Exploring Teachers’ Practices in Implementing Competence-oriented Teaching and Learning
University of Latvia, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, Imantas 7.l?nija 1
E-mail: [email protected] ODI?A
University of Latvia, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, Imantas 7.l?nija 1
E-mail: [email protected]
The research on teachers’ Levels of Use (LoU) of competence-oriented learning and teaching (COLT) in Latvia is a part of research project „Human and Technologies, the Quality of Education” commenced in the schools of Latvia in 2016. The aim of this study was to explore how teachers used COLT in their work. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model was applied as its conceptual framework to identify teachers’ LoU of competence-oriented learning and teaching. The data were collected by a group interview protocol to measure teachers’ actions in eight behavioural profiles along a continuum of use and observation of mini-lesson sample presentations evaluating learning activities according to how strongly they offered opportunities to develop the students’ skills of collaboration, knowledge-construction, real-world problem-solving and innovation, and the use of ICT for learning.
The research findings gave the evidence that majority of teachers adopted and used COLT at Non-Use level, Orientation level and Preparation level.
Keywords: Teachers’ Practices, Competence-oriented Learning and Teaching, Levels of Use, Implementation of Innovation
In 2016, the Latvian State Education Content Centre started a project to introduce competence-based, later reformulated as competence-oriented curriculum in all Latvian educational institutions from pre-school to general secondary school with the aim of promoting the acquisition of necessary skills for living in the 21st century. The competence-oriented learning and teaching (COLT) is also supported by the 2006 Recommendation of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (European Commission, 2018). The introduction of COLT in schools pose new demands for teachers and the successful implementation of COLT depends primarily on the teacher’s ability to understand, adopt and use the new approach. An earlier study by Margevica-Grinberga and Odina (2017) on teachers’ concerns about the implementation of this innovation in education in Latvia revealed that teachers still lacked a clear understanding of the innovation’s purpose and were struggling with the implementation process of the new approach.
The aim of this study was to explore how teachers implemented competence-oriented curriculum in their work. During the case study, the research questions were posed: at what level(s) teachers implemented COLT in the classroom? What factors promoted the implementation of COLT, and what factors hindered it?
Theoretical and practical background
The existing school subject standards and pre-school education guidelines, i.e., Regulations Regarding the State General Secondary Education Standard, Subject Standards and Sample Education Programmes (MK, 2013), Regulations Regarding the State Standard in Basic Education, the Subjects of Study Standards in Basic Education and Model Basic Educational Programmes (MK, 2014) and Regulations Regarding the State Pre-school Education Guidelines (MK, 2012) prescribe the acquisition of separate competences. Based on the recommendations of the European Commission, the OECD, the World Economic Forum and other documents and the successive continuation of the ongoing reform of the education system in Latvia, the Latvian State Education Content Centre, foresees that the new learning content will facilitate a paradigm shift from the transfer of information to the acquisition of competences in every educational institution (Catlaks, 2016). It is expected that the introduction of the new standard will prevent the problems identified in the education system of Latvia: traditional teaching content, fragmentation and information overload, the transfer of information prevailing in the methodology used by educators, insufficient focus on creative activities and lifelong learning competences, duplication in the content of the studies, insufficient focus on the principles of inclusive education, and the lack of modern teaching aids and technologies (Catlaks, 2016).
The new study content defines the concept of competence as “the individual’s readiness for life in a changing world; ability to apply knowledge, skills and attitude in solving the problems of fast changing real-life situations; ability to adequately use learning outcomes in an appropriate context (education, work, personal or socio-political)” (VISC 2016: http://www.izm.gov.lv/). In addition to competences, there are also emphasized such values as life, human dignity, freedom, family, marriage, work, nature, culture, the Latvian language and the state of Latvia as well as forming an evaluative attitude and responsibility for themselves and their actions, virtues (responsibility, dedication, courage, honesty, wisdom, kindness, compassion, modesty, self-control, solidarity, justice, tolerance) and transversal skills – self-knowledge and self-management, thinking and creativity, collaboration and participation, digital skills (Skola2030, 2018).
