1 University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
2 Menon (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 239-245
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The world we live in is constantly changing. Our economies, the way we search for information, the way we communicate. The information technologies we are exposed to are proliferating rapidly. Digital technology is universal and virtually unstoppable. In education, it is our primary concern to cultivate the skills and abilities that will allow our children to live successfully in this 21st century world. It is our duty to define new approaches and strategies to prepare youth for future challenges, encouraging their autonomy and critical thinking skills, but also fostering creativity and imagination, as forces of individual growth and social innovation. Schools must adapt and innovate so they can support the acquisition of these 21st century skills.

To meet the needs in this globalization era, students have to acquire 21st century skills. By having 21st century skills they can be effective learners, collaborators, communicators, and creators. Students who have these 21st century skills are more prepared to align with the shift in how people learn, how people get jobs and how economies are constantly changing. School leaders and teachers should be trained to integrate 21st century skills into core academic subjects.

In today’s schooling environment, supporting sustainable and innovative schools requires understanding the short and long term factors that affect the school and the education context. Pursuit of high quality education requires a strong future orientation and a willingness to make long-term commitments to students and key stakeholders - community, parents, employers, teachers and staff, partners, and the public.
The Q4I (Quality for Innovation in European Schools) project -supported from the European Commission, started in December 2012 and adopted during 2013 by 25 schools of five different European countries- aims to develop, test and mainstream a quality development approach for schools that includes a strong commitment to innovation and that is based on the participation of all key stakeholders: students, teachers and parents, employers and representatives of local community.

The present paper describes the Q4I Model, based on 4 "engines of change", that should be embedded in schools development plans:
• Key competences for lifelong learning should become a pillar of school education achievements, in particular the learning to learn competence.
• The use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) to support learning processes and to integrate the informal learning of digital natives should become an integral part of school education.
• Creativity and innovation attitudes and skills are not an optional element of school education.
• Inter-cultural learning skills are a key requirement of future citizens, workers, entrepreneurs.

In addition, Q4I model is structured around 6 operational areas (corresponding to the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) macro criteria):
• Strategy Development
• Leadership
• Community involvement
• Innovation Process
• Key Performance Indicators
• Assessment, Monitoring and Improvement

Areas and engines of change are interconnected within the model. The core of the model is the Innovation Process (where the four engines are placed), enabled by Strategy Development through Leadership and Community Involvement, measured by Key Performance Indicators and monitored by Assessment, Monitoring and Improvement.
Excellence Models in Education, Quality Standards, Quality Management in Education, Educational Policies.