Inclusion and high quality education and training are underlying concepts of the six workshops.
Whole School Approach to learning – Schools working with external organizations
This workshop will look at how a Whole School Approach can create learning environments and contexts that foster competence development for all learners, valuing diversity amongst pupils, and taking into account disadvantaged pupils. Participants will discuss collaboration with outside partners and stakeholders such as business, arts, sport and youth community, higher education or research institutes. The focus of the workshop will be on how such broad partnerships and networks can be built through a long-term strategy based on trust and common objectives and how they contribute to key competence development.
Whole School Approach to learning - Cross-discipline learning
The development of key competences is often facilitated by the provision of context from other disciplines. For example, teaching science in the context of the arts, humanities and social sciences is recognised as an important learning aid. This is known as STE(A)M approach to STEM education. Similarly, the infusion of science and maths into the learning of non-STEM disciplines could strengthen key-competence development in those disciplines. Another example is Content and language integrated learning (CLIL). The workshop will address the development of key competences in general through cross-disciplines learning. Participants will discuss innovative initiatives that have the potential to increase achievements in Key Competences, barriers for their implementations and ways to further up-scale them in different contexts. Cooperation amongst teachers is one of the key features of the Whole School Approach, which aims at creating inclusive learning environments that foster competence development for all learners.
Supporting key competences through formative feedback and student reflection
This workshop will address development of key competences from the perspective of an individual learner and will link it to formative assessment. Participants will discuss processes of understanding and identifying learners’ competence development needs, setting learning targets, understanding one’s own progression as a learner and identifying future learning needs. The workshop will present a concrete example from Ireland where a toolkit has been developed for schools to support the professional learning of teachers around formative assessment and feedback and on students reflecting on their learning. The toolkit has also been used to build understanding among key stakeholders: school leaders, inspectors, teacher educators and examiners about this important learning approach.
Digital technologies supporting competence development
The increased use of digital technologies in education can enrich the learning experience and help students to learn how to use technology in creative, collaborative and proactive ways. Digital technologies can support innovative teaching and learning practices and provide new ways for teachers and students alike to collaborate, create, be informed, and share new knowledge. Seamless integration of technologies require significant educational innovation and implies a process of planning for pedagogical, technological and organisational change. The workshop will explore how digital technologies can support and facilitate competence development. It will focus on approaches that facilitate the innovative use of digital technologies to foster a wide set of competences as for instance Future Classroom Labs and Makerspaces.
Learning spaces: thinking out of the box
Outdoor learning and risky play, media centres, restructured libraries, science labs, flexible classrooms, inclusive playgrounds... It is increasingly recognised that learning can take place in many ways and places and that the acquisition of key competences can be enhanced by offering all children learning spaces which are more respectful of their active nature and offer greater well-being.
When creating new schools or renovating old ones, or simply when thinking about the organisation of a classroom and which pedagogies to use, thinking out of the box is the key to success. To inspire this thinking, this workshop will look at different examples and research findings which show the need to re-think schools' infrastructure to facilitate learning and well-being at school. It will look at how ministries and architects can inspire local policy-makers and school staff to imagine the schools of tomorrow. Finally, the workshop will seek to identify the key enablers to facilitate the development of such infrastructures, and will discuss in particular how policy-makers and head teachers can facilitate this process.
Language-aware schools - how languages shape learning
The workshop will discuss the concept of language awareness and its role in learning and competence development. The teaching of language is an important element across all subjects looking at the various ways language is used in the classroom and the vital role language plays in learning and understanding subject content. Acquiring a good command of academic language goes hand in hand with the development of subject knowledge and understanding.
Language awareness comprises the understanding that language learning is a dynamic process and a continuum — the acquisition of the first language and its different registers and styles continues and is deeply interlinked with the learning of other languages, in different levels of proficiency, corresponding to every learner's circumstances, needs and interests.
Language awareness is key to ensuring that every student reaches an excellent level of command of the language(s) of schooling, and ultimately has a good basis for further learning. The workshop will provide examples of successful approaches in this area, and make the link between different ways of expression. It will discuss the following questions: "What is language awareness and what is the relations between language and learning?" and "Why is it so important, for competence development, to have a language dimension across all subjects?"