Teacher academy: Innovating education for the 21st century

Thursday 30 November 2023

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Due to climate change and digitalization, European societies are changing rapidly. However, schools may not be doing as well, leaving students without tools to cope with the future.

This is the backdrop for XII-EU-TEACH, a project that aims to provide support to teachers in developing the skills needed for digital and sustainable transition at the European level, promoting innovative or adapted methodologies and approaches with respect to societal changes.

The consortium of the project is organising a series of study visits and co-organized teaching small-scale events as a part of state-of-the-art mapping on four emerging areas:  technological empowerment, environmental sustainability, entrepreneurship, and playful learning, while establishing a strong European network as a driver for mobility.

During the visit in Palermo, the partners and the local teachers observed and engaged in a few lessons applying the approach of playful learning and targeting environmental sustainability, exchanging expertise and confronting their experience.

The activities of the first day

On the first day, the partners from Finland involved the pupils of the local middle school in a playful activity calledWhen Planet Earth Turned Into A Raisin”. The pupils were divided in five mixed groups, including different classes and were asked to devise a way out to peacefully adapt the human species to another planet outside our solar system. They were supported by an explanatory video and flashcards that defined the role and mission for each participant. Throughout the development of the activity, students used a variety of hands-on skills such as drawing and sign language, engaging their creative and critical thinking, as well as strengthening their communication skills, while overcoming barriers and fostering inclusion.

The second day

On the second day of the visit, a group of pupils presented to an audience composed of their peers, teachers and partners the results of a project on bio-architecture developed under the guidance of the technology teacher. Applying theoretical knowledge and understanding built during their research, the pupils created a sustainable model of their own school that embraced eco-friendly principles, using renewable energy, natural and recycled materials, and proposing green areas and a vegetable garden.

Later, an English and an Art teacher conducted an activity called “Memory art game”, showing a way of teaching English vocabulary by using pupils´ drawings, inspired by Renato Guttuso’s painting “Vucciria”, capturing the colours and the atmosphere of the Palermo’s historical market. The activity, as explained by the teachers, adopts an interdisciplinary approach, stimulating students’ cognitive skills through concentration and awareness in being able to carry out and complete an activity independently.

The activities carried out during the study visit gave the local teachers and pupils the opportunity to participate in alternative teaching methodologies than the traditional in-class front lectures which targeted the development and enhancement of transversal skills. By observation and exchange, partners and teachers could deepen their insights into the application of innovative teaching approaches and draw inspiration as well as recommendations for their replication within diverse educational contexts.

The visit was an important and successful opportunity to embark on the path toward an innovative educational approach tailored to the needs of future generations. The next step will be the co-development of unique learning modules on technological empowerment, environmental sustainability, entrepreneurship, and playful learning. Follow us to stay updated!

Read more about XXI-EU-TEACH and visit the website https://21centuryeuteachers.eun.org/. Contact Cecile La Monica: cecilie.lamonica@cesie.org.

About the project

XXI-EU-TEACH – 21st Century European Teachers is a three-years-long project co-financed by EACEA under Erasmus+ Teacher Academies Partnership for Excellence. It promotes cross-campus collaboration to gain insight into how European teachers can approach and develop teaching in emerging 4 subject areas: Technological empowerment, Sustainable learning, Entrepreneurship, Playful learning.


For further information

Read more about XXI-EU-TEACH and visit the website https://21centuryeuteachers.eun.org/.

Contact Cecilie La Monica Grus: cecilie.lamonica@cesie.org.