Through this project, we aim to promote the acquisition of skills and competences in primary schools.
We are developing and piloting a new teaching methodology for primary schools (the CRADLE methodology) that will employ a cross-curricular activity-based, student-centred, exploratory teaching and learning approach. It will focus on the simultaneous development of foreign language and entrepreneurial skills among pupils aged 8-12.
When teaching using the CRADLE methodology, teachers will foster transversal skills in their pupils that will benefit them across their entire school career and, ultimately, beyond school boundaries into the pre-professional and professional world.
Resources for teachers
The CRADLE methodology will consist of various tools that were developed by and for teachers and school leaders:
(1) a blended Teacher Training Course to train ‘generalist’ primary school teachers to use the CRADLE methodology in their classrooms (target ages: 8-12), focused on the creation and implementation of cross-curricular projects with clear identification of foreign language and entrepreneurial learning outcomes. The course will include:
- Basic theory, methodology and didactics
- Self-reflection and assessment tools
- Downloadable ‘handbook’ of all course content
- Videos of examples of practice
- Lesson plans for physical training sessions
- On-going on-line support (pilot year only)
(2) a Toolbox to support the use of CRADLE in the classroom including cross-curricular project plans each lasting 3-4 weeks (roughly one project/term). The toolbox will include:
- Project-planning templates
- Checklists for strategies & resources
- Outcomes-observation checklist
- Samples of good practice: 'best of' videos from the CRADLE pilots
- Structured teaching materials in the form of project plans and modules which have been developed to correspond to curricular requirements in each country.
(3) Practical Implementation Recommendations for school leaders based on lessons learned from the experience of the pilots to support the adoption of the innovative CRADLE teaching methodology as a common practice in their schools, thereby strengthening school leadership and distributed leadership. They will highlight:
- Why school leaders should aspire to implementing the CRADLE methodology at the core of their teaching practice
- A 'how-to guide' addressing both strategic and organisational aspects of implementation in schools.
The CRADLE Teacher Training Course and Toolbox will be undergoing robust piloting and review iterations over two school years with teachers and school leaders.
Impact & benefits of the CRADLE teaching methodology
The CRADLE methodology relies on 'generalist' primary school teachers making use of their own, independently acquired foreign language skills in the classroom, thereby strengthening their profile and enabling schools to make use of this valuable – and often disregarded – asset.
CRADLE will as a methodology, firmly place students’ interest, curiosity and sense of initiative at the centre of the learning process. Beyond this, it will focus on the intentional development of entrepreneurial skills, which at a basic level are life skills:
- personal responsibility,
- social responsibility,
- curiosity, communication and cooperation (among others)
- all resulting in self-efficacy and value creation.
Through the use of the CRADLE methodology, students will acquire these life skills both in the process of learning, and as a result of their learning – and at the same time will acquire language skills and increase their understanding of languages as a tool for communication in subject-specific settings.