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  • The Learning Teachermagazine

    The Learning Teacher Network No 2/2017ISSN 2000-2610

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    Authors in this editionSherma Amar Bahadur, Gerard Dunne, Stephen Hall, Maarja Hallik, Helen Horton, Nadiya Kostyuchenko, Marco Lamas, Jori Leskel, Elma Mahmutovic, Nikolaos Manesis, Cristina Popescu, Magdalena Sweczyck .

    Articles with no author mentioned are produced by the networks admin team.


    Editor .................................................................. 2

    Training for Teachers: PISA - Finnish and European Education Systems ............ 3

    Philosphy for Children ..... ............................. 5

    Educating Primary Teachers in Human Rights in Greece............................... 7

    Teaching English as a Foreign Language ........................................................... 8

    White space for teaching and learning .... 9

    The Importance of Parent Involvement in Schools ............................. 10

    Model for Entrepreneurship Education . 11

    United World College in Mostar Educating for a Sustainable Future ..... 12

    Experiences of Educational Change in Estonia ........................................................ 13

    Curriculum Development in Relation to Low Income Countries .......................... 15

    IdeaLab as a Place for Creativity in Sumy State University, Ukraine ......... 16

    Whilst being in the city of Leipzig I was impressed by its history and immense wounds in several respects. The religious reformer Martin Luther (16th century) began his disputes here with represent-atives of other religions of that time. Centuries later the Battle of the Nations between France and a coalition of other countries delivered a beat. Napoleon lost the largest battle in 1813 before the First World War. About half a million soldiers were involved.

    Somewhat more than 100 years later, the main synagogue of the city was set on fire (1938), the beginning of the most shocking historical period in Europe leav-ing the world speechless. And then again an episode started where, as they say in the STASI museum, romantic feelings are absolutely displaced. 2017 holds so many signs of also having learned from all this cruelty: a massive school building with a

    Leipzig banner above the entrance: Ein Land das Fremden nicht beschzt, geht bald unter (Goethe) - A country that does not protect the stranger, soon goes under. The same banner is on the wall of a theatre and oth-er places.

    In the most important museum of Leip-zig, 23 immigrant learners are being in-formed about Western European culture. And then in the college hall of the Uni-versity of Leipzig: democracy for children. The mayor (Oberbrgemeister) of the city is explaining the demographic future of the city for children (age 8-13) in the huge (blue) theatre hall of the university. At the end of the session children could ask questions. They were critical and he was transparent, explaining what the consequences were for an increase of inhabitants to be educated and for the need for school buildings, larger groups of children in one classroom, more teachers etc. Yet the city is open for new people, wherever they come from. Education and politics come together in an atmosphere to build a positive future.

    Gerard de KruifEditor

    The Learning Teacher Magazineis published by

    the Learning Teacher Network

    EDITORGerard de Kruif,

    Badhoevedorp, the Netherlandseditor with legal responsibility

    EDITORIAL BOARDCharlotte Txen, Naestved, DenmarkAngela Gooch, Bexhill, England, UK

    Line Mareel, Brugge, Belgium

    GRAPHIC PRODUCTIONShift Brand Design

    Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    COVER PHOTO Copy rights UWC Mostar

    AUTHORS IN THIS EDITIONThe authors are listed in the middle

    column of this page

    ADDRESSThe Learning Teacher Magazine

    c/o The Learning Teacher NetworkBox 5089, SE- 65005 Karlstad




    The publication is published four times a year on a quarterly basis.

    The publication scheme is posted onthe network website.

    Materials in the magazine can be used or copied only by permission by

    the author or the editor.

    Views expressed by the authors in the magazine do not necessarily

    correspond to the view of the editorial board.

    VOLUME 8 No.2/2017June 2017

    ISSN 2000-2610

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    arning Teacher

    The Programme for International Stu-dent Assessment (PISA) organized by the OECD is one of the most reliable wide-scale standardized student assess-ment studies in the world. In 2015, more than half a million 15-year-old students completed tests in science, reading, and mathematics. PISA emphasizes the stu-dents ability to think independently rath-er than to rely on memorized methods and results, which makes it well suited for the comparison of different education systems.

    The Finnish education system is con-sidered one of the best in the world. Ac-cording to international studies carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (three times a year) Finnish schools have the highest rate of knowledge in the world. Their

    students have fantastic results from the natural sciences and mathematics. In ad-dition, children and adolescents read the most.

    Why is it like that? This question tried to be answered by the representatives from the school, Dr Magdalena Szewczyk and the headteacher, Jerzy Babiak, during the five-day training: PISA - Finnish and European Education Systems funded by the programme POWER SE Foreign mo-bility for school education.

    In a series of lectures and visits to sev-eral schools, teachers from Polish schools in Wroclaw, from Spain, Germany, Bel-gium, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania tried to unravel the secret of the success of Finnish schools. In all, we were accompa-nied by the director of a high school Mr. Esa Rty, owner of the EduKarlala which

    Training for Teachers: PISA Finnish and European Education Systems

    organizes courses in Europe. The most surprising fact is that stu-

    dents from Finland belong to the group, which in a year spends the least time learning. No school is favoured and no teacher and subject is more important than the other. Finland does not give their students standardized tests. No-body knows what the points obtained in school tests are. There is no school ranking. Finns appreciate the integration of society, and also put a lot of effort in maintaining relationships with people who require special attention. It gener-ates a great system of trust in teachers, who are highly valued in the environ-ment. Individual schools have curricu-lum autonomy; individual teachers have classroom autonomy. It is not mandatory to give students grades until they are in


    the 8th grade. All teachers are required to have a Masters degree.

    Finland does not have a culture of neg-ative accountability for their teachers. According to Partanen, bad teachers receive more professional development; they are not threatened with being fired. Finland has a culture of collaboration between schools, not competition. The Finns believe that the school should prepare the child for something very im-portant: to arrange a successful life and to become an independent person. The most important aspect of education is learning to be independent and practical thinking - in other words, to solve prob-lems. Instead of memorization of rules, young people learn how to find them in books or on the Internet. Finnish schools do not set homework because it is as-

    sumed that mastery is attained in the classroom. The schools have sports, but no sports teams. Competition is not val-ued. The focus is on the individual child. If a child is falling behind, the highly trained teaching staff recognize this need and immediately create a plan to address the childs individual needs. Likewise, if a child is soaring ahead and bored, the staff are trained and prepared to address this appropriately as well.

    Finnish teachers do not intervene in conflicts between students. In this way, they allow them to prepare for various eventualities of life and enable the devel-opment of effective defence capabilities. The people pride themselves on an edu-cational system that offers equal opportu-nities in education for all. Education from pre-primary to higher education is free of

    charge in Finland. The new core curricula for pre-primary and basic education adopt-ed in 2016 focus on learning, not steering.

    Finnish teachers are highly educated and strongly committed to their work. During their training, the teachers can also enjoy the very picturesque Koli Na-tional Park, participate in cooking Finnish dishes at the cooking school, try a cold dip in the lake at the Club Polar Bear, bask in a Finnish sauna and swim in a cold pool. Surely the fruit of this course is to in-tegrate teachers from Europe who are happy to spend time together, and share their impressions of a positive way of life.

    Magdalena SzewczykPhd Private Salesian High SchoolWroclaw, Poland

    Philosophy for ChildrenIt is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic: they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition. (Bertrand Russell)

    In September 2016, philosophy was in-troduced as an