our international experiences we think that European cooperation will give a much stronger solution to problems. Creativity will grove through new inspiration.
We therefore have developed a project focused on the eight European key competences:
- Communication in the mother tongue
- Communication in foreign languages
- Mathematical competence and basic competence in science and technology
- Digital competence
- Learning to learn
- Social and civic competences
- Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship
- Cultural awareness and expression
There will be three Learning/Teachin/Training Activities, where we will have focus on one of the first three key competences + two of the other key competences. In January 2017 in Milan we will focus on Foreign Languages + sense of initiative and entrepreneurship. In April 2017 in Scandinavia we will focus on Math + digital competence + learning to learn. And finally in Bilbao in January 2018 we will focus on Mother Tongue + + cultural awareness + social and civic competences.
Every activity will have the following structure:
- Lecture about the school system
- Strategies and structure of the hosting school
- Working conditions (Contract) for the teachers)
- Discussion on these frames
- The curriculum for the subject of the activity
- Problems of the subject
- Lectures by experts in the subject
- Normal classroom teaching (supervision), focus on the target group.
- Workshop about the observations
- Workshops about ESL (what does the host school do to minimize ESL)
- Lectures by experts in ESL
- What do you do in the subject to prevent ESL?
- Classroom teaching (supervision) again focused on the target group
- Interviews with the students from the target group about the lessons
- Planning of new teaching methods, which must be used at least for two months. This will be the main contents of the activities.
- Guest teaching by the visiting teachers
- Evaluation of the activity
After every activity the teachers involved in the project try the developed method in their teaching for at least two months. The method will be evaluated by teachers and students, and after that all other teachers will be informed about the method, the evaluation and the result, so that they also can try the new methods. As you will see from our time schedule, evaluations will take place regularly to ensure a high quality in every activity and between the activities. The dissemination among the teachers not involved directly in the project will be ensured through meetings with all other teachers teaching the subjects and through information for the whole staff.
We expect to enhance the quality of basic skills, because we believe that what is happening in the classroom is the most important for the motivation of our students, and new generations ask for new methods of teaching.
We expect that the project will have positive effects also in the long run in our schools.
School staff will realize, that focus on basic skills of the target group will lead to classes with more equal conditions, higher motivation and less ESL.
If the project is a success the dissemination to other schools in the regions, in the countries and in the EU will also have an impact on good quality of education.