In the schools of Latvia, mostly prevails frontal teaching where the teacher provides information in front of the class, students perform the tasks that encourage repetition of the solution provided by the teacher in familiar situations. “Certainly, it is essential for students to master the important content of a domain. But memorization alone does not give students the critical thinking and reasoning skills that they will need for success in higher academics and in knowledge-based organizations” (SRI 2012: 10).
The aim of changing the teaching approach is to enable students to transfer their knowledge and skills acquired at school to unforeseen and real-life situations in order to provide them with a deeper understanding of the subject, to use knowledge, skills and to express their attitude (SKOLA2030, 2018). This requires the transfer from the mechanistic education or teaching paradigm to holistic education or learning paradigm with the focus on transdisciplinary, integration of knowledge, development of intelligence (Table 1.).
Table 1. Mechanistic versus holistic paradigm (based on Schreiner, Banev, Oxley, 2005).
Mechanistic Education Paradigm Holistic Education Paradigm
Guiding metaphor: the nineteenth century machine Guiding metaphor: the twenty-first century network organisations
Fragmentation of knowledge The integration of knowledge
Empirical – analytical Empirical – analytical – holistic
Development of thought Development of intelligence
Focused on teaching Focused on learning
Subject based syllabus Problem solving based syllabus
Based on bureaucratic organisations Based on communities of learning
Predatory conscience Ecological conscience
Academic disciplines Inquiry-based
Static, predetermined curriculum Curriculum focused on questions
Focused only on science Focused on human knowledge
Superficial change in behaviour Profound changes in awareness
Mechanistic psychology Perennial psychology
We can know the planet without knowing ourselves Only by knowing ourselves we can know the planet
SKOLA2030 (2018) considers the student who learns to think, co-operate, search for answers, and thus constructs the meaning must be in the centre of the learning process. However, it is hard to agree the change of the paradigm can happen if only everything is made up for students, both students and teachers should learn. A competence-oriented approach is learning-centred teaching for competence development, the teacher is required to switch from the role of an expert who transfers knowledge to a learner first and then to a coach and facilitator of learning processes and instructional designer.
In the school year 2017/ 2018, 100 pre-schools and general education establishments in Latvia began the piloting process of a new competence-oriented content, during which the seminars for pilot school teachers and the representatives of the school administration were organized. It was expected to start the implementation of new content in all pre-school and general education institutions in Form 1 and Form 4 in 2018/ 2019. During five years of the project (2016-2021), it was planned to create a support mechanism for school leaders, teachers, and also for local governments and parents to successfully change the teaching approach in all pre-schools and schools in Latvia, so that by the year 2021 modern education would be available for every age group from 1.5 to 18 years old.
Despite seminars, conferences, discussions, and other support offered to school teams, the planning process of new content, is described as vague and poses many questions and inconsistencies both for parents and for educators. There is still insufficient methodological material to explain the concept of competence approach and its most characteristic methods. When assessing the situation, the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia in June 2018 endorsed the bill, which stipulated postponing the introduction of the new competence-oriented content for a year.
Similarly, in accordance with the plan approved by the Commission for Education, Culture and Science for postponing the introduction of changes, the Saeima has decided that the amendments to the general education programmes in Forms 1, 4, 7 and 10 will come into force on September 1, 2020. The implementation of these programmes in Forms 2, 5, 8 and 11 will start on September 1, 2021 and in Forms 3, 6, 9 and 12 – September 1, 2022 (Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, 2018).
Teachers’ willingness to innovate in the learning process is a key factor in influencing the quality of education and contributing to its improvement. Successful implementation and enactment of curriculum change depend on how quality teaching, learning and assessment are defined, interpreted and translated by educators (Ewing, 2012). Similarly, Marsh and Willis (2007) defined curriculum implementation as the teachers’ translation of a written curriculum into classroom practices. Marsh and Willis (2007) emphasize that planned curriculum interpretation is influenced by teachers’ beliefs and experiences and the interactions among teachers, students and the physical environment.
