What is DE-SCHOOLING IN SCHOOL:
Re-shaping school practices to bring motivation, grit and choice in disadvantaged youth learning ?
THE AIM of our project is TO BRING MOTIVATION, GRIT AND CHOICE IN LEARNING, and TO PROMOTE PRACTICES based on research -not theories- through an approach developed around the concept of `de-schooling`. We understand DE-SCHOOLING as a model of learning that is found attractive, relevant and appropriately paced by students, as opposed to current SCHOOL practices that promotes non-motivating learning and leads to learning outcomes that are not relevant for the labour market.
THE OBJECTIVES (I)CONCERNING STUDENTS, AS FINAL BENEFICIARIES, we assume to develop a non-curricular program, TARGETING `DISADVANTAGED YOUTH`, in the broadest sense of the category, covering various types of situations that negatively influence individuals’ life chance, to access a job offering professional satisfaction, personal fulfilment, wealth and health, to realize their potential; (ii) CONCERNING THE SCHOOL AS INSTITUTION is to prove that it is possible to re-shape the school practices, within and outside the school, through improved quality of teaching-learning environment and better performing students.
WE CONSIDER DISADVANTAGED EACH STUDENT HAVING a certain obstacle for self-realization, as having unemployed parents or over-employed parents (who have no time for children support), immigrant background or parents working abroad; poor results in primary school, lack of motivation and self-confidence, lack of learning skills; risk of marginalization, non- belonging to small community, non-discovered talents or non-recognized competencies; lack of positive school-experience etc.
THE CONCRETE NEEDS approached by the partnership cover COMMON NEEDS of the partners, for which they work together to find a common solution, and SPECIFIC NEEDS of each partner country, for which transnational transfer among partners will be the encouraged solution.
Our intervention is designed for the lower and upper secondary level education. THE MAIN GOAL of the proposed program is to equip the students to meet future challenges, to be prepared as employees, or employers, citizens and parents, managers and civil servants – to achieve their full potential as adults. THE OUTCOMES OF THE PROGRAM that we are going to develop and deliver to students (O2) are the set of transferable knowledge and skills, defined conceptually as ``21st century skills``, and we accept the challenge to pilot our interventions in countries with visible disparities and interesting similarities documented by research evidences. We expect that the program will be efficient in each context, both concerning the common and the locally specific needs, so the further multiplication for other schools and countries will be assured.
The students from our target group -when they enter the secondary school- are tested, through PISA, for their ability to understand and apply their knowledge. The highly reliable and public, available results (PISA report 2012 ) permit to us to have a baseline and to compare the starting situation of target groups among partners. Three partner countries –Romania (RO), Turkey (TR) and Cyprus (CY) have similar main PISA scores (ex. 445, 448, 449 points for mathematics), and similar proxy target, to reach the EU average 494 points, on medium term, while the forth partner country, United Kingdom (UK) generally has performances around the EU average -494 points, aiming to reach the best performing countries results. In this context we build some of the experience and knowledge transfer from UK partner towards the others. Beside general scores, the PISA report offers some interesting comparisons which permit our program designers to take into the consideration also the causes of the various targeted phenomenon. RO and TR have one of the highest percentage of students attending government or public schools (99,4 % and 100%) and UK one of the lowest (56,2). TR has one of the lowest score in problem-solving performance (454 points), RO has one of the highest percentage of students who skip classes or days of school (57,5%), CY has one of the lowest ratio of students to teaching staff in socio-economically disadvantaged schools (9,73 students/teacher), and partners with the lowest and highest percentage of students in schools whose principals and/or teachers have considerable responsibility in choosing which textbooks are used (4% vs. 99%). These disparities among partners permit us to pilot the common tools in as different conditions as possible, in order to check and demonstrate their feasibility and further adaptability for other schools and countries.
Through direct activities the project will reach a number of 160 students, 92 school & educational professionals from 4 countries, involving 7 partners.
Each partner contributes specific and relevant expertise:
# P1 is a pioneering institution in the West region of Romania, regarding inclusive approach of the students and organizational perspective towards improvement and adapted approach to the students’ needs.
# P2 is considered as an example of good practice with regard to conceive Educative Programs for young offenders, developed by the staff, focused on key competencies and basic skills.
# P3 has been involved, through its experts, in designing and developing mechanisms of social partnership that are functional in Eastern and Central Europe that are now ‘exported‘ in countries and regions outside EU. They will assure the link between education and labour market
# P4 was responsible for pioneering child-focused learning in Cyprus, placing enormous value on the family ethos and supportive environment fostered. Through both its curricular and extra-curricular activities, the school encourages commitment and embraces individuality.
# P5 is the third largest local authority in Scotland and the 11th largest in the UK; work-based learning/teaching and employability specific competences are on the agenda of all social partners: government, regional bodies and authorities, education and training providers, employers who have all committed to strengthen the connection between education and the world of work.
# P6 is the highest education authority in the Province under the Governorship of Mersin incorporating and executing all the districts Directorate of Education are responsible for executing and monitoring all formal and non-formal education and training services.
# P7 cover the vocational fields defined in accordance with the needs of business sector, which provide the opportunity to find a job after graduation. P7 have experience on career guiding, internship planning and organizing info days for business opportunities.