School Transformation Lab – All students got talent is a 3-year Erasmus Plus project (September 2017 – August 2020) aiming at transforming and innovating didactic models at school.
The project idea came from the 15-year experience of John Rizzo, known in Belgium as a “school transformer” and from a common need felt by many European teachers to “transform their schools” and make them more responding to the current society..
Most school system experts agree about the growing gap between our (traditional) schools and the society: the employability needs and the citizenship needs. Are most existing schools equipping our kids to drive this civilization metamorphosis?
Most XX century schools are structured to train students to follow hierarchical orders and guidance on performing repetitive tasks, often alone, sometimes in competition with other students. XXIst century schools should rather focus on autonomy, entrepreneurship and peer to peer collaboration for learning. Being a teacher is these two kinds of schools are two different jobs. Moving from one to another within the same generation is a highly needed and highly challenging process.
Starting from this point, the main objectives of the project are the following:
-Strengthening the profiles of the teaching profession: the only way to transform a school is to make teachers change their behaviour. The first output (01) will be a process to help them achieving that. The second output (O2) is a curriculum for training teacher, while the third output (O3) is a soft skills curriculum for pupils that will reflect on teacher’s soft skills;
-Achievement of relevant and high quality skills and competences: once a school is transformed, fast students do not have to wait for the teacher or rest of the class anymore. They learn faster, then more. Slow students too have learning tasks in their proximal development zone: challenging but achievable. They really close the gap on their missing prerequisite skills and build much stronger foundations against discouragement and school drop out. Slow students also benefit more teacher time since fast students need lighter support.
-Open and innovative practices in digital ear: In a transformed school, the teacher drastically reduces the amount of collective explanations he gives. The heart of the transformation is to make the student autonomous in their learning. Internet is then seen as an ally to sustain that autonomy, and not anymore as a competitor to the teacher’s knowledge.
In addition, the project will produce an impact assessment tool for measuring the effects on students and teachers (O4), an online platform (O5) and an impact report with policy recommendations (O6).
So far we have met twice: in Brussels in December 2017 and in Athens in March 2018. We are going to meet again in Norway in September 2018.
You can find more info on the project website: http://ecoledudialogue.be/SchoolTransformationLab/
For a presentation made by the project coordinator, click here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6txsUyjEfIc&feature=youtu.be