Integrated lessons – the results of students, parents and teachers` surveys
Since the beginning of this academic year, our school has been actively involved in the implementation of the Erasmus+ project “Motivating methods for integrated teaching English and other subjects“. Based on the experience gained during the job shadowing visit to the Spanish school and the courses in Malta, the project participants not only applied and tested the acquired experience in the lessons of their subjects, but also involved their colleagues in common integrated lessons. During the first half of this school year, almost all the school’s teachers got involved in integrated education, many different integrated lessons took place. Although various subjects were integrated, most of the integrated lessons were with foreign languages: English, German and Russian. These foreign languages were integrated into Mathematics, Geography, History, Life Skills lessons, Physical Education, Biology, Technology lessons and other subjects. Also there were integrated lessons of different languages: English and Lithuanian, German and English and the lessons for other subjects.
The school also implemented a long-term integrated project of the Russian language, Religion, Ethics and Art. The project was carried out with 6th grade students to learn the Russian alphabet. During the Russian lessons, students read a text about friendship, learned grammatical constructions and more complex vocabulary. During Religions and Ethics lessons, students discussed about friendship and a true friend. During Art lessons, they illustrated the selected a sentence of the text by choosing the desired digital illustration program. Finally, a digital book “Дружба” was published.
The school organized teachers, students and their parents` surveys about the benefits of integrated lessons in the educational process.
102 students of 5th-8th grades participated in the students` survey. The vast majority of students (82%) said that they like integrated lessons, that they give them the opportunity to learn more (77%). 57% of students were in favor of the fact that integrated lessons encourage more interest in educational subjects. It was nice to find out that more than half of the respondents (62%) would like more integrated lessons. 9% of students said that integrated lessons make it difficult for them to learn. Students mentioned what kind of integrated lessons they would like. The answers were very diverse. Students’ answers to all questions can be seen here:
37 parents of the students of 5th-8th grades participated in the parents’ survey. Most of the students’ parents (73%) answered that they are aware of the international projects carried out at the school and said that participation in the projects has a positive impact on the school’s educational process (94%). Parents noticed that many integrated lessons were currently taking place (94%), all parents agree that integrated education provides an opportunity for deeper learning of subjects, almost all (97%) say that it is important for them that their child acquires international competences at school. However, some parents said (13%) that this type of education makes it difficult to learn subjects. Half of the interviewed parents said that if the school participated in an international student exchange project, they would like their child to participate in the project’s activities in foreign countries. Parents’ answers to all questions can be seen here:
21 respondents participated in the teachers’ survey. All teachers noticed that project participants implement projects ideas: share experience, apply acquired knowledge, involve colleagues in common project implementation activities. All teachers apply integration, 62% of teachers conduct integrated lessons regularly and often, other teachers do it rarely because of lack of time, it does not match the subject program, it is difficult to cooperate with colleagues. According to the teachers, the advantages of integrated education are that the lessons are diversified (85%), the students` motivation is stronger (66%), and the students` broader thinking is developed (57%). Almost all teachers (95%) believe that “international projects have a significant positive impact on development and change of the activities of the educational institution through the participants of the educational process – pedagogues and students.” Children gain experience, creativity, new knowledge conveyed in different forms of expression, improve their competences.” “Participating in projects makes our school open to new ideas and more communal.” However, only 9% of teachers would like to participate in international projects themselves. Here you can see teachers’ answers to all questions:
Comparing the answers to these surveys with the results of the surveys at the beginning of the project, it can be said that the project implementation activities meet the intended goals of the project: the knowledge gained during mobility has a direct impact on positive changes in the school. Students enjoy integrated lessons, they make progress and improve their competences. All teachers say that integrated education promotes more active involvement of the students in the educational process and increases their motivation.
These experiences of the implementation of our project were presented at the national conference “Using the results of training to achieve the quality of education” on February 14th .
The Improvement of English Teachers` Qualifications in Denmark
This school year our school is carrying out an international Erasmus+ project “Creativity in Teaching Foreign Languages” whose goal is to improve the teachers` personal and subject competencies in the context of European education. From August 22nd to 25th the English teachers Daiva Malcienė and Elena Jakimova participated in the project mobility activities in Denmark – they shadowed teachers` job and students` learning in Holmebækskolen school of Herfølge town in Denmark.
