Consorzio For.Com.- Formazione per la Comunicazione (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 439-446
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
As a result of the school autonomy and increased financing chances, the workload of school leaders has expanded including several activities, such as developing teachers quality, assessment, HR management.Thus, school leadership has become a priority in education EU policy. Notably, the autonomy has encouraged also the high schools participation in research/innovation activities at National and European level. In fact, thanks to the chance to access to public funds (EU Programmes such as the LLP, ESF, etc), schools have often partaken in EU projects.
These EU projects provide schools headmasters and teachers the opportunity to exchange best practices, to promote students mobility, to test new methods or adopt new learning methods and materials. Thus, also students have the opportunity to cooperate with other countries’ students exchanging experiences and learning from others students, to participate in pilot courses and test innovative educational materials.
Then, the European schools have a waste range of opportunities but often headmasters do not have the necessary skills to manage these activities as well as to coordinate and supports their own school teachers who often partakes in these National or EU projects.
Developing skills for school management through in-service training programmes for headmasters becomes crucial. An effective path should provide an ongoing updating of theoretical and practical skills, including self-study tools to allow headmasters to autonomously manage their training path.
The AHEAD project (funded by the EC under the Lifelong Learning Programme) aims to train the schools’ headmasters through an educational model designed to meet the above mentioned needs through the promotion of the attainment of headmasters practical managerial skills focused on European cooperation (team working, team leadership and team building, fundraising and EU funds, project management).The AHEAD e-learning course includes a theoretical session, a Problem-based Learning session and a course project work where headmasters task is to draft a their own case study based on their experience.
The AHEAD educational model is based on the merge of the Problem-based Learning (PBL), the peer-to-peer and the self-direct learning approaches.
The AHEAD educational model is developed taking into account the Problem-based Learning-PBL, the peer-to-peer and the self-direct learning approaches by merging them into an integrated training methodology supported by use of the ICT tools, as follows:
1. Problem-based Learning-PBL: it is any learning environment in which the problem drives the learning. PBL basic motivation consists on the fact that learners develop the ability to use facts (knowledge) to solve problems. AHEAD project intends to use the virtual PBL to develop headmasters practical skills through the AHEAD e-learning platform.
2. Peer-to-peer learning: the e-learning platform includes a PBL repository that works as a Community of Practice where headmasters can upload scenarios/cases based on their own real experience, sharing their experiences with other headmasters who can help them to solve the problem.
3. Self-direct learning: a Self-learning toolkit for headmasters is developed to provide the headmasters the necessary instruction and useful utility tools to further apply the AHEAD educational model autonomously, to draft cases/scenarios, as well as to arrange further PBL sessions with other headmasters.
School leaders, Project management, PBL approach, e-learning.