Prior to the meeting in Norway we want you to have done some thinking and contemplating concerning the theme. As you are well aware of the heading for the meeting is “Why do I go to school?”, and the angle is the transition from education to work life. This again seen through the filters of; why is "drop-out" a growing problem for many schools in Europe, what may be suitable ways of dealing with this (drop-outs), what will tomorrow’s job marked look like, which qualifications are needed, what will be expected from me and how can my school help me be prepared for my future work.
Together with your teachers you decide if you are to write an essay individually or in groups, or if you want to work on the questions in other manners – BUT it should be some kind of product that you upload on the website (under "Preperations") prior to the meeting.
Through the week the students took part in different activities which gave them different points of view in dealing twith the maintopic. At the end they were asked to produce a text (in groups)where they focused on the theme and topic for this week. Through their own experience and what they had learned from each other through discussions and teamwork. They where asked to lift their focus from an egocentric perspective (ME) , and up to a level where they talk about THE STUDENT. The finished texts were to be uploaded to the project’s website www.smallcities.eu.
Their tasks were:
- What is it that motivates students in their learning and their choice of education,and how may this knowledge be used in the meeting between school and lesser motivated students?
- If you (again; think of THE STUDENT) are to “be the best you can be”, how may the teachers and school system help you? In other words; how can you recognize the good school?
Further more their work were also presented for the rest of the students and teachers through a short PowerPoint summing up their main points and ideas. The following are some extracts from some of the groups.
- Why do I go to school?
Motivations are many and different depending on which country you are raised in. Do we go to school to learn, or to socialise? Some of the motivations for going to school could be that it is a social centre in many students’ lives. It is a meeting point, where the youth can socialise and exchange experiences and talk abut life. For some, the motivation is quite different. The thought of education always comes with the thoughts of the future and “will I be able to get a job?” The mind works around preparations for work life and the motivations is therefore future jobs. The schools can try to make sure that good social environments are established. This will secure that the students have something else than learning and education to come to school for.
- When the students go to school they should be able to motivate themselves, but it is also up to the teachers and the school to keep the motivation. To keep the students’ motivation, lots of things should be taken into consideration. It is very important to have a good environment at the school, where students feel comfortable with being there. A good environment in the classroom is one where the teachers encourage the students to participate, but also where its socially accepted to ask questions when you’re unsure, and reach out to others to get help. The school could for example have place where you can go voluntarily and get help from other students with your homework. Also, the lessons should be a variation between theoretical and practical work, and deal with the topics in various ways. If the lessons are interactive, it is easier to remember and understand the task given. To achieve a good environment in class, a great teacher is also needed. The teachers should always try to be objective and treat everyone equally. If some students are favored, and the others are always looked down upon it will make them feel demotivated. It is important that the teachers listen to the student, and especially to those who have a hard time understanding the subject.
- For a student to be “the best they can be”, they need to be seen by the teachers. They need to feel safe and free to say whatever they want, without being laughed at or punished in some way. The school, and the teachers, needs to see every student in the class too help them in the best way possible.
- This week we have learnt about innovative thinking, about the job market in the different countries, and how we can prepare for our future job/education.
- So let us talk about what we think is a good school. We think that a good school is not only about the material things, but also about how the classes are and how the environment for the students are. How the students have it in recess and break time, has a massive input on how they lean and if they want to go to school or not. As we have already mentioned, it is important that the students are heard and that their opinions are respected by the teachers. So a good school is a including school, where students and teachers respect each other.
- To sum up, we have to realise how important the motivation is in order to be focused on our education and future plans. There are several factors, some of which we have elaborated upon before, which affect the motivation, be it the upbringing or the environment, but most importantly: If the student has a plan at hand, it facilitates taking action. With focus and a goal one is aiming at, it is easier to take steps towards that goal.
1. How does your studentcounceling work at your school? ( - helping the students making the right choices when it comes to education)
2. How does your teachers share thoughts/ideas/experiences/practices etc? (Collaboration)
3. How to motivate the brightest students?
4. Why do people become teachers in your country?
5. What will the role of tomorrow’s teacher be? What will the role of tomorrow’s teaching be? (Role: the expanded role – teacher, parenting, advisor….)
|LECTURE: SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE by K. Roald
|LECTURE: INNOVATION IN NORWAY by C. Kopperud