How do school students see innovative school methods in 2020? This was the central question in our Conference School Methods 2020, which was held in Tallinn (Estonia) during the first week of November. The event gathered 33 School Students who are affected by school and the current range of school methods in their everyday lives, to raise their voice on the topic. Answering to the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Education and Training 2020 Strategic Framework, we are asking for more innovative school methods in European schools.
The way of learning in Europe is limited to a very little variety of methods and single-sided education. If we want to overcome challenges of today and tomorrow and if we want European school students to be active democratic citizens in society, we need more integrative and learner centred school methods that focus on the development of the learner instead of the acquisition of pure knowledge.
The aim of the week was to come up with a list of ideas and proposal for more innovative school methods by 2020. Through exploring the EU2020 framework and what is the contemporary school methods reality for the participants, we gradually set our eyes on a joint vision for 2020. In between the first step of exploring the field and the last one, creating our vision, we got the unique opportunity to dive into the Estonian school methods reality. We met former Estonian minister of education Mailis Reps in the Estonian parliament and visited two educational and innovation centres, focused on technological development in the classroom and entrepreneurship. The last days of the conference hard work was delivered in the creation of our European school students’ perspective. To work more in detail, the prep-team defined five topics based on the input from our participants in the beginning of the week: learner centred school methods, inclusion, digitalization, different school methods for different learning outcomes, and practical learning. The outcome is good material for further advocacy work and hopefully we can adopt a strong policy paper in our next GA.
The conference was organized in cooperation with our Estonian member organization, ESCU. Thanks to their efforts we could work efficiently and in comfort. It was the first time we organized an OBESSU event in such close cooperation with one of our members and this first experience set a very high standard. Once more we want to thank ESCU for being a great and reliable host and special thanks to Laura and Mikk who put the cooperation into practice on behalf of ESCU. We also want to thank the rest of the preparatory team for their efforts and never-ending energy to share their talents with OBESSU.