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Project Summary | Background | Objectives | Timetable
Education and the ability for life-long learning have become the most important key factors for the development of the individual as well as for the development of society as a whole. The democratic substance of the community and the ability for intercultural dialogue will largely depend on the question whether equality and quality in learning processes can be combined as equivalent objectives in a strategy for sustainability.

In future, governments will have to counteract social disparities even more strongly. They have to make sure that social integration is guaranteed by a high rate of participation in higher qualification for all groups in society regardless of their socio-economic or socio-cultural background.

Consequences

Consequently it will become extremely important for teachers to welcome heterogeneous settings as a strong instrument for individualised learning. 

  • They must be able to diagnose different abilities. 

  • They are expected to provide students with individual support in the dimensions of curricular, cross curricular and social learning ...

  • ... and to strengthen their ability for self-directed learning as adequately as possible.

The results of the international PISA studies widely noticed in European countries - have made it quite obvious that positive learning results can be achieved if teachers succeed in adjusting their teaching to the needs of the individual learner in mixed-ability groups and in supporting individual learning processes.

The common problem

Taking all this into account, the partners in this project identify as a common problem that teachers very often do not feel prepared to cope with mixed-ability groups. The lack of professional competence in this area makes teachers doubtful whether the organization and the practice of individualised learning in mixed-ability groups can be beneficial to all the students, the fast and the slow learners. Strong political pressure to introduce or rather raise standards of attainment is felt as an irritation among those teachers with a positive attitude towards integrated and individualised learning conceptions.

What follows ...

In short: It becomes necessary to strengthen the self-efficacy of teachers in mixed-ability groups. Within teacher training and in-service training greater importance must be attributed to the acquisition of innovative teaching strategies in order to achieve most successful integrated processes of learning.

More details ?

For more details about the background and cause of the project, we recommend Susanne Thurn's Kick-off Thoughts and Thesis, presented at the EU-MAIL Kick-off Conference in January 2004:

Some Kick-off Thoughts and Thesis
from Susanne Thurn, Laborschule an der Universität Bielefeld
|- PDF - Download (94 KB, 7 pages) ...

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