As the implementation of effective and meaningful content depends to a great extent on the professionalism of the teachers, the authors of the study want to clarify the real situation by examining how teachers implement the competence approach in their work.
Levine (2017) implies that achieving change in an organization requires a relentless commitment to include people and their thoughts in the process. Most change efforts fail because of a lack of understanding of the dynamics of organizational change. Organizations behave like a biological system that attempts to achieve balance by resisting agents of intervention or interruption. The organization as a whole – the “system” – will routinely resist organizational change efforts, above and beyond the resistance of specific individuals.
The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) offers tools to build knowledge about how teachers make sense of reform policies and resulting innovations (Figure 1). The CBAM consists of the three components: Stages of Concern (SoC), Levels of Use (LoU) and Innovation Configurations (IC).
Figure 1. Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) (SEDL n.d.: http://www.sedl.org/cbam/)
As teachers adopt an innovation, they move through seven stages of concern about educational innovation (George, Hall & Stiegelbauer 2013): Unconcerned, Informational, Personal, Management, Consequences, Collaboration, and Refocusing.
This research on teachers’ levels of use of competence-oriented learning and teaching in Latvia is a continuation of former research on teachers’ concerns about the implementation of competence-based approach in education in Latvia commenced in the research project „Human and Technologies, the Quality of Education” (LU No. ZD2010/AZ22) in 2016. The data analysis (274 responses from 109 in-service teachers) revealed that teachers’ primary concerns were Personal (31%), Informational (27%), Management (16%) followed by Unconcerned (9%), Consequences (8%), Collaboration (6%) and Refocusing (3%) (Margevica-Grinberga and Odina, 2017).
The CBAM was used as its conceptual framework to identify teachers’ levels of use (LoU) of competence-oriented learning and teaching. LoU deals with the behavioural profiles of eight different approaches of individuals who are engaged in the implementation process. The Levels of Use are: Non-use (0), Orientation (1), Preparation (2), Mechanical use (3), Routine (4a), Refinement (4b), Integration (5), and Renewal (6) (Table 2). LoU focuses on behaviors and shows how users are acting with respect to a specific change.
Table 2. Stages of concern about educational innovation (based on George, Hall & Stiegelbauer 2013: 8) and Levels of Use of the Innovation (based on Hall, Dirksen, George 2013: 5).
Dimension Stage of Concern Level of Use Description of the level
Unrelated Unconcerned 0 Non-use There is little or no knowledge of the innovation, no involvement with the innovation, and nothing is done toward becoming involved.
Self Informational 1 Orientation Acquisition of information about the innovation and/ or exploring its value orientation.
Personal 2 Preparation Preparing for the first use of the innovation.
Task Management 3 Mechanical use Short-term, day-today use of the innovation with little time for reflection. Changes in use meet more own needs than students’ needs. A stepwise attempt to master the tasks required to use the innovation, often resulting in disjointed and superficial use.
Impact Consequence 4a Routine
4b Refinement a) Stabilization. Few changes in ongoing use. Little preparation or thought to improving innovation use or its consequences.
b) Variation of the use of the innovation to increase the impact on students within immediate sphere of influence and both short- and long-term consequences for students.
Collaboration 5 Integration Combining own efforts to use the innovation with the related activities of colleagues to achieve a collective effect on students within their common sphere of influence.
Refocusing 6 Renewal Re-evaluation of the quality of the use of the innovation, major modifications or alternatives to the present innovation to achieve increased impact on students, examination of new developments in the field, and exploration of new goals for self and the system.
In the CBAM perspective, change is assumed to be a process, not an event. In the CBAM method “each individual is assigned in terms of how far he or she has moved across the Implementation Bridge” (Hall, Dirksen, George 2013: 26). LoU represents one way to document the progress each individual has made in implementing change, however, for the purpose of this research the progress was documented per teams.
The data were collected by a group interview protocol to measure teachers’ actions in eight behavioural profiles along a continuum of use and observation of 20-minute lesson sample presentations to obtain the required information about classroom processes. The LoU focused interview dealt with the plan of competence-oriented learning and teaching (competences, transversal competences, objectives, results, methods, techniques, feedback, evaluation) to the class (10 minutes). The peer observation checklist consisted of items (Table 3.) on teaching approaches used by teachers during their mini-lessons. The data generated from observations and interviews were used to identify the level of use of the innovation.
