The school system, teachers and educators have a huge role to play in equipping students with the skills and competences they need to face their future life and career. Promoting critical thinking and problem-solving in the class was the main expectation with which our group of participants came to the course from 30th January to 5th February - Katharina from BG Rein, Isabel from Heilig-Hartinstituut Lyceum, Irena and Emilija from "Josip Broz Tito" High School, Mirela from OŠ Vladimira Nazora Pazin, Miriam and Katarína form Gymnazium Jana Papanka, Maria Irene form Agrupamento de Escolas General Serpa Pinto, Andrés from IES Arcipreste de Canales. The most important learning objective for the week was preparing to foster 21st century skills in students, encouraging students to think outside of the box and strengthen their critical thinking skills.
Talking about key competences for living in the 21st century, participants touched on the topic of learning and innovation skills, digital skills and also career and life skills, focusing their attention on the 4Cs: critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. Most importantly, we learned through hands-on practice how differently our brain and thinking skills function when there’s a problem to solve.
Moving to visual strategies, participants experienced new activities which could be used to stimulate students' creative expression and could be a basis for brainstorming or discussing their ideas. We challenged an “only-art” perception of what “visual thinking” encompasses, by proposing an innovative and digital perspective. As an outcome, our participant Isabel created this visual map of all the participants’ sending organizations.
A reflection on the importance of training students’ critical thinking skills was needed in a world where most of the time they are passively exposed to loads of (dis)information. Participants engaged in reasoning, questioning and debating activities that could be adapted to different classroom situations to help students become active and aware agents of their own learning.
But to introduce a good dose of creativity and critical thinking in the classroom, not only we shall struggle to find new solutions, as innovation often comes from reframing traditional tools. Our participants enjoyed playing traditional games, like Taboo and Battleship, and had an opportunity to adapt them to their own subjects while building a stronger learning perspective on them.
Finishing the course, everyone had a chance to create a personalized display of their training and cultural journey in Bologna and, from a fashion show to a snowball battle, we said goodbye to a week full of laughter, creativity and new experiences!
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.