We all know how much harm can violence and abuse cause to a child. Children that are exposed to violence, abuse or neglect often have problems in their development, experience learning difficulties and perform poorly at school. Enduring such behaviour can also result in depression and low self-esteem. There is no doubt that teachers can play a vital role in violence prevention, considering the relationship between them, their students and the time spent in the classroom. Therefore here are 5 important topics on how teachers can help prevent violence:
1) Educate children about their rights and safety
Educating children about their rights is one of the crucial steps in abuse prevention. Introducing topics of violence and child abuse in a positive and developmentally appropriate way can educate children on how to tackle unpleasant and possibly dangerous situations and to be “safe, strong and free”.
2) Make your classroom a place where children feel safe and wanted
It is vital that we build a good relationship with children so that they feel safe to tell us anything. No matter how big, unpleasant or complicated is their problem. They should feel that they will be listened to and helped, no matter what. Kids that endure violence or abuse are often convinced that nobody is going to believe them or that they could even get in trouble if they report abusive behaviour. That is why it is really important that they know, they can trust us and we will do everything in our power to protect them.
3) Be informed about recognizing abuse
There are four major types of child abuse and neglect: physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. Learn to recognize signs of abuse yourself and inform your co-workers about them as well. Be sensitive to behavioral changes in children. You can read more about recognizing child abuse here.
Set an example. Speak up when you recognize that a child is being abused and protect them with all means possible. Most states have laws that require teachers and child care providers to report suspected cases of child abuse to child protective services. Inform yourself about the procedure in your country in case someday you will need it.
5) Involve the community
Help educate people in your community about the consequences of violence and abuse and how important it is for us to speak-up, rather than look away.
If you would like to know more about how to adequately address and tackle issues of violence and abuse of children, we recommend our upcoming Erasmusplus course Prevention of Violence and Child Abuse: How can Teachers Help? which will be held in Ljubljana from 19th to 25th of March 2017.
For further reading we recommend: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2003). The role of educators in preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau. (link)
An Erasmus+ course dedicated to building better communication and positive climate in your workspace.
My way is the best way
There are a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to working and living with other people. But you can presume one thing. Generally speaking, we all want to feel good about ourselves.
That said, there are many possible behaviours people choose to achieve this goal. In the jungle of different values and motivations there is no surprise, that sometimes we interact with others who behave completely different from us in their wish of achieving their goal. Their behaviour can be so different from what we consider good and useful, we don’t even recognise it as being done in good faith.
That is where conflict can raise.
What can be done?
Although your values and motives may be hard-wired, your behaviour is not. You choose what you do. This is one of the basic principles of the Relationship Awareness Theory. The theory and its questionnaire SDI provides people an insight into motivational systems, relationship strategies and managing conflicts styles. Once you make an effort to understand others motivation systems and general beliefs, you are able to use our knowledge of that and change your communication with them accordingly.
Relationship Awareness Theory is also the core of our Erasmus+ training course on Effective Conflict Management.
Attend our course and learn to:
Join our confirmed course on Conflict Management this July and learn to effectively manage conflict yourself.
Stress as a source of growth – I may be just one person. But I can be ONE PERSON who makes a DIFFERENCE
»As the world spins faster and faster and technology continues to grow and pull us into its web, mindfulness, resilience and being a focused learner will be crucial skills for all children« Jayneen Sanders
We all know the saying »Just hold on a little more«, but when is just too much for us? Often we compare ourselves with others and in some way looking for confirmation that we are okay. But is it really so? Today, life is much more difficult and stressful. So why do we rush? We want to cram in as much as we can and be productive, but at what cost? Rushing everyday implies a feeling of lack. A lack of time, a lack of permission, a lack of space in the present moment and even a lack of space within ourselves. Everyday we wake up, make breakfast, go to school or work, do some errands and then go to sleep. And this is repeated from day to day. But are we really here? Where is the time for us, for our stream of thoughts?
