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Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca Ufficio Scolastico Regionale per la Sicilia LICEO STATALE “Vittorio Emanuele III” Liceo Classico – Liceo Scientifico - Liceo Linguistico PATTI (ME)- Italy Progetto ERASMUS+ 2015 -2017 Responsabile del Progetto: Dirigente Scolastico Prof. ssa Grazia Gullotti Scalisi Teachers’ Round Table «Non-formal Teaching Strategies» Patti, 04/02/2016
How do we educate our children to take their place in the 21 st century? In the past teaching was based on mnemonic study of texts and on the strict execution of a task, developing exclusively academic abilities: learners were evaluated only according to these and not to their real abilities. Consequently, most learners lost their interest and motivation in learning. “We are getting our children through education by anaesthetizing them while we should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves” (Ken Robinson, Changing the paradigms of education). So, we shouldn’t start from a production line mentality, or standardized testing or conformity. We should be going in the opposite direction. All learners have innate capacities and multiple intelligences, so we must not allow formal teaching strategies destroy these, as it has done up till now. Innovative teaching for all teachers is necessary for the present and in the future to help students reach their full potential, to meet the educational needs of the new generation. Nowadays, there is a widespread support for the idea that every student is important but in practice the teaching systems set up favour a few at the expense of the many. The reason why new teaching strategies are needed is that the mass production model of education doesn’t work for all students. The old model was designed to weed out smart students destined for college from those who would work in non-academic vocation but this kind of distinction is no longer valid.
• • Formal vs non formal teaching. Lynne Chisholm, professor at the university of Innsbruck, Austria. claims that non-formal learning is a form of voluntary learning that takes place when teaching is weak. This means that objectives are defined and activities are programmed but not in a conventional way. This teaching model requires a strong motivating factor in learners and a major sense of responsibility. Each member of the group chooses a task, knowing that it is important for the outcome of the activity and overall results. Strong relations among students are created in order to stimulate interests and curiosity. It is a purposive, voluntary learning that takes place in a diverse range of environments and situations for which teaching/training and learning is not necessarily the sole or main activity. These environments and situations may be temporary, and the activities or courses that take place may be staffed by professional learning facilitators (such as youth trainers) or by volunteers (such as youth leaders). The activities and courses are planned, but are seldom structured by conventional rhythms or curriculum subjects. They usually address specific target groups, but rarely document or assess learning outcomes or achievements in conventionally visible ways. Theories supporting the non formal In a study carried out by Ken Robinson, a worldwide famous guru in the field of education and of the development of individual skills, it has been demonstrated that learners who are very skilled at kindergarten do not improve as they move on to higher education, but on the contrary they seem to worsen. Education should focus on fostering innovation by using non-formal teaching techniques, curiosity, critical thinking, deep understanding, the rules and tools of inquiry, and creative brainstorming. Yet, innovation and the current classroom model most often operate as antagonists. The system is evolving, but not quickly enough to get young people ready for the new world. There are though a number of ways through which teachers can bypass the system and offer students the tools and experiences that spur an innovative mindset, open to a life-long learning. Dynamic learning environments are to be created in order to stimulate the development of the eight key competences.
The European Key Competences for Lifelong Learning Competences are defined here as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context. Key competences are those which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment ( from the “RECOMMENDATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning”) The European Reference Framework sets out eight key competences: 1)Communication in the mother tongue; 2)Communication in foreign languages; 3)Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology; 4)Digital competence; 5)Learning to learn; 6)Social and civic competences; 7)Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; 8)Cultural awareness and expression.
Why eight key competences? The key competences are all considered equally important, because each of them can contribute to a successful life in a knowledge society. Many of the competences overlap and interlock: aspects essential to one domain will support competence in another. Competence in the fundamental basic skills of language, literacy, numeracy and in information and communication technologies (ICT) is an essential foundation for learning, and learning to learn supports all learning activities. There a number of themes that are applied throughout the Reference Framework: critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking, and constructive management of feelings play a role in all eight key competences.
