Teaching students to learn, one strategy at a time

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Meta-learning (“learning to learn”) has seen its star rising in recent years, after glimmering persistently for more than a century. In 2006, the European Commission and the Council pronounced “learning to learn” one of the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Studies like Schmidt’s clearly show its value and, to quote Eurydice, self-aware learners can “choose the learning method and environment that suits them best” and “adapt them as necessary” for the best results. Here we present three ongoing projects on meta-learning – featuring some brand-new materials and information!

MEET: Metacognitive Educational Training

MEET project logo

An exciting game about numbers and patterns, about arithmetic, about spatial and visual orientation, about sound memories; but also a learning kit that develops 3- to 5-year-old children’s metacognitive and mathematical skills. The MEET project has performed a remarkable feat: it has created something that looks equally useful to the child and to the educator. The project’s online toolsgamified software for early childhood education and care (ECEC) - provide children with the feedback to improve and the motivation to continue.

The project offers an innovative approach to learning, which prioritises inclusion and individual skills. It is based on the Disabilities for Ability approach, which correlates experience in the special educational needs (SEN) system with experience in the standard ECEC system.

More materials are available on the project website, including an e-library of resources and a set of guidelines for four national contexts; the project also has a regularly updated Facebook page.

MEET is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership among four countries: Italy (coordinator), Cyprus, Spain and the United Kingdom. Through its duration, it has engaged three schools, 60 teachers or ECEC professionals, 90 families and 90 children. It began in 2016 and is slated to end in 2018. The project’s final conference will take place on 12-13 October 2018 in Rimini, Italy.

MetaMinds: Metacognition in European Teaching - Activating Minds through the Implementation of New Development Strategies

MetaMinds project logo

Not all teachers and pupils can figure out the right “recipe” for learning; on the contrary, there are many more struggling “cooks”, who will despair at their performance, their lack of time, their shortage of “ingredients” (resources). MetaMinds addresses this problem by fostering metacognitive teaching and learning strategies. This way, teachers can better appreciate their personal and professional resources, while students can discover their strong and weak points. Take, for example, the relay race activity, which encourages students to reflect on their cognitive process.

More such activities are available in the pupil learning-to-learn module, which is split into two sections, MetaKids and MetaTeens, and covers five topics: reflection, emotions, teamwork, experience and change. The project’s other major output is a pilot teacher training on meta-cognition. Both trainings are still in progress.

MetaMinds is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership among seven countries: Italy (coordinator), Denmark, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. It began in 2015 and is slated to end in 2018.

SLIDEshow: Showcasing Self-regulated Learning Implemented through Data-driven Education

SLIDEshow project logo

SLIDEshow is a continuation of the successful tMAIL project, which we wrote about earlier this year. Building on the developments of its predecessor, SLIDEshow will help introduce self-regulated learning (SRL) in primary education across Europe – that is, provide students with working strategies to motivate themselves, and to plan, monitor and evaluate their work. Its secondary aim is to train teachers in the use of learner information (such as learning analytics) to personalise their students’ learning and to enhance their own professional development.

Its expected outputs include:

  • an SRL teacher assessment toolkit for monitoring students’ SRL levels
  • an SRL teacher training course (both this and the toolkit will be available in eight languages via the tMail mobile app)
  • personalised data-driven SRL practice frameworks
  • an SRL training course for teacher educators
  • a list of good practices
  • an online platform for establishing a European multi-stakeholder network on SRL.

SLIDEshow students at work

SLIDEshow is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership among four countries: Belgium (coordinator), Austria, Greece and Finland. It began in 2017 and is slated to end in 2020.

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To discover ongoing and past EU-funded projects in school education, please go to the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.