Discussion of research findings
The data were collected during professional development programme “Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Competence Approach in Learning Process”. The aim of the programme was to improve the general education teachers’ professional skills to implement competence approach in learning process. The research sample consisted of 109 in-service teachers from 37 schools (one pre-school, 11 primary and lower secondary education schools, 3 special schools, 19 secondary schools, 3 youth and children centres). The participants of four teacher professional development seminars had different lengths of teaching experience and they represented all districts of Latvia. During the seminars the participants were supposed to deepen their understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of competence approach in education; as well as to receive methodological support for the implementation of competence approach in teaching. It was expected that the acquisition of the programme would contribute to general and vocational education teachers’ professional skills to implement competence approach in planning, organizing and evaluating teaching and learning process at education institutions.
Upon the completion of the programme, the teachers were required to cooperate with colleagues from different subject areas, choose a relevant topic for problem-based knowledge construction and a specific age group of learners and develop a plan and worksheets for the implementation of the competence-oriented learning and teaching process within this topic and age group. Once the plan had been refined, they had to present the plan of competence-oriented learning and teaching (competences, transversal competences, objectives, results, methods, techniques, feedback, evaluation) and choose the best worksheets to pilot them with groupmates as a mini-lesson of 20 – 30 minutes. After the presentation of the plan and mini-lesson, the teams were asked the following reflection questions (based on the Basic Interview Protocol by Hall, Dirksen, George 2013: 53 – 56):
Have you tried COLT plan in your practice?
Will you implement it in your practice in the future? If so, when?
•What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of your COLT plan in your situation? Have you made any attempt to do anything about the weaknesses?
•Have you made any changes in COLT plan? What? Why? How recently? Are you considering making any changes?
•What modifications or replacements are you considering to make after this presentation?
•How did you work together? How frequently?
•What were the strengths and the weaknesses of this collaboration for you?
How much time did you spend on planning COLT?
To evaluate the team work assignments, the 21st Century Learning Design tool (SRI, 2012) was used consisting of six rubrics of 21st century learning, each representing an important skill for students to develop:
collaboration – to examine whether students are working with others on the learning activity, and the quality of that collaboration, i.e., shared responsibility and substantive decisions together;
knowledge construction – to evaluate students’ opportunities to build deep knowledge that they can transfer and apply in practice connecting information and ideas from two or more academic disciplines;
self-regulation – to examine whether learning activities last long enough to give students the opportunity to acquire self-regulation skills (plan and monitor their own work) and to revise their work based on timely received feedback;
real-world problem-solving and innovation – to explore whether the assignment asks students to complete tasks for which they do not already know a response or solution and requires students to collect and use actual data to implement their ideas, designs or solutions for audiences outside the classroom;
the use of ICT for learning – to find out whether ICT is used to design knowledge-based products and create new information and ideas not only consume information and ideas;
skilled communication – to assess whether students are asked to produce “extended or multi-modal communication, and whether the communication must be substantiated, with a logical explanation or examples or evidence that supports a central thesis. At higher levels… for a particular audience” (SRI 2012: 37).
During the professional development programme four out of six aspects were especially paid attention to: collaboration, knowledge-construction, real-world problem-solving and innovation and the use of ICT for learning using the following descriptors of Table 3.
Table 3. The rubrics for the assessment of team work assignments (based on SRI 2012)Collaboration
Students work individually.
Students work together, but they do not have shared responsibility.
Students have shared responsibility, but they are not required to make substantive decisions together.
Students have shared responsibility and they make substantive decisions together about the content, process, or product of their work.
Students complete the activity by reproducing information or by using familiar procedures.
Students interpret, analyse, synthesize, or evaluate existing information or ideas, but they do not construct knowledge.
Students construct new knowledge about the topic from the perspective of different subjects, but does not apply their knowledge in a new context.
