Transcript of "Longlife learning - Teaching and Learning from an international perspective "
LONGLIFE LEARNING -
TEACHING AND LEARNING
FROM AN INTERNATIONAL
DANIELA IONELA CIOBANU
COLEGIUL TEHNIC „AUREL VLAICU” GALAŢI
Teaching and Learning from an International Perspective is part of the ‚Poland and
Romania Promoting Excellence in Teaching’ project, sponsored by the ArcelorMittal
Foundation. The overall aim of the course is to support schools in Galaţi in maximizing the
effectiveness of teaching and learning of the Romanian National Curriculum. This is
supposed to be achieved through an exploration of a range of student-centered approaches
to learning which have been found to be effective within the programmes of the International
Baccalaureate: the Diploma Programme for 16-18 year olds, the Middle Year Programme
for 11-16 year olds, and the Primary Years Programme for 3-11 year old students.
The project consisted of three face to face (F2F) and six online (Online) workshops
which took place in the 2010-11 school year. Together the workshops provided a unified,
holistic, sequential learning experience.
education, blended learning, student-centered approach, longlife learning, international
‚Teaching and Learning from an International Perspective’, part of the ‚Poland
and Romania Promoting Excellence in Teaching’ project, sponsored by the
ArcelorMittal Foundation, is a project that took place in the 2010-11 school year,
organized by International Baccalaureate in collaboration with Mark Twain
International School from Bucharest. The overall aim of the course was to support
the three participating schools in Galati – Aurel Vlaicu Technical College, Emil
Racovita Theoretical High School and Alexandru Ioan Cuza National College -
in maximizing the effectiveness of teaching and learning of the Romanian National
Curriculum. This was to be achieved through an exploration of a range of student-
centered approaches to learning which have been found to be effective within the
programmes of the International Baccalaureate.
At a curricular level the project is a ‘blended’ model in that its fundamental design
is to promote the blending of IB pedagogy with that of the Romanian National
Curriculum. At the professional development level it is a ‘blending’ of two kinds of
learning experiences: face to face and online workshops.
The model was designed to allow us, the participating teachers, to maximize our
participation and learning by facilitating different individual learning styles and
preferences in a range of contexts; some learners might prefer the two-day concentrated
face to face workshop setting, while others may find online learning is more suited to
their learning preferences and needs.
What I most liked about this school was the unconventional learning environment: teachers
and students were sitting on pillows if they needed to, they called each other on their first names,
they all wore trendy clothes etc., all these framed by mutual respect. Another interesting and
surprising fact is the way in which they named their classes: ‚The Hedgehogs’, ‚The Sunflowers’,
‚The Dragons’ etc. Yet nothing is perfect; they had their shortcomings, too: one of them, lack of
In spite of the differences between face to face and online workshops identified above, the two are in
substance more alike than they are different. During this course it became clear that both face to face and
promote learner construction of meaning and personal inquiry;
put the learner at the centre of the learning process, building on prior knowledge and experience,
differentiating teaching to meet a range of learning styles and needs;
promote the making of connections between teacher learning in the workshop and student learning in
classrooms, between and across subjects, between school learning and real world contexts;
provide multiple and varied opportunities for learning with and from others - learning as a social
activity - including discussions, sharing of materials and action research;
emphasize critical and creative thinking, analysis and synthesis, and the exploration of multiple
emphasize varied forms of communication and collaboration including individual and group reflection;
provide opportunities for formative and summative assessment of learning and for feedback to learners;
explore the opportunities and challenges for action arising from learning in the implementation in our
own classrooms and schools.
In the end, it is important to mention that the IB learner profile should portray
both students and teachers, as one of the latest tendencies in present education is
long-life learning. And there is nothing more beautiful in this world than a group of
people as big as possible working in the same direction (moreover, if this is a noble
Hopefully, what we saw in Mark Twain International School in Bucharest will
become real in a few years from now, here, in Galati. And our schools would be full-
right members in the IB worldwide network!