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A model for increasing collaborative, phenomenon based learning

Collaboration between different aged learners

Jyväskylä, Finland
This project takes advantage of a wide range of pedagogy to promote collaborative learning. Students are given opportunities to participate in planning and carrying out learning goals, topics, different ways of working and evaluation.
Introduction

What is it all about?

“Inclusive, phenomenon based learning can provide great experiences when children at different stages of development team up to solve problems. Students share views and knowledge, and learn to how to work together.”

Classes are traditionally assigned according to age. However, at home siblings of different ages learn naturally from each other and later in life when we enter the workplace we collaborate with people of all ages. So why do we always teach children in groups divided by age?

By encouraging different aged students to work together, we can help our school communities be more cohesive. Older students feel like they are making a difference in the lives of younger students, while younger students gain positive role models, support, and friends from the older students.

Peer learning is when students teach and learn from each other, and can help students take ownership of their own learning, increasing motivation. The combined knowledge and skills of different aged students increases the potential for creative solutions to problems.

In this model students from different years take control of the learning process by planning their own lessons, creating their own presentations, and through teaching each other. The model can be used to teach several classes of students on topics included in the national curriculum which are phenomenon based.

These kinds of student-centered activities develop students’ collaborative skills such as brainstorming, decision-making, and planning and negotiating skills. Students learn how to collaborate on projects with others, as well as how to work independently on different areas and phases of the projects.

The criteria for choosing the topics for the project are that students are interested in them, and that they support collaboration and cooperation between teachers. Through this method co-teaching becomes natural and it can lead to new possibilities for education.

This innovation is a result of a two-year development project in Jyväskylä. The resulting best practices will be disseminated in the area’s schools.

One of the observations of the project is that while they are planning and implementing projects together, teachers will get new ideas from each other. A central focus of the projects has been the Finnish objectives of broad-based learning which include communication skills, digital skills, and everyday skills such as self-care and wellbeing.

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Innovation Overview
7 - 15
Age Group
-
Children/Users
1
Country
2016
Established
-
Organisation
332
Views
Tips for implementation
A committed team of at least two teachers, time for planning.
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HundrED Review
Innovativeness

The innovation combines goal-oriented peer learning with self-assessment and multidisciplinary learning units in an interesting way.

Impact

Collaboration and project-based learning become natural to students.

Scalability

This model can be implemented in all kinds of learning units and environments and can be carried out with resources that are usually readily available.

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

Map

Spread of the innovation

Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
A teacher and class to collaborate with
Everything begins with the desire to collaborate and diversify teaching.
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02
A regular meeting time and a topic for the learning unit
It is best to reserve a specific time for the unit in the class timetables, during which students from different classes can collaborate on their phenomenon based projects.
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03
Activity goals and resources
The team of teachers will define goals for the activities and gather the necessary resources.
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04
The student-centered approach
Students will work in groups to achieve the goals defined for the topic.
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05
Evaluation
It is smart to introduce the evaluation to the classes beforehand, so that the different aged learners can understand the aims of the evaluation and what they need to consider while evaluating themselves and others.
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06
Wrap-up
The projects can be wrapped up in different ways.
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