Often people expect from us we will be perfect and we will be good, no mater what we do. We often tell ourselves that we do not want make mistakes, because this is not good. We have to be perfect everyday in every way. And we ask ourselves »What will others think about me, if I make mistake?« All these thoughts keep on rolling in our head. And these negative thoughts lead to stress. But as soon as we are aware of that causal connection, we have capacity to change something. That’s the first step in stress management.
To understand more, lets illustrate this with a small ball. We keep this ball in our hand on a stretched out arm. At first by keeping it for 10 seconds, then for a minute and then for 10 minutes. Most probably this actions doesn’t seem very special. But the longer we keep the ball in our hand, the heavier is the load. This can be easily transferred to our daily life. At the beginning all our pressures seem easy but if we don’t reset they become harder, because our body simply can not handle them anymore. Then occurs the stress and our poor will, which is only due to all the pressures and requirements from the environment.
In our Stress management programme, you will get the opportunity to gain insight into individual patterns of stress response. You will learn about the positive aspects of stress as a source of progress, mastery and growth and you will also gain knowledge and skills for successful stress management. We’ll show you how you can foster better coping mechanisms from young age. Special focus will be given to the mindfulness practice which is getting more and more recognition in Europe.
You are probably wondering if this is for you. All our work places are full of challenges. And especially teachers which work in dynamic environment of students, parents and colleagues face many different situations. In some of them they need better stress coping mechanisms for themselves and sometimes they need to foster stress coping mechanisms of others, especially children. Teachers can and should play a central role in creating a classroom climate that fosters student learning and social–emotional well being.
At the end we could all learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, some have weird colours, but they all have to live in the same box. You can start making a progress and this progress will fundamentally change the box and all its crayons.
Written by Amadea Gomboc
These rules form a synthesis of some of the main ideas of the Coursera course Learning how to learn — they are excerpted from the book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014. Feel free to copy these rules and redistribute them, as long as you keep the original wording and this citation.
10 Rules of Good Studying
#1 Use recall. After you read a page, look away and recall the main ideas. Highlight very little, and never highlight anything you haven’t put in your mind first by recalling. Try recalling main ideas when you are walking to class or in a different room from where you originally learned it. An ability to recall—to generate the ideas from inside yourself—is one of the key indicators of good learning.
#2 Test yourself. On everything. All the time. Flash cards are your friend.
#3 Chunk your problems. Chunking is understanding and practicing with a problem solution so that it can all come to mind in a flash. After you solve a problem, rehearse it. Make sure you can solve it cold—every step. Pretend it’s a song and learn to play it over and over again in your mind, so the information combines into one smooth chunk you can pull up whenever you want.
#4 Space your repetition. Spread out your learning in any subject a little every day, just like an athlete. Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
#5 Alternate different problem-solving techniques during your practice. Never practice too long at any one session using only one problem-solving technique—after a while, you are just mimicking what you did on the previous problem. Mix it up and work on different types of problems. This teaches you both how and when to use a technique. (Books generally are not set up this way, so you’ll need to do this on your own.) After every assignment and test, go over your errors, make sure you understand why you made them, and then rework your solutions. To study most effectively, handwrite (don’t type) a problem on one side of a flash card and the solution on the other. (Handwriting builds stronger neural structures in memory than typing.) You might also photograph the card if you want to load it into a study app on your smartphone. Quiz yourself randomly on different types of problems. Another way to do this is to randomly flip through your book, pick out a problem, and see whether you can solve it cold.
#6 Take breaks. It is common to be unable to solve problems or figure out concepts in math or science the first time you encounter them. This is why a little study every day is much better than a lot of studying all at once. When you get frustrated with a math or science problem, take a break so that another part of your mind can take over and work in the background.
#7 Use explanatory questioning and simple analogies. Whenever you are struggling with a concept, think to yourself, How can I explain this so that a ten-year-old could understand it? Using an analogy really helps, like saying that the flow of electricity is like the flow of water. Don’t just think your explanation—say it out loud or put it in writing. The additional effort of speaking and writing allows you to more deeply encode (that is, convert into neural memory structures) what you are learning.
