Numerous analyses point out the persistently inadequate level of knowledge and skills children obtain at Serbian primary schools, underdeveloped competencies necessary for further education and daily life, and low student interest for learning and intellectual work. The PISA tests for years now show that Serbian students have low achievement regarding functional knowledge acquirement, especially in Maths and Science. Although Serbian students achieved better results in the last TIMSS 2011, 2015, 2019 surveys in Maths and Science, Serbia is still far behind many countries in the world. Traditional systems of teaching and learning are not providing students with the skills they need for the moderrn world, since traditional classroom forms of learning are badly equipped to instill the skills needed for developing creative solutions to complex problems. Outdoor learning is an integrated educational approach and researches indicate that this learning model enhances student achievement, inquiry and problem-solving skills, creative thinking, raises students’ interest in science and its application, and provides multiple access points for students to engage in the creative process and meet objectives in all subject areas.
The idea for this project arose at one of the Staff meetings. The results of the trial final test of 8 graders were quite bad. The evaluators came to the conclusion that low achievement was shown particularly in solving the tasks where a certain amount of logical and functional knowledge was demanded. As Serbian schools test students in the following subjects: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Biology and Technical education, we taught these areas should be dealt with in our project.
Furthermore, our educational system prepares national tests for the majority of students i.e. the students taught according to IEP logically have tests prepared by respective teachers. Those students more than others need functional knowledge to enable their safe, successful and efficient transition to further levels of education. That is why we set as a goal to put a secondary focus of our projects on marginalized groups such as SEN students, Roma students in Serbia, refugee kids in the Turkish school, SEN also in the partner schools.
The project team has done some research of the data collected by the assessment of the final exams and came to the conclusion that we could achieve much higher results with the students of our school by implementing outdoor learning in an innovative, interdiciplinary and holistic way .
Outdoor learning in schoosl in Serbia in most cases ihas been implemented in extra-curricular activities and was left to teachers to create and realise them. Within thid projcet we want to integrate this mehtod in curricular classes with the foucs on the STEM subject. Fullfilling this aim we will link these subject to the real-life situations, make them more motiviating for students and easier to learn.
In collaboration wiht the Faculty of Education in Jagodina, a research will be conducted on the impact of outdoor learin on the development of fucntional knowledge of the primary education students in our school as well as in our partner schools from Malta, Greece and Turkey.
Our goal is to create tests related to the assessment of functional knowledge which will be differencieted in order to suit the needs to all the childern including those taught according to IEP 1 and IEP 2.
A very important goal i our opinion is to motivate students to learn, be inquisitive, self-confident and happy while learning.
1. The project partners have agreed that three transnational project meetings will be held. They will be held in the beginning of the project (end of January), towards the end of the first project year (January 2023) and the final meeting (November 2023).
2. 4 LTTs 2 teachers training, 2 LTTs for studnts which will be bilateral.
3. 4 multipliers event in each partner country.
The principal outcomes of the project include delivery of the following three project results:
R1: Out and About Treasure Box – a collection of lessons plans and activities for the learning out of the classroom – This collection will consist of 40 lesson plans created and delivered in four partner schools. The introduction of the book will present the overview of the project with information about participating organizations, project activities, results, impact and useful advice for successful implementation of the activities. Thus this PR will be a promotion of the participating organizations, and the project itself.
R2: Out and About Research – a research on the impact of the outdoor learning on the level of functional knowledge with the students of the primary education. The result will be published and promoted in the academic circles by the professors who conducted it, so in this way it can have a sustainable effect out of the lifespan of the project. It can be used as a relevant source of data for educational decision-makers.
R3: Digitally Out and About – a digital tool to support the implementation and evaluation of the outdoor activities. This digital tool besides being a useful tool for the evaluation of the knowledge gained during the lessons comprised in the PR1, will be a motivating tool for students to get engaged in the lessons, it will boost the self-confidence of the students who do not achieve good results at the regular testing. It will ease and support the assessment that teachers need to perform.
Besides the results and outcomes listed above the other results will include:
– The project website which will promote the project and its results.
– 1 Implemented eTwinning parallel project
– National and European quality label
– Developed three-day training on the outdoor learning
– 4 presentations on the participating organizations, their towns and countries,
– Intercultural competence developed,
– The level of English language knowledge of participating teachers and students raised,
– The self-confidence of the students with weak results in the regular classes will be boosted,
– Students’ motivation and satisfaction with the learning process considerably raised,
Teachers’ motivation for professional development boosted.
Dr.Kamil Tarhan Ilkokulu 🇹🇷 Türkiye
ROBOLAND OE 🇬🇷 Greece
UNIVERZITET U KRAGUJEVCU 🇷🇸 Serbia