InnoTeach, Let’s be Innovative! Development of Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Primary School Teachers

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InnoTeach, Let’s be Innovative! Development of Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Primary School Teachers is a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union that brings together partners from Slovenia, Austria and Hungary.

InnoTeach is a European project that brings together partners from Slovenia, Austria and Hungary and aims at transferring best practices from industry to education, providing certification to school teachers. The project’s main aim is to trigger different ways of thinking in primary schools and show that innovation is crucial for success, everywhere – in all subjects, in daily situations at school, in real-life challenges.

The project’s target group are teachers in primary and lower-secondary schools, with pupils aged nine to fourteen. Thus, the project also targets pupils indirectly.

The InnoTeach project empowers an innovation mindset within the European Union by establishing learning environments at schools that fertilise the ground for young people, in which they apply the principles of innovation in solving problems and to learn more about concepts related to entrepreneurship.

The project’s activities

The following activities are developed as part of the InnoTeach project.

  • An InnoTeach training programme with three main skills units. These are: the Development of Innovation (U1), Innovative Teaching (U2) and Making Innovation Work (U3).
  • Training of seventeen teachers, who become mentors to their colleagues in the framework of international joint staff training.
  • An e-training portfolio with PowerPoint presentations, additional explanatory sequences, examples, videos, useful links, in addition to other supporting materials and concrete “homework”.
  • A validation and recognition of skills and competences in line with the ECQA (European Certification and Qualification Association) exam methodology.

The project’s achievements

First, the InnoTeach Innovation Training Model was developed and created. Almost eighty InnoTeach mentors were trained and received international certifications from Slovenia, Hungary and Austria. In cooperation with hundreds of school pupils, those mentors developed sixteen innovative projects that tackled various challenges in education. The new mentors thus contributed to the development of a new generation of innovative citizens and pupils.

The InnoTeach project attained numerous and varied achievements, starting with the application of different methods and techniques based on a valuable interaction with real-life environments. Teaching process innovations were introduced as part of the project, which resulted in improvements at schools and their local environments, for example in school gardens, the development of tourist destinations, cooperation with the elderly, local flower shops, local entrepreneurs and many other things. Moreover, school pupils were encouraged to co-create a learning process through an application of various motivational elements.

At the schools’ level, a critical mass of teachers was reached through the project’s activities, which brought an innovative culture to schools, enhanced by the application of multidisciplinary approaches. At the end of the project, teachers joined and now interact in various international networks, as well as obtaining the actual non-formal education ECQA and Europass certificates, while their school pupils completed concrete innovative projects.

The project and its final outcomes received a very good media response. In addition, InnoTeach addressed at least three of the top ten skills for businesses, in order to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF, 2016), such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity.

Basic information

Country: Austria, Hungary, Slovenia

Coordinator: Institute of Innovation and Technology, Korona plus d.o.o., Slovenia, http://www.innovation.si/

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: general public, industry, parents, primary school students, teachers

Topic: Education, Other

Start year: 2016

End year: 2018

Url: http://innoteach.itstudy.hu/

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Borut Likar, Email borut.likar1 (at) guest.arnes.si

As a first step in the InnoTeach project, the profile of competencies which teachers needed to acquire was identified by the project consortium. By validating and recognising competencies, an exam system was structured around Europass guidelines and ECQA (European Certification and Qualification Association) standards. A comprehensive training methodology was also prepared.

The partners behind the InnoTeach project strongly believe that a teacher who has practical experience with concrete innovative work can become the best mentor to school pupils. Therefore, the InnoTeach training programme addressed three main issues and skills units. Those are:

  • Development of Innovation (U1): Identification of opportunities and problems, production and evaluation of ideas, research and development work and prototyping and presentation.
  • Innovative Teaching (U2): Innovative teachers and innovative teaching methods, innovative use of ICT in learning, practice-oriented teaching, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach.
  • Making Innovation Work (U3): Guidelines for leading the innovative project, supporting facilities based on the prepared concept and training materials.

Seventeen teachers were trained to become mentors to their colleagues in schools as part of the project, based on the prepared concept and training materials. An e-training portfolio was prepared for them and forthcoming generations. This included not only short PowerPoint presentations, but also additional explanatory sequences, examples, videos, useful links and other supporting materials. An up-to-date platform for blended learning was created, using the online learning platform Moodle. The result is a highly motivating and efficient learning environment.

The project’s hard-working participants and its dynamic training programme resulted in concrete, inspiring and innovative activities carried out by teachers. As part of InnoTeach, an international exam system was developed, focused on the validation and recognition of skills and competences in line with ECQA standards. The project’s certificate set very high standards for all its activities and was an additional motivational factor for its participants. In addition, the project’s teacher-mentors received a Europass certificate.

Read more about the project on its website at: http://innoteach.itstudy.hu/

The project’s main aim is to trigger different ways of thinking in primary schools and show that innovation is crucial for success – anywhere - in all subjects, in daily situations in school, and in real-life challenges. In the first step, teachers are trained and equipped with appropriate tools for creative work. Teachers are also encouraged to use the knowledge in practice. They identify a concrete challenge, such as a problem from school, an educational process, the local environment, and perform all the necessary phases to create, develop and implement innovative solutions and bring their idea to life.

Read more about the project on its website at: http://innoteach.itstudy.hu/

 

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