Teachers Diederik Roelandts and Dirk Staf from Leuven’s Miniemeninstituut have received the third prize at the 2019 Queen Paola Award Ceremony for creativity and innovation in education for their ILM project ‘individual pupil mobilities at foreign partner schools’. Both teachers have received the award from Her Majesty Queen Paola in the royal greenhouses in Brussels.
Since 1996, the Queen Paola Award for Education has awarded teachers who distinguish themselves in their profession. This way, the Queen Paola Foundation wants to reward the creativity and dedication of teachers who not only want to transfer knowledge but also try to shape their pupils’ personality through outstanding pedagogical projects.
ILM – the rewarded project – stands for individual learning mobilities. ‘Since 2015 we have been offering final grade pupils the chance to improve their 21st-century skills also outside our school building. This is made possible thanks to our growing network of foreign partner schools in which our pupils can attend lessons for several weeks up to a few months’, Dirk Staf says. ‘Apart from language skills our pupils also improve their intercultural competencies, learn how to plan their schoolwork independently and discover their personal learning skills and ability," Dirk Staf continues. ‘Taking learning into their own hands is difficult but thanks to the learning agreement between mobility pupils, parents and teachers as well as the practical agreements linked to them, this has always worked out well.’ This learning opportunity has stimulated the pupils’ motivation and personal wellbeing and this is an additional success factor.’, Diederik Roelandts adds. Miniemeninstituut’s teachers set up an assignment which contains almost every subject taught at school. The mobility pupils work on this assignment and attend regular lessons (also in the local language) at the partner school. In order not to miss out on crucial learning content from ‘home’, pupils are introduced to e-learning (long-distance learning) which also challenge teachers to rethink their lesson content flexibly. Some people make critical comments though, claiming that secondary school pupils aren’t fit for learning experiences abroad, unable to cope with the consequences, heading for disaster, etc.
‘The mobilities we have carried out so far have proved the contrary. The programme has led to the use of new work forms like flipped classroom activities, video tutorials and Skype lessons. These work forms were unheard of at the inception of the programme but are now common place.’, Diederik Roelandts continues. “Also, our assessment method in the International Project Management study field has become food for discussion thanks to the ILM project. The ‘long-distance approach’ introduces a more flexible and also formative way of assessment’, Diederik adds. In this respect, both teachers have developed their own system based on evaluation rubrics, 21st-century skills and a verbal feedback system (also using self-evaluation). Technically, they worked it out using first Excel and afterwards Microsoft Forms. They then analyse the results in Power BI. Both teachers won’t just leave it at that, on the contrary. This feedback system is the foundation of a monitoring talk, which will soon be fine-tuned by means of a progress monitor.
Thanks to the European learning initiatives in the last few years, both teachers have empowered their pupils, increasing their self-esteem, strengthening their belief in their own abilities, offering them the right perspective and energy to continue studying and especially with the right desire to look ahead to higher education or the job market.
Sinds onze eerste projecten binnen Comenius en daarna Erasmus+ hebben we een netwerk aan partnerscholen uitgebouwd.
Binnen dit netwerk biedt onze school de mogelijkheid om een korte of lange individuele leermobiliteit in een van de partnerscholen te doen.
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Hieronder kan je zien waar onze leerlingen de laatste jaren een individuele leerlingenmobiliteit hebben voltooid. Sommigen gingen in de vorm van een stage, anderen gingen naar school in een van de partnerscholen in Spanje, Italië, Ierland, Noorwegen, Duitsland en Frankrijk. Het zijn er al heel wat door de jaren heen...
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Bij onze zoektocht naar stageplaatsen in het VK hebben we hulp gekregen van de collega's van het GO Atheneum Zelzate. Bedankt collega Filip Bisschop voor de nuttige informatie.