Innovation in the classroom is crucial for teachers in today's rapidly changing world driven by advancements in technology, globalisation and changing societal needs. It can be extremely helpful for teachers, in order to engage and motivate the students, to create dynamic and interactive learning experiences, because by incorporating new technologies, teaching methods, and creative approaches, teachers can capture students' interest and make learning more enjoyable. Also, it is way easier for teachers to meet the diverse students' needs, learning styles, abilities and interests. However, we can say that the biggest purpose is to prepare the students for the future, because nowadays companies and organisations look for people that have this innovative mindset and the 21 century skills that include creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. If the innovative teaching methods are implemented, they will give the opportunity to students to discover, develop and put these skills into practice.
The new edition of the course “Innovative teaching methods for teachers, school and adult education staff” took place in Palermo from 18/06/2023 to 24/06/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Dragan and Srdjan from Primary School Sinisa Janic, in Serbia; Charmaine and Diane from G.F. Abela University of Malta Junior College in Malta; Christoffer and Eva from Hagaskolan i Örebro in Sweden; Anni from Taitotalo in Finland and Cristina from Agrupamento de Escolas de Vilela in Portugal.
We started this week by finding a definition of what innovation could be. After that, discovering the most required competences skills that are needed these days for either teachers and students was what we focused on. In order to get to know each other a little better, with the help of a digital tool, the teachers presented their schools. The main goal of the first day was to see and understand how to integrate the innovation topic into the classroom.
There is a new and unconventional way for students to acquire new knowledge and it is Project-based learning, which strongly believes in the research of new content using teamwork. At the same time each student uses his/her creativity when a teacher presents them a real life problem and the aim is to investigate new content, so in a way it is a self learning process and see what the students are capable of. After understanding this concept, we saw the different phases of a good PBL and its key factors to create.
Then, it was time to experiment and approach some practical activities that could innovate any classroom. Outdoor education can play a significant role in innovating a classroom and enhancing the learning experience for students. First, we wanted to understand what OE actually is, why it is a great teaching method and how it provides students with hands-on, real-world experiences that cannot be replicated in a formal classroom. Therefore, since the city of Palermo has some nice parks, we went to one and did some activities, also because spending time outdoors allows the students to be connected with nature and develop an appreciation for the environment. By getting to know the environment, students gain a broader perspective, which can broaden their critical thinking and creativity.
Conclusively, still related to OE, we took a look at an online application for doing urban outdoor activities. Cities have always a lot to offer, so real world treasure hunts and guided tours with quizzes with the help of an app is a fantastic way not only to learn but also to learn more about a place. This was exactly what we did with our participants with the city of Palermo! Since we were already in the internet world, we discovered some other ICT tools that can be used in order to captivate and engage the students in the classroom.
Since two heads are better than one, Peer assessment and learning is another method that, through collaboration, helps students to learn from and with each other. So, we did some practical activities that put into practice this ideology and also with the aim to understand how the participants can use this in their classes. The Peer assessment is seen as the students giving the feedback to their classmates, so in this case feedback really helps to generate new innovative ideas.
In conclusion, it was an intense week and we understood that embracing innovative methods in the classroom is crucial for today’s world. We are pretty sure that our participants will take something from this training course in order to embrace innovation and transform their classrooms into vibrant hubs of learning and growth.
Discover more about this course here.
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.