#8 Focus. Turn off all interrupting beeps and alarms on your phone and computer, and then turn on a timer for twenty-five minutes. Focus intently for those twenty-five minutes and try to work as diligently as you can. After the timer goes off, give yourself a small, fun reward. A few of these sessions in a day can really move your studies forward. Try to set up times and places where studying—not glancing at your computer or phone—is just something you naturally do.
#9 Eat your frogs first. Do the hardest thing earliest in the day, when you are fresh.
#10 Make a mental contrast. Imagine where you’ve come from and contrast that with the dream of where your studies will take you. Post a picture or words in your workspace to remind you of your dream. Look at that when you find your motivation lagging. This work will pay off both for you and those you love!
10 Rules of Bad Studying
Excerpted from A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014
Avoid these techniques—they can waste your time even while they fool you into thinking you’re learning!
#1 Passive rereading–sitting passively and running your eyes back over a page. Unless you can prove that the material is moving into your brain by recalling the main ideas without looking at the page, rereading is a waste of time.
#2 Letting highlights overwhelm you. Highlighting your text can fool your mind into thinking you are putting something in your brain, when all you’re really doing is moving your hand. A little highlighting here and there is okay—sometimes it can be helpful in flagging important points. But if you are using highlighting as a memory tool, make sure that what you mark is also going into your brain.
#3 Merely glancing at a problem’s solution and thinking you know how to do it. This is one of the worst errors students make while studying. You need to be able to solve a problem step-by-step, without looking at the solution.
#4 Waiting until the last minute to study. Would you cram at the last minute if you were practicing for a track meet? Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
#5 Repeatedly solving problems of the same type that you already know how to solve. If you just sit around solving similar problems during your practice, you’re not actually preparing for a test—it’s like preparing for a big basketball game by just practicing your dribbling.
#6 Letting study sessions with friends turn into chat sessions. Checking your problem solving with friends, and quizzing one another on what you know, can make learning more enjoyable, expose flaws in your thinking, and deepen your learning. But if your joint study sessions turn to fun before the work is done, you’re wasting your time and should find another study group.
#7 Neglecting to read the textbook before you start working problems. Would you dive into a pool before you knew how to swim? The textbook is your swimming instructor—it guides you toward the answers. You will flounder and waste your time if you don’t bother to read it. Before you begin to read, however, take a quick glance over the chapter or section to get a sense of what it’s about.
#8 Not checking with your instructors or classmates to clear up points of confusion. Professors are used to lost students coming in for guidance—it’s our job to help you. The students we worry about are the ones who don’t come in. Don’t be one of those students.
#9 Thinking you can learn deeply when you are being constantly distracted. Every tiny pull toward an instant message or conversation means you have less brain power to devote to learning. Every tug of interrupted attention pulls out tiny neural roots before they can grow.
#10 Not getting enough sleep. Your brain pieces together problem-solving techniques when you sleep, and it also practices and repeats whatever you put in mind before you go to sleep. Prolonged fatigue allows toxins to build up in the brain that disrupt the neural connections you need to think quickly and well. If you don’t get a good sleep before a test, NOTHING ELSE YOU HAVE DONE WILL MATTER.
The knowledge today is very accessible if we persist in constant learning. I have to admit that I am quite an addict to Coursera courses, which let me to experience different fields. Here I want to recommend three quality courses for teachers’ professional and personal development.
#1 Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects
Teachers want to help their students to learn but sometimes it is difficult to walk the talk. This course provides an easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. It explains about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. The course also covers illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping master tough subjects.
Join the course here.
#2 Teaching Character and creating positive classrooms
Students learn better if they know how to use their character strengths. This course explores key ideas of positive psychology and shows how great teachers apply those lessons to maximize student engagement and accomplishment. It introduces Seligman’s 24 Character Strengths and show examples how teachers can use the framework in the classroom.