Project’s participants saw how English and German are taught, what methods the teachers use, how the teachers integrate foreign languages and other subjects, how the school implements the programs to students who have learning difficulties; how the school carries out certain activities, with the help of which they involve students in the educational process, who live in an unfavorable social and economic conditions; how these activities influence students’ individual progress.
The presentation and implementation of the experience gained during the job shadowing in the Danish school will take place during the English and German language classes from September to December, as well as during other lessons integrated with foreign languages. of which they involve students.
Summer is not just only holiday time. During students` summer holidays the planned project “Creativity in Teaching Foreign Languages” activities were still happening. The second mobility led to Malta located in the Mediterranean islands. July 25th – 29th, the German teacher Asta Milaknienė together with her colleagues from Slovakia, France and Hungary attended the course “Fit in Deutsch”. The course manager Gertraud Lehr from Germany gave the participants versatile knowledge because she does not only manage the Carob institute that organizes teachers` teaching course but also she has worked many years as a teacher, later a school’s principle, therefore, she is familiar with the teachers` work and their needs.
The course participants could not only improve personal knowledge of the German language because the activities were happening in German but also they had the possibility to learn with innovative methods of teaching German encouraging students` activity, creativity, cooperation, and to share their experience with colleagues. The teachers tried out all of their methods in practice working in pairs, groups or individually. Since the group was not very big (7 participants), the teaching quality was guaranteed to be high. The fun tasks, related to the theater, music, art, literature, and the ingenuity of the people ensured a great mood. This course enriched the participants with new ideas, made it possible to improve subject and general competencies and inspired to try the acquired experience in their own classes.
The course organizers took care of the cultural program as well: the professionally made agenda let the participants not only learn but also meet the unique history and culture of Malta, its famous places and try the traditional dishes.
Training courses in Sicily for the teachers of Rokiskis Senamiescio Progymnasium
May 1st 2022 our school’s new Erasmus+ international project “Creativity in Teaching Foreign Languages” started up. The project’s activities began with the teachers` visit to Sicily. From May 30th to June 3rd English teachers Daiva Malcienė and Elena Jakimova participated in the course “The creative teaching of English”. The teachers were happy because the courses were taught by the world-famous British teacher Alan Marsh. The course was conducted in English.
Together with the other teachers from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, The Czech Republic, Finland, our school’s teachers learned creative, active and motivating English teaching methods. The course leader presented a lot of practical tips, teaching techniques which our teachers tried themselves during the course. The course leader presented the teaching material in a playful, attractive and efficient manner. The teachers revealed that the tested new teaching methods are suitable for students of various ages and are easy to apply. The English teachers, who participated in the project, will implement the experience, gained during their training course, with their students from the beginning of the next school year.
It was great because the course organizers were not limited to training but also they recommended a various cultural program to the participants. The teachers that participated in the course could improve their English language skills in various educational activities in the natural environment. The projects participants visited the famous places in Sicily and tried its national dishes.
At the end of the course the international teacher groups competed against each other in a quiz, during which the acquired knowledge was checked. All of the participants were awarded with an Erasmus+ certificate. We are thankful to the European Union Erasmus+ program for the opportunities to improve ourselves in the professional field.
Rokiskio Senamiescio Progymnasium Teachers` visit to Latvia’s Livani school
March 24th-25th a group of four teachers of Rokiskio Senamiescio Progymnasium visited Latvia’s Livani 1 secondary school and participated in the activities of our school`s Erasmus+ project “Motivating methods for integrated teaching English and other subjects“. During the job shadowing mobility our school’s teachers figured out how educational process is organized and adapted to the students with different abilities in Livani school, they monitored the activities in an impressive sport complex, they found out, how the Latvian educational reform is being implemented. During two days our teachers monitored almost 30 lessons of various subjects. The visit to Livani’s school was very interesting, useful and made our teachers think, how to fulfill Latvia’s great experience in our Progymnasium.
The knowledge and experience during the observation of the work in Livani school in Latvia was presented at the teachers’ meeting on April 7th.