Teacher Training Course
Through consistently attentive reflection and evaluation, s:fl established lesson plans for STEM study in combination with Content and Language Integrated Learning, together with a thorough teacher training course for the s:fl methodology.
The methodology was piloted in a total of six schools in four countries. A student learning portfolio was established to document learning outcomes and a thorough evaluation of results was also conducted.
The Schools: Future Labs Teacher Training Course (TTC) brings together the fundamentals of the project approach, namely the methodologies of task-based (language) learning (TBL) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), and interconnects these with subject matter generated from STEM-subjects based on STEM methodology developed specifically for s:fl.
In this way, s:fl emphasizes the critical role that STEM subjects play in today’s educational world. Since the project has been tested in primary schools (grades 5 and 6), where learning outcomes were measured and evaluated, the results of these evaluations now can be transported directly into a hands-on training course for student-teachers and in-service teachers. In this respect, the TTC addresses the needs expressed by the European Council that “Teacher education programs should be of high quality, evidence-based and relevant to [learners’] needs.” (Council Conclusions, 2009/C 302/04).
The s:fl project was piloted in where lessons were taught in either German or Spanish. However, the s:fl TTC is not limited to these two languages: securely anchored in the CLIL approach, any foreign or second language can serve to implement the s:fl-goals in different STEM subjects and related areas in science such as biology or environmental studies. Also, the training course can be adapted to serve younger or older learners than those represented here, and thus enrich the curriculum in elementary and in secondary schools alike.
The teacher-training course addresses the needs of practitioners wishing to expand their professional portfolio by adding new methodological dimensions to their teaching of STEM subject matter. It also addresses the interests of teacher trainees or novices wishing to become STEM and/or CLIL teachers. The TTC handbook applies the term trainee to all these participants.
Geared explicitly to the training aspect, the teacher training course provides guidelines for teacher training institutes and their trainers. Therefore, in order to fulfil its purpose, it is considered as a prerequisite that trainers have experience in either STEM or CLIL or both, and that they have a command of the language in which STEM subjects are to be taught. The TTC handbook applies the term trainer to all teaching professionals involved in the implementation of the training.