We need to reinvent just about everything Innovative methods of teaching are a goal of many educators. Keeping students engaged and interested can sometimes be a challenge. In the short-attention span world we live in, it can be harder than ever to keep high school students excited and involved in learning. Finding new and innovative methods of teaching is a crucial skill for high school teachers. If you want to create a winning relation between teachers and students you have to apply innovative learning techniques
Some ideas for innovative social teaching Visualization A list of disconnected facts will not lead to a deep understanding in students or an integration of knowledge from one situation to another. Knowledge that is organized and connected to concepts with a goal of mastery, including the ability to visualize the concepts, can lead to the ability to transfer knowledge and lead to a deeper, longer-term understanding of what is taught. Visualization is an especially good teaching strategy for reading and literacy teachers.
Wisely managed classroom technology Computers, tablets, digital cameras, videoconferencing technology and GPS devices can enhance a student’s learning experience. Possible uses of classroom technology include using video games to teach math and foreign languages, leveraging Skype to communicate with classrooms or guest speakers from around the world, or multimedia projects that allow students to explore subject matter using film, audio and even software they create. Also virtual classes can be helpful. However, tech devices in the high school classroom require teachers to add a component to their classroom management. Giving students laptops or tablets means teaching them to use devices respectfully and preventing damage to the equipment. Tech-savvy teachers gave Education Week the following advice on using classroom technology: • Explain that the use of tech tools in class is a privilege not everyone has — and if abused, it can be discontinued. • During class, teachers should move around the classroom or use monitoring software to ensure students are using their devices appropriately. When they understand that their teacher will intervene if they go off-task, students know they must focus on their assignment. • Put students in charge of the upkeep of devices. Classes can learn tech terms, basic maintenance tasks, and appoint a few students to serve as tech monitors responsible for distributing and storing equipment. Doing this creates a sense of value and ownership for the welfare of classroom technology.
Form teams, not groups Innovation now emerges from teams and networks —and we can teach students to work collectively and become better collective thinkers. Group work is common, but team work is rare. Some tips: Use specific methods to form teams; assess teamwork and work ethic; facilitate high quality interaction through protocols and critique; teach the cycle of revision; and expect students to reflect critically on both ongoing work and final products.
Active learning: peer instruction, discussion teams and collaborative problem solving All high school educators dread a roomful of blank faces or silence after they open up a topic for class discussion. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Educational Resources (CER), devoting time to active learning projects is one way to get students thinking, talking and sharing information in the classroom. The CER publishes a series called The Innovative Instructor that explores these methods. The publication “Bring on the Collaboration!” describes a class structure where the instructor leads a short overview of the day’s topic and gives students a challenge to meet by the end of the class, such as answering a question or solving a problem. Students break into small groups to do research online, chart out ideas and discuss ways to meet the challenge. Groups upload their work to a Blackboard site, where the teacher can review it. At the end of class, each group shares what they’ve learned with their peers. Innovative methods of teaching can help high school students get the most out of their education. These are just three ideas for directions you can go in your quest for innovative learning for your students.
Learning by doing • • • Think it Dream it Plan it Share it Make it.
Role-playing /outdoor training It is a new teaching methodology that has been adopted in these last decades: it consists in using the direct experience of participants as a fundamental part of learning. In Italy they are carried out through psychological games and psychosocial training. The learners can realize different tasks: from simple drawings to complex manufactures whose realization requires creativity and team game as for example to decide what objects are necessary for the planned activity or to write the script for a theatrical performance. We can consider three phases: to launch it, to implement it, to comment it. To launch is important to explain the logic at the basis of the activity and why it is proposed, and to give instructions about the training itself. During the implementation the teacher has the role of an organizer, supervisor and observer even with a videocamera, in order to take notes of the learners’ behaviuor and dynamics. The comment, or debriefing, is the most important didactic moment when the learners reflect on the experience and try to rationalize it
Other strategies • Business game: entrepreneurship /marketing/commmunication skill • Self-directed learning (give the learners a choice in their learning) • Self - telling