Starts 15. Oktober 2018 – ends 14. April 2021
WHO WE ARE?
The LEAD-project puts together a unique group of teacher educators and researchers (minimum 6 persons) of home economics area (minimum 3 Nordic-Baltic universities). It is beneficial to exchange the know-how and experiences between Tallinn University (main applicant), University of Helsinki (partner), University of Agder, Norge (partner) and University of Gothenburg (partner) since the future challenges in terms of content and teaching methods of the subject area are similar. At the same time, the area of home economics education is quite small in each country. Experiences need to be shared over the national borders as every participating institution has their own specific knowledge that cannot be found from the other countries. Therefore, collaboration gives additional value when developing innovative learning materials that fit the needs of all participating countries.
WHAT ARE OUR AIMS?
The project sets home economics education in contemporary schools into the centre for integrating students’ previous knowledge and building organized knowledge structures. The target group in this project is comprehensive school students in Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, who are reached by home economics teachers in given countries. LEAD-project has two intertwined intentions:
- First, to find methods how to implement ICT purposefully during home economics lessons. The innovation lies in a novel understanding of how to effectively use digital technologies in home economics education to promote students learning in a genuine way. There are not many ready-made pedagogical solutions for home economics teachers to apply in subject teaching. Available ICT based learning materials are mostly designed for the introduction of the topic or for revising the learned material. Therefore, LEAD-project is interested to find solutions that would give students help during the learning process when constructing knowledge individually or in the group. Meaning that ICT supports learning activities rather than just getting students’ attention and increasing their outer motivation.
- Second,to find innovative ideas for novel learning tasks, which expect students experimenting and knowledge construction. Experimenting supports the integration of knowledge. Putting school-learned knowledge into action helps students to understand the task at hand; to deepen their knowledge structures; and see the possibilities to transfer the knowledge also in everyday life situations.
WHAT DO WE DO?
LEAD-project includes several activities to reach the goals. Innovative strategies and creativity methods will be used for finding solutions that are novel in all participating countries. Interactive methods, like seminar, face-to-face discussions and group work activities, are used in several phases of the project for raising the knowledge of participants as well as working out innovations. The work is organized mainly through meetings on national level (group work) and internationally through online meetings. Although, one common study activity and all together 7 transnational meetings are needed to have common understanding and make decisions. Co-editing shared files enables collaborative content creation and getting feedback on developed materials throughout the developmental phase and thereby, to raise the quality of innovations. Developed materials will be tested in contemporary schools, one from each participating country, for evaluating the quality and suitability – content, chosen didactic methods and digital tools. The impact will be evaluated by participating teachers, students as well as partner organizations through qualitative data collection. Data is collected primarily for the purposes of improving the materials and getting feedback for project impact, although, it will be used also for scientific purposes. First,developed learning materials (at least for 12 home economics lesson) – activities and tasks that are ready to use in home economics lessons. These are innovative in the context of home economics education as these apply methods of science education, enabling students to experiment and by that construct knowledge individually or through collaboration. Developed innovations help teachers to purposefully integrate digital technologies into home economics teaching and thereby to prepare lessons according to the contemporary needs of the subject. Second,written didactical explanations which open the principles of developed learning materials and offer ideas how to use these effectively in home economics education.
Developed innovations (both learning materials and didactical explanations) are translated into native languages and adjusted to be suitable for participating countries. The principles and good practices of applying scientific approach and digital technologies into home economics education will be shared to subject teachers in every participating country, organizing one-day training events. All developments are made freely available through national online possibilities. After the project, home economics teachers in particular countries have the knowledge and novel skills to use designed learning materials in their lessons. It is predicted, that developed materials raise the quality of subject teaching asdeveloped materials widen teachers understanding of didactic possibilities of using ICT for learning. These help students to deepen their knowledge structures by integrating previous knowledge and skills from other school subjects as well as from students’ out of schools learning situations. These promote the acquisition of skills and key competences through home economics lessons as well as help to transform learned materials into students’ real life activities. We expect that when teachers try new methods in their lessons, they have the knowledge to develop similar tools and methods also individually.
Developed materials can be modified by users to apply in another school subjects or out of school activities. In addition, all partners will continue introducing LEAD-project materials and new learning methods after the project period through their ordinary subject teacher education and in-service teacher trainings. Gained knowledge will be shared to academic readers through scientific articles.