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pedagogics

Pedagogics

It was an old folk saying that educating a child properly needed a whole village. Applied to the modern context from the perspective of cross-cultural education, and taking into account the ever-increasing synergy of global factors, it would seem necessary to extend the idea to the ‘global village’.

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Allegory of teaching and learning

The media- and information-saturated world in which we live is bringing about a transformation of childhood, which in turn is creating new challenges for education and training. It seems clear that many educational establishments are not coping with the changes - out of which grows the need and the ambition to look for other and better solutions.

A core aim of the Kids Globe International Academy is to create an alternative and complementary educational resource for children and young people. In itself the idea is not new; there have been alternative educational ventures since the 1960s, for example in the form of ‘experiential learning’, which seeks to foster the social talents of children and young people and thereby open up new perspectives.

More recently, the concept of  Project-Based Learning has become established within educational science.

In broad terms, this approach says that, as a consequence of their different backgrounds, modes of upbringing, cultural contexts etc., members of a learning group display differing levels of knowledge, have different attitudes and ways of viewing the world, and also different deficits of knowledge and experience. Each person acts on the basis of his or her individual perspective - which is not static, however, but always adaptable and evolving. Cooperation between group members enables a mutual exchange, in which the members complement each other and thereby broaden their knowledge and horizons. This approach particularly emphasizes the social element, which develops through the interaction with others.

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Three elements need to be taken into account here:

  1. Group behaviour and group processes
  2. Tapping the full creative potential (of individuals and the group) by using cooperative methods
  3. The importance of cooperation and communication

In short, Project-Based Learning is a form of cooperative learning.

The essential characteristic of cooperative learning is the intensive preoccupation with the chosen subject of study through the means of a communicative exchange with the other students. By observing, debating and reflecting on the various points of view, proposed solutions and strategies of the other students, and by comparing these with ones own approaches, both communicative and cognitive learning processes are stimulated.

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An aspect of the critique of traditional methods of learning and communicating is that when learning is understood merely as the absorption of information the result is a kind of ‘passive’ or ‘inert’ knowledge, because the routes to its application - and the actual experience of its application - are not included or activated.

Applying knowledge to real-life practical problems shows students that there can be a range of possible solutions which they must try out in practice in cooperation with others. The self-motivation of the participants is always in the foreground. What is important here is the creation of an environment which supports the activation of such learning processes and which also invites cooperative problem-solving.

The concept of learning and teaching presented here can be summarised as follows:

  • learning is the active construction of (new) knowledge in combination with existing
  • knowledge
  • learning differs from person to person; the individual path of learning is not predictable
  • the learning process begins when the student is stimulated to ask the right questions
  • the primary task is to understand the problem
  • learning is the construction and refinement of cognitive mental maps
  • knowledge as such cannot be taught; the student should be helped through supportive
  • guidance to construct knowledge for him- or herself
  • this theoretical approach can be implemented in a variety of practical ways

The area of arts and crafts, which Kids Globe wishes in particular to make provision for, offers enormous possibilities for putting theory into practice. In general, conventional forms of schooling fail to exploit the creative potential which resides in such disciplines as these - which give children and young people the chance of finding their own place within a project and of discovering for themselves their talents, interests and creative potential.


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