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European Innovative Teaching Award
Project

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School: Institut Sainte Marie de Jambes

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Topic(s) addressed

The topics addressed by this project were new learning and teaching methods (with staff mobilities implemented to facilitate teacher training in both); and the teaching and learning of foreign languages through the use of digital tools.

Target groups

The project’s target group consisted of 9 language teachers, and more than 450 students between the ages of 15-19 who were involved in the testing of new teaching methods through the use of tablets in the classroom.

Methodologies

Methodologies involved the innovative use of new technologies as tools, such as tablet use in language classes to increase student motivation and to position the school’s teaching approaches closer to student’s contemporary lifestyles, while allowing them to learn a language at their own pace. In the interest of departing from a rigid teaching framework, the role of teachers within the classroom environment was redefined to not only provide instructions, but to also accompany and support each student in their individual learning process. With regard to the active role of learners, the drive was to develop a more ‘active’ teaching and learning method that respected students’ learning profiles, and which allowed them to become actors in their own learning processes while learning at their own pace – resulting in a differentiated and more personalised pedagogical approach. The development of key competences was enabled by facilitating student learning through the process of ‘making,’ where they learnt through peer-to-peer cooperation and interaction, thus fostering autonomy, responsibility, creativity, and collaboration. Furthermore, this new pedagogical approach functions as an asset in students’ future career paths given that the knowledge of foreign languages is oftentimes viewed as a positive in the labour market.

Environments

The project’s environment adopted a ‘whole school’ approach, where more than 450 students (aged 15-19 from vocational education and technical sections) and 9 language teachers have since participated as a result of our acquisition of 24 tablet devices. The acquisition of a second pack of 24 tablet devices in January 2017 doubled the number of participants by also involving younger classes (students aged 12-16). In the long run, the entire school will adopt this new pedagogy under the impetus of the Community of Professional Apprenticeship (CAP) cell, the purpose of which is to introduce new (good) pedagogical practices. Lastly, the school administration provided a highly conducive environment that encouraged teacher participation in new projects and in their implementation of new teaching methods.

Teachers

There was a high degree of collaboration and teamwork among teachers, with consensus among language teachers that teaching methods being used were no longer relevant to students’ technological realities, thus necessitating a shift forward. This broad understanding among teachers signalled a willingness to learn and their receptiveness to new teaching methods, with broad participation in the project seen among teachers from various school levels.

Impact

The project’s impact on teachers included their acquisition of ICT skills with regard to learning and pedagogical processes, with new pedagogy leading to better practices that facilitated language learning, and which ultimately resulted in improvements to key competences. Impacts on students include increased motivation for students who enjoy learning a foreign language due to the incorporation of tablets and the introduction of digital elements into the classroom environment. Students’ development of soft skills included increased autonomy, and a personal sense of responsibility for their respective learning experience. The project also reflects positively on the institution, as it depicted the school to be open to the use of new tools and the modernisation process, while remaining cognisant of students’ wellbeing. Following the completion of this project, the school participated in another Erasmus+ project that involved teachers from other subjects including French, History, and Religion.

Stakeholders

Participants

Atempo Betriebsgesellschaft mbH

Address
Austria

Eekhout Academy

Address
Belgium