The future of learning

(#3 of our Together-Ensemble series)

All over the world, the COVID-19 crisis has required a crucial shift from the world of training and education.

In fact, on 17 March 2020, we found ourselves in a situation never experienced before. Having to telework full time at home sometimes with children being schooled full time as well.

In this context, for many children, teachers and parents, the situation appeared chaotic, and adaptation came with a big cost. In fact, most of us were left to develop our own solutions for increased connections and efforts to keep the desire to learn.

Through this experience, we realised that society could do better to improve the sense of care and solidarity in a crisis, and in particular in relation to the future of education.

What has been shown as efficient? What is needed for the next game? What will benefit the schools in the coming years or the education policy?

This session of Together-Ensemble on 4 June 2020 allowed colleagues to deepen their analysis on the key elements of pedagogy to reinforce learning as a highly social process, the need to strengthen the European education system or to empower students in the process.(video will be added soon.)

Opening conversation

  • Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz is a former senior adviser in the European Commission DG EAC and is now a consultant on education and innovation.
  • Tremeur Denigot is helping the JRC to engage teachers in sustainable science activities to stimulate critical thinking and science literacy among their students.
  • Francois Jourde is responsible for digital education at the European Schools, as well being a lecturer in innovation and education technologies.

You can watch the webinar part here. Please note that this is internal “raw” material, not originally intended for external publication, but knowing the difficult context and associated challenges, we have decided to make it available to all. It is offered by the European Commission with a view to encourage everyone to take similar initiatives to encourage a benevolent direction. 

Main recommendations from the workshop

Over 75 colleagues had registered for this session; of whom 55 attended the webinar live and 20 took part in the workshop on 5 June 2020.

As the speakers and a large proportion of the group were focused on school education, most insights and recommendations concerned this area.

  • Apply blended and connected learning to adapt to various learning approaches and cultures.
  • Reinforce learner’s autonomy with the design of meaningful learning activities, asking learners to solve complex problems. Emphasis on learning rather than teaching. Overall, less passiveness, more collaboration.
  • Address the digital divide for good and provide a safe digital learning environment
  • Reduce cognitive load and distraction – teach how to think, not what to think
  • Provide continuous assessment and continued professional development for educators, to develop their ideas together (not in silos)
  • Create a European community for teachers, to allow peer-to-peer learning, exchanges and experimentation (for instance with an interdisciplinary approach).·
  • Parents must have an active role in online teaching, in particular for younger children, they need empowerment and guidance (parents are not trained in pedagogy)
  • “New normal” requires new way of working & thinking, we need to provide knowledge to everyone in society on all new scenario that we have identified.
  • Provide a model of circular economy in schools. Create mechanisms to collect old equipment for instance.
  • Promote a model of inclusiveness, interconnectedness, cooperation. E-learning should be more dynamic — find the right tools to address diversity and foster interaction.
  • Create experiences of collaboration in schools to develop the collaborative culture from a young age.

Related links

Model proposed by the RSA: https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-andarticles/rsa-blogs/2020/04/change-covid19-response

Tomorrow, I will be so happy to share what we learnt on the topic of sustainable economy with our amazing speakers!

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