Join the course here.
#3 Life of happiness and fulfilment
Happy teacher, happy student. A happy teacher inspires their students and commits to students’ progression. This course draws content from a variety of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural decision theory to offer a tested and practical recipe for leading a life of happiness and fulfilment. The course structure follows to happiness sins, happiness habits and happiness exercises. By this course teachers will not only contribute to their own happiness but also get many ideas for exercises they can use with their students.
Join the course here.
When you put together Teja and children, something thought-provoking will happen. Teja believes in teaching science to very young children. So she designed science clubs for primary schools. The first results are promising. Teja will share her experience with teachers in Erasmus+ course Science for primary school children: when complicated becomes fun and easily understandable. Teja Bajt is a biologist with a master of research degree in molecular and cellular biology, awarded from University of Birmingham, UK. In years working in different research institutes in Slovenia, Italy and United Kingdom she gained valuable knowledge in how the research world works and obtained a first-hand experience in conducting scientific experiments. Now she uses this knowledge to inspire young children. We spoke with her about the science clubs for children and about myths connected with teaching science to young learners.
This year you started with your science clubs for 6 to 10 years old children. I heard that even parents want to join this club. What are the first results of this project?
Yes, even the parents said they would be more than happy to learn about science and STEM in this way, through practical hands-on experiments. When they come to pick up their children, after the lesson is over, children often go out of the classroom to bring the waiting parents inside and show them what they were doing that hour and they make their parents try the experiments by themselves. Usually, the children are then amused, because their parents do not do so well as children did. Of course, the reality is they were doing that for the past hour and they got skilled by practicing.
The first results can definitely be already seen. One of our main goals of this science clubs was to show children that STEM is not difficult, if only presented in an interesting manner and that children can do the difficult experiments entirely by themselves. At the beginning, when they started the programme, they were shy and unsure in themselves, but with a lot of encouragement, positive teaching approach and with increasing the difficulty of experiments from lesson to lesson children started to believe in themselves.
How does your science clubs look like?
In our science clubs there are children from 6 to 10 years of age. The science club takes place once a week, for one school hour. Well, at least theoretically the science club lesson should take one school hour. But children get so excited, they do not want to go home and therefore, we usually stay for longer.
In each group there are up to 12 children and there are always two instructors (teachers) present, who are there to help them during the experimental procedures. At the beginning of each science lesson the young scientists are confronted with a problem to which we need to find a solution to or to test, if something will or will not work.
After that, the children conduct the experiments, by the help of instructors. The experiments are all hands-on practical experiments with basic outline mimicking the real methodology and scientific techniques used in a real “adults” science. The experimental work and the lesson course is adapted from scientific world and that is something special for children, as they do not meet this kind of work flow in their everyday life. Through practical experiments the young scientists gather results, leading to the scientific conclusions, enhancing their knowledge of the topic. The lesson wraps up with the summary of the results, like in the real science world.
What exactly do you teach such young children?
We teach them about different aspects of science from physics, medicine, biology, chemistry, geology, etc. But most importantly, we are trying to make them realise, that the science is all around us and inside of us, so there is nothing difficult about that. We also teach them that, if you work towards your goals you always get the result.
Can you share one experiment with us?
I will share the last experiment we did in this school year. In Slovenia we have a nice warm weather and for the last science club lesson we wanted to make it special for the children. Therefore, we decided to make an ice-cream in a scientific way. We did not use the refrigerator or freezer.
When confronted with the idea of making the ice-cream without using the refrigerator or freezer, the children were very sceptical, if it is going to work. They said, it is a shame, because they would love to eat it.
Therefore, we started mixing cream with cocoa, vanilla etc. Than when the mixture had the perfect taste for each child, we took ice cubes and place them into a plastic bag. Than we added a lot of salt. The children fast grasped, that we added salt, because the salt will melt the ice cubes faster, like in the winter, when the roads get sprinkled with salt so the ice does not form. And this is what we wanted. We wanted that they connect their knowledge interdisciplinary to other things they already know – ice-cream making to icy roads in the winter. In this way, they remember more.
