20.10.2017

Teachers promoting a new way of communication with learners

EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2017. A Facebook group was a start for a project that resulted in a course for teachers who want to work with student portfolios. As a result, new methods for teaching and learning were developed.

The project coordinated by the Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej in Poland started with a small fanpage on Facebook called “OK Zeszyt” in December 2015. The aim was to gather a group of volunteer teachers exchanging experiences, talking about their successes and problems.

From the first community, 70 teachers decided to work with student portfolios, with the help of experts from a Learning Schools programme that helped design interactive online courses. The course, designed for teachers who wanted to start a work with student portfolios, was launched in September 2016 with more than 700 subscribers and will end in May 2017, followed by a second edition.

“We wanted to help students to learn by improving teacher teaching. The project builds partnerships between teachers and their students. This partnership helps students to be responsible and independent in their learning,” says Danuta Sterna from the project.

The whole experience was recorded by Danuta Sterna and published in 22 chapters on the blog about Polish education, “Oś świata”. The fanpage “OK Zeszyt” on Facebook now has more than 7000 fans.

New methods for teachers and learners

The work on portfolios using formative assessment helps students to learn effectively and supports the teaching process. The use of formative assessment means that the student includes in their portfolio the written goals of every lesson, tasks and tests and the precise conditions for achieving them. The portfolio is both a notebook and a textbook created for his or her own use and documenting his or her progress. It is also a new means of communication between the student and the teacher concerning learning and teaching.

“It is very difficult to change teachers’ habits in teaching. However, this is exactly what we want. We needed to build a special climate at schools and an atmosphere of partnership. Teachers don’t like to be pushed to do something. So we only showed them what they can do,” Danuta Sterna elaborates.

The profits are numerous for the students and teachers using this method. Many teachers disheartened by the challenges of teaching have started to care passionately about their work again. Teachers engage more in their work, trying new solutions, sharing ideas, improving their skills.

Eventually, the students also see the work with portfolio as a great help in learning, which changes the terms of the relationship between the student and the teacher and makes them partners.

The project: OK Zeszyt
  • Award category: National projects (Poland)
  • Learner target group: Teachers and their students
  • Innovative practice: Giving teachers a chance to develop their teaching voluntarily and by providing new opportunities; encouraging teachers and their students work in partnerships

Project coordinator

  • Organisation: Centrum Edukacji Obywateskiej
  • Contact: Danuta Sterna

Resources

The article series shares good practices on engaging new learners by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2017.

Text: Lou-Andréa PinsonPhotos: OK Zeszyt project

15.02.2024 Hall of Fame

Call for nominations to the Hall of Fame

The International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame has opened a Call for Nominations.

18.01.2024 Erasmus+

Survey reveals that European ALE organisations struggle with access to EU funding opportunities

In a recent survey conducted across adult learning and education (ALE) organisations in Europe in the framework of the Path2EU4AE project, a concerning revelation has emerged: many organisations lack crucial information about various European Union funding programmes available to them. While the Erasmus+ programme is widely known and used in the sector, other funding programmes such as CERV (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values) and Creative Europe are still largely unknown to many organisations.

11.01.2024 advocacy

Stop taxing the right to adult learning and education!

The national and regional interpretations of the European Union's VAT Directive lead to financial uncertainties and problems for many ALE organisations in Europe. We demand a revision of the VAT Directive to exempt non-formal and non-commercial adult learning and education from VAT.