„Not another collection of methods“ was the general sentiment during the project’s first preparation meeting in October 2013. After all, the teachers did not lack material for adequately conveying Europe – there is more than enough already out there. What is often missing is methodical competence, road-tested teaching modules and experience in using such materials. Working together with ten partners from five countries, we have been addressing this lack by working on a project named „Improving Teaching Methods for Europe“.
Our contribution to the project consists of complete teaching units on three topics, each unit conveying content by using cooperative methods. planpolitik has developed a simulation game on each topic, experimenting in the process.
For example, we developed our first game for use when teaching a foreign language (English). In it, the participants work as lobbyists for or against a traffic light food labelling system. The EU Commission’s job in this game is to develop a measured compromise proposal. There is an extra teaching unit for learning specialist terminology and other relevant vocabulary.
There is also a simulation game format for MINT subjects, dealing with network expansion in a fictional border region. There are in-depth briefing and debriefing units from physics teachers. The game is designed as addition to MINT teaching and to clarify the far-reaching socio-political implications of its subject matter. The third simulation game is designed to show ways to live cultural diversity in one’s local community. In a fictional city, youth associations are developing ideas for their own projects. They have to pitch their drafts to the city council in order to receive much-wanted funding for the project. Simultaneously, local politicians are discussing future guiding principles for ensuring cultural diversity in the city.
All three simulations are flexibly usable, suited to interdisciplinary teaching and integrated in long curricula. The different partner organisations provide their expertise: North Rhine-Westphalia’s Ministry for Schools and Further Training kept a critical eye on the framework curricula’s specifications, three teacher training centres offered input based on their experience in conveying methodological competence to teachers. Finally, teachers at three different schools put all chosen methods to the test. They workand they’re available at www.imteam4.eu (in German).
Facts + Figures
Teachers and teachers in training
Ministry of School and Further Education North Rhine Westphalia
Zentrum für schulpraktische Lehrerausbildung Düsseldorf
Comprehensive school Bergisch Gladbach-Paffrath (Europaschule)
University of Maribor (Faculty of Philosophy)
University of Torun (Faculty of Philosophy)
Pedagocical University Locarno
German lyceum Tallin
Expansion of methodological competence in teacher training
Developing of an innovative, transnationally usable repertoire of methods
Supporting cross-sector cooperation of European teacher training facilities and schools
October 2014 until October 2017
I met planpolitik at a teacher training seminar and soon realised that they do methodologically excellent work. That is important to me – they are able to adapt to whoever they are addressing, students or teachers.
MR Joachim Keferstein, Ministry for School and Further Education, North Rhine-Westphalia