When they were eating their ice-cream, we had a discussion about the freezing point and what does that mean and what does the salt really do from a scientific point of view. At the end of the lesson each child successfully made and eat his ice-cream and went home with the new knowledge about the freezing point of water.
Do you teach them or they teach you?
Well, that is definitely an interesting question. We teach them, but they definitely teach us too. It is highly interesting to see how such young children engage in such scientific tasks and to see how even such young children get their own result and hypothesis by themselves. They are definitely able to think in a scientific way, if you only let them. But I must say, they have taught me a lot. The most important confirmation I got during this time, was that do not underestimate the children’s mind and capabilities. If you let your mind open and you treat them as if they were adults, you will be surprised of how much they can achieve.
How children change across the set of sessions in science clubs? How they act on the first and the last session?
They become more self-confident, they believe they can do even the hardest things. They do not fear to talk in public anymore. Few of our young scientists had an issue of speaking in public, meaning they were afraid of reading in from of the class in school. When they had to do it, they froze and nothing came out of their mouth. After few months being the part of science club these children are so confident they volunteer by themselves to report results to the class and that includes speaking in front of the science club classmates. That is something I personally take as an achievement of this science club.
At the beginning of the science club they were shy and unsure. They have given up quickly when they were given tasks, they were impatient. Now the story has changed. I was amazed to see children sit and observe the experiment, while taking notes, for 20 minutes. For 20 minutes they sat in silence and watched carefully, what it is going to happen to their experiment. My assistant Tanja and I, were a little bit sceptical, if we can make 6 and 7 year olds to sit and observe for so long. But then I said to Tanja, we must try and see, as I believe they can do it and they did. With the correct motivation you can achieve miracles with them. Now the biggest issue of our young scientist is, that the school is ending and they go on the summer break. Meaning, the science club is going on a break too. They want to come to the science club in the summer as well, as they said, 2 months is way too long period to be without science club.
Why science matters for young children?
Science matters for such small children as they develop a different mind-set. They get use to the critical way of thinking, the scientific way of thinking that is. They do not take things for granted, they think things through by themselves and do not get bothered by others opinion. Moreover, they start to understand that without science our world today would not exist, as science gave us a lot of inventions we know today. At the first science club lesson, when we asked children, what has science gave us, they usually say the light-bulbs and then they cannot think of something else. Now, they understand that science gave us thing we use every day such us: computers, phones, cameras, microwaves, health treatments, medicines, etc. So science matters for young children so they develop a different perspective of a world around them.
In your experience working with teachers, what are some of the common science myths which prevent schools from engaging more in teaching science such young children?
The biggest myth is that the children are too young to understand science phenomenons and that science is way too complicated to be learnt at this stage. That is a myth that has to be confronted and erased from our way of thinking. Children can learn science at this age, any age basically, if it is only presented in appropriate manner according to their age. Children can easily understand science, because this science clubs have a different approach that is an experimental, hands-on approach. And by doing things by yourself you learn more, you remember more and you understand things. Like Albert Einstein said: “Anyone can know, the point is to understand” these children at this age understand, they do not only know. And my heart sings when parents come to me and explain in what details children go when explaining scientific facts of that day’s experiment at home. I believe schools should overcome such myths and start teaching children science very early on.
In January 2017 you also lead an Erasmus+ course entitled Science for primary school children: when complicated becomes fun and easily understandable. The course is intended for teachers. What will they gain out of the course?
The teachers will get an insight in our science clubs and can take home all the knowledge we have gained so far working with our young scientists. My assistant Tanja is a primary school teacher by education and heart, and when I asked her to join the science club team, she was very happy to have this opportunity, as like she said, she has learned to work with children in completely different way. Different way than she was thought in the university and she also believes this knowledge is transferable to teaching approaches in schools and I could not agree more. Therefore, I think teachers will benefit from this course by learning new approaches from someone whose mind is set to more of a scientific way of thinking and who wants to pass that way of thinking to everyone willing to learn. Besides the new knowledge, the teachers will also receive a lesson plans to take to their school with them and to maybe try the experiments with their children in class. Maybe, if I am lucky enough, I will inspire some teachers to start their own science clubs themselves and start the new generation of scientists themselves in their own countries.