Students construct new knowledge about the topic from the perspective of different subjects and apply their knowledge in a new context.
Real-world problem-solving and innovation
Students use a previously learned answer or procedure for most of the work.
Students participate in problem-solving, but the problem is not a real-world problem.
Students participate in a real-world problem-solving, but they do not innovate, they are not required to implement their ideas.
Students participate in a real-world problem-solving and they innovate, i.e., implement their ideas in the real world, or communicate their ideas to someone outside the academic context who can implement them.
The use of ICT for learning
Students do not use ICT for this learning activity.
Students use ICT to reproduce information.
Students use ICT to support knowledge construction, but students do not create an ICT product for authentic users.
Students use ICT to support knowledge construction, and students create an ICT product for authentic users.
On the whole in four teacher professional development seminars 109 teachers working in teams designed and presented 38 COLT plans on the topics: food; tree and forest; football; water; local regions; local castle mounds; local symbols: hedgehog, linen, bee, birds; sports; ethnographic signs; travelling and commuting; ocean animals; Easter; the Sun, the Earth, the Moon; my house; sustainable responsibility; colors; poetry; park; buttons; Renaissance. The COLT plans were designed alone, but involving the colleagues from school, in pairs and in groups from 3 to 7 teachers representing one school during the seminar.
There were tendencies observed in how teachers planned and presented their COLT process in different regions (Table 4.): Group No.1. 64 teachers representing 10 schools in Northern-East part of Latvia, Group No. 2 13 teachers representing 8 schools from all over Latvia, Group No. 3 consisting of 15 teachers from 13 schools in Riga, and Group No. 4 – 17 teachers from one school nearby Riga. The criteria: collaboration, knowledge-construction, real-world problem-solving and innovation and the use of ICT for learning were ranked according to their presence in the COLT plans from 1 the highest evidence to 4 the lowest evidence, but that did not mean that the highest evidence had also the highest score. For instance, the COLT plans of Group No.1 ranked higher in real-world problem-solving and innovation than in knowledge-construction and the use of ICT for learning. Collaboration for Group No.1was the weakest point.
Table 4. The presence of criteria in COLT plans
Groups and criteria Group No. 1
11 presentations Group No. 2
9 presentations Group No. 3
12 presentations Group No. 4
6 presentations Average score according to group
Collaboration 4 1 2 1 2
Knowledge construction 2 3 1 3 2.25
Real-world problem-solving and innovation 1 4 4 2 2.75
The use of ICT for learning 3 2 3 4 3
Comparing the assessment checklists of peer team work assignments, controversial situations were noticed, especially evaluating the use of ICT for learning – for the same presentation some groups considered students used ICT “to reproduce information” and some groups thought there was also present the highest level: “ICT was used to support knowledge construction, an ICT product was created for authentic users”. Evidently, the concept of ICT use had not been completely understood, in some presentations teacher’s prepared links had been offered, but students could do without them to complete the assignment.
The assessment of collaboration was also the essential aspect which in majority of cases had been over evaluated by giving a maximum score: “students have shared responsibility, they make substantive decisions together about the content, process, or product of their work”, but in reality, very often students had been asked just physically sit together, and neither positive interdependence nor individual accountability had been structured and their work was not interdependent. Unfortunately, the same applied also to 24 out of 38 COLT plans when they were presented to the class and later team taught, the teachers revealed that due to time constraints they had planned separately and made decisions on their own individually concerning the competences, transversal competences, objectives, results, methods, techniques, feedback, evaluation. In 13 cases they could answer only about their own offered assignment and had no clue about the whole picture which was especially essential in COLT process.
Concerning the knowledge construction, the positive aspect was that the assignments were based in several subjects, and there had been discovered discrepancies among the requirements of study content in different subjects. However, in 15 COLT plans students had not been given the possibility to construct new knowledge about the topic from the perspective of different subjects, and in 22 plans from 38 the application of knowledge was not planned in a new context.
Least of all differences in evaluations were about real-world problem-solving and innovation, as especially Group No.1 and Group No.4 were really successful in extending learning beyond the classroom providing students opportunities to collaborate or communicate with people from outside the classroom, explore information and cultures from their geographic area, looking for suggestions for a better way to solve community or environmental challenges.
