Early school leaving is a multi-faceted and complex problem caused by a cumulative process of disengagement. Usually it is a result of personal, social, economic, educational or family-related reasons. During the course we were discovering how can we tackle this problem. Our energetic and experienced trainers Janja, Ksenja and Zala engaged participants to find ideas and suggestions how to address this issue. In this course we had 20 wonderful participants from Portugal, Greece, France, Romania and Latvia.
It is very important to help pupils find out the meaning and try to increase their motivation for education by relevant stimuli in safe and significant relationship. Janja taught us a lot about Relationship Awareness Theory also with the help of The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI). This was very good opportunity for us to learn about our own motivational value systems, behaviour and conflicts. Dear reader – how do you usually act in life? And how do you react in stressful situation? Do you usually try to help others and make their life easier? Or do you strive for immediate reaction, compete for authority and want to win, accomplish? Maybe you are more cautious and you prefer to think before reaction? Or maybe most of the time you try to be flexible? SDI help us identify our personal strengths and weaknesses relating to others under two conditions: when everything is going well, and when we are faced with conflict. Indeed, we have found out that our behaviour and communication style can change when we come into conflict. Raising awareness about dynamics of relationships and interpersonal conflicts can contribute to better and more efficient work with pupils in schools and improve our and their personal development.
“Dropping out” in school is usually linked to the feeling of being powerless, senselessness and to the extreme lack of motivation. Therefore, it is very important that we know how to engage pupils. With Janja we were discovering different facilitation tools for students’ engagement: World Cafe, Open Space, The Circle Practice.
Ksenja has introduced us Robert Reasoner’s preventive programme of self-esteem in schools and stressed five protection factors for authentic self-esteem and preventing school leaving: security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. We were also practising different pedagogical activities to prevent early school leaving.
Last part of the course was devoted to Information Communications Technology- ICT. Information technology plays more and more important role in today’s modern society. Zala showed how can we use technology as a tool for connecting with students in order to prevent them to leave the school. We practice how to integrate ICT and new technologies into teaching and education – we found out our possibilities, different tools and also challenges for getting ahead. And yes, now we are masters of making live Facebook videos.
On Wednesday the course was enriched with study visit of the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training. Then our guest Sladjana Šućur Popović prepared presentation of the self-esteem programme, which she uses with pupils in her practice.
Of course we didn’t forget about more relaxed and fun parts of the mobility experience. On Monday we had delicious welcome dinner and after dinner it was time for singing and dancing. Participants showed us some typical or interesting dances from their country, and we found out that we all are excellent dancers.
We have to admit that this week we really did not have much luck with the weather. Any way we were discovering Ljubljana together, we went to Ljubljana castle, City Museum of Ljubljana and to Bled. We have admired the view of lake Bled, which this time was really amazing- decorated in brightness, so that we were forced to use our imagination. Together we have spent countless pleasant and enjoyable moments. We are very grateful and we are sending a big thank you to all our wonderful participants for their active participation, excellent atmosphere they have created and new friendships. Thank you, you are amazing!
The best way to sum up is with the words of our amazing participants:
»Participating in the course “Preventing Early School Leaving” was a great experience for me and my colleagues. We met interesting people from other countries and we were trained by experienced, joyful and helpful trainers. From the very first moment we felt very comfortable and people of Primera did a great job, organizing everything and fulfilling our needs. We had some really experiential workshops and we had some good ideas, about methods and techniques for the improvement of relationships in our school & fighting Early school leaving. Even during winter, Ljubljana is a wonderful city, full of life worth a visit. And last but not least, we had the most beautiful project assistant!!!«
»This week of training has been very interesting and useful for me. I have learnt a lot about me and my relationships with others, and I will put all of it in practice avec my students. Thanks a lot Janja, Zala and Ksenja to share their experiences with all of us. They are fantastic. Apart from the course, all this week was very well organised, we didn’t have to worry about anything. I would like to repeat this experience. Thank you very much.«
»Content of the course: as a development and helping tool for an unqualified teacher, I think the course was great. Even for people with no knowledge about psychology but eager to help their students and enhance their lessons the course was the right choice and pointing to the right direction.«
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