Fail fast and frequently…and cheaply… so experiment, prototype and test it before become too expensive.
Tom Kelley, company IDEO’s CEO, 2011
As opposed to business planning teaching in experiential approach we teach students how to develop a prototype of their products or services. A prototype is an early sample, model, draft version of a product that allows student to experiment with their ideas. In business planning we try to forecast the future because we aim to plan revenues, user reactions to our product, and customer responses to marketing activities. But how can we do that without any real feedback from the field? Such a linear approach to business might be very expensive and even tragic for young start-ups which struggle with both financial and non-financial resources.
So, don’t wait and start teaching your students how to develop a prototype and test it among their potential users. Prototyping is about thinking by hands and showing our ideas with simple and easy to use materials. It is notabout aesthetics and details.
Some tips for prototyping sessions (from http://dschool.stanford.edu):
In pursuing new knowledge and sharing our ideas Primera’s team also engages in Erasmus+ KA1 mobilities. Our trainer Tine Nagy went on teaching assignment to Denmark. In the interview below he describes his experience.
Tine, as entrepreneurship trainer you took part in Erasmus+ mobility project. You visited CPH Containers company in Denmark for your teaching assignment. What did you do there?
I spent 3 wonderful weeks at startup company CPH Container. I held a workshop on Canvas Business Modeling. Founders of the company have developed a new business model for their business idea. Actually they have more ideas, but they have focused on product, called CPH Shelter, which represent an alternative housing primarily for Copenhageners, but also creative class people or tourists could be more then welcome potential users.
So you cooperated with Danish team of entrepreneurs. How did those days look like?
We were working in a creative hub center at Refshaleøen, it’s a small island in the Copenhagen port – or better water channel. A big building at Refshaleøen is a kind of co-working space, where different teams of entrepreneurs come to work there, usually every day from 9am to 5pm, but working hours can varies, so people have possibility also to sleep there. My work with the team was concentrated more or less into 8 working hours from 8.30 to 16.30… We had a lunch time in a sharing kitchen, where every day different people prepare something to eat for everyone. I was also on the list, so I had experience this eating culture as well 🙂 Travelling to Refshaleøen from my apartment was composed from bicycle ride and boat which is a shortcut to the island. We had few days also working on the field that means our work was concentrated to user research and different business meetings.
What was the most valuable thing which you learned during your teaching assignment in Denmark?
It’s not my first time in Denmark, so I have already learned a lot from Danish people and society. But If I have to answer your question, I would perhaps point out my good experience in sharing ideas among entrepreneurs and simple networking activities such as Friday BBQ for all entrepreneurial people, which means everyone brings something to eat, the “organizer” offer just a free fire place and different social games. Every Friday’s event was very friendly and full of nice networking experience.
How was teaching entrepreneurship in Denmark different comparing to teaching entrepreneurship in Slovenia?
Hm…I would say there is no big difference… Entrepreneurial people are actually the population that doesn’t have a national segmentation… I mean working with people who have entrepreneurial thinking is similar everywhere… Perhaps my experience could be different If I had a teaching experience in Danish public sector…who knows 🙂
How did the mobility experience impact on your further work as entrepreneurship trainer?
First of all I would like to point out networking impact… I am still in contact with founders and few weeks ago we had a business model conversation regarding their kickoff event in August where they will present (together with partners) a new product, CPH Shelter. Second, my interest in Danish start ups and good practices among Danish businesses has arisen. I check frequently what’s new on Danish market concerning startups and innovation and what is interesting also for Slovenian startups, I present those things at my workshops or at my regularly activities in co-working centers.