P?c katras prezent?cijas (N=38), lai noskaidrotu at what level(s) teachers implemented COLT in the classroom? p?tnieces interv?ja pedagogus (N=109), izmantojot LoU focus interview. Table 5 apkopoti tipisk?kie skolot?ju izteikumi par uz kompetenc?m orient?ta m?c?bu satura ?stenošanu.Table 5. LoU Typical Statements
Level Typical Statement
Non-use If I have to explain in my own words what a competence approach is, then I cannot do that.
Orientation Just as everyone else I attend different courses, I look for materials. I am trying to figure out how implement it all in 2020.
Preparation I am trying to reflect on the acquired material during the seminars and courses, looking for additional materials. I try it in my classes.
Mechanical use I collect necessary information and materials on a regular basis. Every day I try out the newly acquired.
Routine Once I have acquired it, it is already clear. Since I have succeeded, I will repeat it next year. It will be easier.
Refinement I use everything I have learned at professional development courses, I share experience with other teachers; I try it out and then improve every time.
Integration Our school management team has made everyone work in teams. Together we create interdisciplinary materials, we plan lessons and team teach.
* there were no cases where someone would suggest a specific example for a better and / or different approach/ alternative.
P?t?jum? ieg?tie dati liecina, ka Latvijas skolot?ji pagaid?m adopted and used COLT at Non-Use level, Orientation level and Preparation level (skat. Figure 2)
Figure 2. LoU teachers adopted and used COLT
Visvair?k skolot?ju (n=28) atrodas Orientation level, kas skaidrojams ar to, ka jaunais m?c?bu saturs publiskai apspriešanai bija pieejams tikai 2017.gada nogal?. Jaunaj? m?c?bu satur? tika konstat?tas vair?kas nepiln?bas, piem?ram, neprec?za terminolo?ija, faktolo?isk? inform?cija, neprec?zi tulkojumi no ang?u valodas. L?dz ar to pedagogiem rad?s ?oti daudz jaut?jumu par jauno pieeju m?c?bu saturam un t? ?stenošanu konkr?tajos Latvijas apst?k?os.
“T? k? m?su skola netika izv?l?ta k? pilotskola, tad n?c?s ?oti daudz inform?cijas mekl?t pašiem. S?kum? aicin?j?m uz skolu daž?dus vieslektorus; sadal?j?m, kurš un uz kuriem kursiem skolot?js ies, jo gribam saprast un g?t skaidr?bu, k? praktiski ?stenot kompeten?u pieeju. Lai kaut ko s?ktu main?t, j?saprot kas un k? j?dara. Cit?di katrs dar?s savu. Un, vai t? b?s kompeten?u pieeja? T?p?c s?kum? viss ir j?izprot.”(I:83)
Orientation level seko Preparation level (N=23), šaj? l?men? esošie pedagogi nor?d?ja, ka visu kursos apg?to, k? ar? citu pedagogu ieteikumus, k? lab?k dar?t, cenšas p?rbaud?t /izm??in?t sav?s nodarb?b?s.
“Semin?r? skolot?jiem uzzin?ju par v?rt?šanas rubrik?m. Nekad iepriekš t? nebiju izmantojusi. T? k? semin?r? r?d?tie paraugi bija p?rsvar? v?cu valod?, g?ju m?j?s un mekl?ju internet?, k?di v?l ir piem?ri, k? t?s veidot, izmantot. Tad izveidoju pati savu rubriku skol?niem par prezent?cijas v?rt?šanu. Rubrika bija dom?ta pašv?rt?šanai un savstarp?jai v?rt?šanai. Priec?jos, ka man izdev?s.”(I:64)
Mechanical use level (N=19) skolot?ji uzsv?ra, ka kompeten?u pieeja vi?iem ir skaidra, vi?i to izmanto ikdien? un gr?t?bas t? nesag?d?.
