The TILL project consortium, our collaborators UNIMORE and FREREF are members of, held a great conference on 21 October 2020 that showcased their outcomes and asked participants to think together about further implementation and development. Parents International was invited to bring the voice of parents to the discussion. TILL is supporting both the lifelong learning of teachers and their specific competence development for educating lifelong learners. This is an approach that suits the so much needed transformation of schooling. Some TILL partners have started developing a sister project together with us on a similar approach for parents as educators.
TILL covers 4 main areas of teacher knowledge:
- Metacognition – to make them aware and navigate learning styles, strategies and methods, and to guide them towards implementing formative assessment methods
- Emotional self-regulation necessary for learning to happen
- Building on individual differences – a core for inclusion and also for quality in education
- Learning environment creation – that often only needs a bit of consciousness and creativity, but makes a huge difference
The TILL package includes a self-assessment tool for teachers and is aiming at creating a recognised EU-wide qualification for teachers at any stage of their careers on lifelong learning.
Project partners presented the tools they have developed as well as the website that makes it available for anybody interested. The presentation was followed by a roundtable discussion with not only the voice of practicing teachers and parents, but also that of secondary school students present. It was followed by a lively discussion in small groups.
From the parents’ perspective we could only welcome this initiative as the lifelong learning of teachers is ked to achieve SDG4 – quality, inclusive education in the spirit of lifelong learning for all. Changing the approach of teachers to the learning of their students – and that of themselves – can help overcome the global learning crisis be decreasing the number of children attending schools, but not learning there. We also highlighted that we are in a leapfrog moment with schools reopening after the COVID-related imposed closures. There is much more support for the use of modern teaching methods, especially digital tools, students have experiences – both good and bad – with learning environments other than the usual one, families are engaged and in many cases their role is more acknowledged by the schools.
At the same time, there is a need for teachers to develop their skills and competences, to move away from the deficit approach, support children and families in assertive communication around learning and thus make the transformation a reality.