Teaching entrepreneurship is rapidly changing lately. What is the most important focus of entrepreneurship trainers in order to be successful?
It’s not a question of changing, but it’s more a discussion on how entrepreneurship moves on. Entrepreneurship can be applied at many different levels in our private or business life, so when we talk about teaching we actually have to talk about for which purposes we would like to gain knowledge on entrepreneurship. My mobility in Copenhagen was concerning start up business, where founders don’t have exact business plan, but they have just a great problem-solution plan, where is a big potential for a new business idea. So I would suggest to focus more on developing a business idea into a clear vision (with a help of different tools and methods such as Canvas business model, design thinking or similar) instead of forcing future entrepreneurs to write a detailed business plan.
The 14th European Congress of Psychology took place in extremely hot Milan from 7 to 10 July 2015. We also contributed with oral presentation entitled “Peer coaching for effective workplace learning.”
Here is the abstract of the presentation:
Peer coaching (PC) refers to relational resources for professional growth. The literature has acknowledged a lack of systematic approach to introducing PC in organizations. In responding to this gap we conducted a quasi-field experiment involving a 5-day PC training programme. A total of 45 teachers participated in the training in order to develop PC competencies. Participants voluntarily filled in the questionnaire before and after the participation in the PC training. The questionnaire measured coaching competencies, establishing coaching relationship, active listening skills, core self-evaluations (CSEs), and teacher self-efficacy. The results showed a significant improvement of the target competencies after the completion of the training. Supplementary results showed a significant interaction effect of CSEs and coaching competence on training outcomes. We found that teachers with higher CSEs showed a significantly higher improvement of their coaching competencies compared to teachers with lower CSEs. Coaching as a method of workplace learning is a growing field of study. This is one of few empirical studies exploring the effectiveness of PC programmes. In terms of theory development, our study implies that personality traits might have an important role in developing coaching competencies. In terms of methodological implications, we have showed that quasi-field experiments can be successfully used in studying the development of coaching competencies.
Authors: Blanka Tacer (Skupina Primera) and Kristina Potočnik (University of Edinburgh).
Peer Coaching as a Sustainable Source of Professional Development.
Did you know that the word entrepreneur originates from the French word »entreprendre«, which means »to do something« or »to undertake«?
This is the earliest definition, found in 13th century, which later emerged to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture. In the 1730, the notion of a risk was added to its definition by the economist Richard Cantillon, who understood that sole engaging in a business promises no assurance of derived profit. Further development of the term entrepreneur didn’t stop there, of course, but to this day it also hasn’t reached its defining end. We could say there are as many definitions as there are people. Just ask yourself how would you define an entrepreneur and then compare your answer to those of your friends’ or collegues’. Pay attention to the emotional connotation of their answer. Do they see entrepreneur as someone who has no other life than his own business, who works late hours, who is always stressed and in a hurry? Or do they see him as an adventurer, as someone who is not afraid of taking risks, and is driven by his strong need for achievement?
The reason I am mentioning this is because here in Slovenia the word entrepreneur (»podjetnik«) is often taken a bit negatively. Many people see entrepreneur as someone who has accumulated a great amount of wealth by cheating and deceiving others. Indeed, this may be true in some cases, but certainly not in all.
So… who is an entrepreneur?
From my point of view he or she is definitely the person who perceives the market opportunity and then has the motivation, drive and ability to mobilise resources to meet it. To be successful, entrepreneur must often be highly confident in the face of difficulties and discouraging circumstances, innovative in his or her approach to solving problems, and as mentioned before must be ready to take quite a few risks. Also, being multi-skilled and results-orientated helps a lot along with the total commitment and prepardness for hard work.
Can anyone be an entrepreneur or do you have to be born as one?
I believe all of us have at least the potential to be one. That’s why I think teaching enterpreneurship should become an option in every school. After all, there is a saying that the world depends on the young. And so does the economy and GDP.
We empower teachers so they can do their job best.