Thursday, 3 May 2012
Friday, 4 May 2012
More detailed descriptions of the four thematic workshops
Workshop 1 Turning schools into 21st century leaning environments
The majority of Europeans spend at least nine or ten years at school. It is where they gain the basic knowledge, skills and competences that they need throughout their lives. Young people need a wider range of competences than ever before to flourish; many will work in jobs that do not yet exist. Many will need advanced linguistic, intercultural and entrepreneurial capacities. Creativity and the ability to continue to learn and to innovate will become more and more important.
The workshop will look at the challenges schools face when trying to adapt to changing environments and preparing young people for their future lives, motivating and engaging them regardless of their background. It builds on examples of activities that aim at improving the ethos of schools, offering more and better cross- and extra-curricular work and activating students via participatory democracy.
Linked to school policy issues: early school leaving, cross-curricula approaches, citizenship, school leadership for learning;
Keywords: motivating pupils, school environment, preparing future world of work, integration of ICT in teaching and learning, social networks.
Workshop 2 Improving teacher competences
The demands on teachers are evolving and increasing and their roles are changing significantly. Dealing with diversity in the classroom, helping pupils to develop the necessary competences and supporting their learning processes, preventing alienation from school and cooperating with parents and other stakeholders in the community - all these requirements confirm that the knowledge, skills and attitudes of each of Europe's 6 million teachers are of great importance. And research makes it clear: it is the quality of teaching that has the biggest and most direct effect upon learners' levels of attainment and their learning experiences.
The workshop will look at the different ways in which teacher education can support teachers in their tasks, starting from their initial education, support during their first years in the profession, and continuous development throughout their careers. Teacher education and professional development can take many forms: external courses, peer learning, team teaching, research projects, networking with teachers in other schools, participation in school development projects via coaching and collaboration - and participating in Comenius.
Linked to school policy issues: early school leaving, migration, school leadership, PISA, Education and Training 2020, right combination of skills;
Keywords: motivating teachers, professional development of teachers, opening to new learning experiences, innovating, normal skills, efficient system, competitiveness.
Workshop 3: Schools that work for everyone
Inclusive approaches in school education, including pre-school education, not only provide better learning opportunities for pupils with special needs, for pupils with a migrant background or for those starting from low skills levels, they also bring benefits to all pupils. Building on diversity rather than seeing it as an obstacle helps all children in the school to better understand the world around them, to build up social competences and to strengthen their learning by supporting their peers.
However, inclusion implies re-thinking how schools are organised and supported: it means more personalised learning, effective learning support, seamless collaboration with other services and stakeholders - and leadership that makes this happen.
The workshop looks at approaches that could inspire you to make your school an even more effective learning community for all children regardless of their backgrounds and abilities, and what this would mean in terms of changing mindsets, improving support and collaboration.
Linked to school policy issues: social integration, migration, early childhood education and care;
Keywords: integration of migrants, citizenships, special needs, democracy, low skills, diversity (going from diversity to richness).
Workshop 4 Supporting the internationalisation of schools
Globalisation is here to stay: with growing inter-dependencies of our economies and with new social networks and borderless personal contacts. Understanding and coping with this 21st century environment requires not only solids basic skills but also the ability to see the 'big picture', think creatively, make choices and apply moral and ethical norms in a new - often virtual - environment.
But this new world brings opportunities, too: for those who can combine their professional skills with initiative and innovation, language and cultural competences, ability and willingness to learn constantly, the doors are open for successful careers.
In this context internationalisation of schools is not an option - it is a must.
This workshop looks into ways how internationalisation of schools can help students enhance their language skills, learn to work together with peers from other countries and become confident world-citizens. It explores the ways in which teachers and schools can engage them in international work and best exploit the opportunities available.
Linked to school policy issues: key competences, entrepreneurship;