“M?s jau to agr?k bij?m dar?juši. S?kumskol? bez kompeten?u pieejas ar? agr?k nebija iesp?jams str?d?t.” P?t?juma autores, sal?dzinot, iepriekš ieg?tos datus par baž?m; k? ar? analiz?jot nov?rošan? ieg?tos datus, secin?ja, ka skolot?ju atbildes intervij? atš?iras no t?, k? skolot?ji ?steno un izprot kompeten?u pieeju.
Negaid?ti daudz, t.i., 16 pedagogi atkl?ja, ka vi?i ir dzird?juši par kompeten?u pieeju, bet nek?du interesi l?dz šim nav izr?d?juši par to.
“Tagad visi run? par kompeten?u pieeju. Es uzskatu, ka nav kur steigties, kad b?s j??steno, tad ar? redz?s, k?da b?s situ?cija, .. tad mekl?šu risin?jumus. Pagaid?m tam visam neredzu j?gu.”Conclusions and Recommendations
The research findings gave the evidence that teachers adopted and used competence-oriented learning and teaching at Non-use level, Orientation level and Preparation level. The study also revealed that teachers’ responses where respondents indicated that they had long experience in using COLT in their practice and this was nothing new to them, did not correspond to the observed situation in practice.
The LoU evaluation revealed…..
On the whole the indicators of the success of the COLT implementation or trial process have been:
new designed materials;
visibility of planning process;
some clarity about necessary timing for planning and organizing COLT;
systematic “whole picture” approach – sequential and linked tasks for several days;
community based problem solving;
the interests of the students considered;
the use of multiple languages.
The factors that hindered the implementation of COLT:
separately done planning and development of materials;
fragmentation of subject content;
designing testing not learning activities;
lack of skills to set clear and achievable goals, as well as define learning outcomes;
unclear task instructions;
lack of deep questions;
neglection of sustainability issues in the use of resources.
To conclude, it should be noted that collaboration among teachers is the most necessary and essential factor in COLT. The teachers should experience this common planning process either on their own initiative or due to the requirements of the administration or professional development tutors. The planning process should be thoroughly documented, especially the timing issues, otherwise teachers are complaining about COLT as a time-consuming process, but in reality they cannot say how much time they need for cooperation. When asked about their vision and wishful state for cooperation, it turned out that one hour at the beginning of the week and one at the end of the week would be enough. The question rises – is it really possible “to teach new tricks to old dog” – to change the nature of mechanistic education or teaching paradigm to holistic education or learning paradigm with the focus on transdisciplinary, integration of knowledge, development of intelligence? Another thing is that teachers keep hiding behind the programmes and standards and the requirements of the schools, although the education system in Latvia is really a great platform for being creative, making autonomous decisions in one’s teaching. Agreeing about one meaningful final product to be evaluated from a multi-disciplinary perspective would be a prerequisite for the depth of learning and to avoid the overload of students.
Par šo v?l j?dom?, ko vajag kur pievienot.Konkr?t?kus sasniedzamos rezut?tus j?formul?, skol?niem ir j?b?t akt?v?kiem, laika pl?nošan? j?b?t liel?kai skaidr?bai, cik laiks tieši ir vajadz?gs, valodas lietojums, ja gala produkts ir skaidrs, risin?juma so?i sak?rtojas paši no sevis, jau t? str?d? un nezina, ko šie jaunie kursi maina vi?u dz?v?, k? v?rt?s rezult?tu, nep?rzina, k?di priekšmeti ir v?l 6. Klas?s un k?das pras?bas ir tajos, dz?vo sav? priekšmet?, atsevišku uzdevumu kompil?cija, nav sasaistes, j?gpilns m?jas darbs un darba v?rt?juma krit?riji no vair?ku priekšmetu perspekt?vas.
Specific objectives to be achieved should be formulated, students should be more active, timing should be paid more attention to, there should be greater clarity how much time is exactly needed, language use, if the final product is clear, the steps of the solution are self-aligned, it already works and does not know what these new courses change for them in life, how to evaluate the result, not knowing what subjects are still in the 6th grade and what requirements are in them, living in their subject, compiling separate tasks, not linking,
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