A theme is (…)
Here is another example of an engaging practice that, from a professional experience, fosters students’ SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT. By school engagement we mean students’ observable participation in school activities, sense of belonging to classmates and teachers, and valuing success in school-related goals.
It is implemented by: Teacher
It is directed at students aged: 14+
Target group: Class-centered
Main subjects involved: transversal competence, multi-disciplinary, home economics, languages, mathematics, societal studies
ICT involvement: no
Description of the practice: A theme is chosen around which the Learning Cafe is built. Students prepare for the theme through research questions devised by the teacher. Students reorganize their classroom into a ‘cafe’. Together as a class: Decide and invite a guest/guests, who can discuss the chosen learning theme/topic. – Plan what to serve at the learning cafe; -Shop for the ingredients; – Bake and prepare the food to be served at the learning cafe; -Prepare the class for the theme and the arrival of the guest/guests (prepare questions etc.); -Share roles for each class member; –Run the learning cafe situation (discussion and cafe) with the guests being present; -Clean and reorganize the classroom back into a classroom; – Reflect on what was learnt on the topic and how it went with the running of the event.
Each learning cafe is intended to run up to 2 hours. Other dimensions can easily be linked to Learning Cafes as well. For instance, taking Teams or Zoom- connections to other guests/specialists, even to other countries (language learning).
Accessible to any student: yes
Meaningful participation for every student: yes
Why?: Organizing and running a learning cafe provides plenty of jobs for each student. This, of course, requires organization and planning from the teaching in charge.
Support to the practice: yes
Does this practice promote students observable participation in school related activities? Yes. Through participation and involvement students gain experiences of success. Students develop an interest for the chosen Learning Cafe theme. Students feel a sense of inclusion also through the preparations for the learning cafe, e.g baking etc.
Does the practice promote students sense of belonging to classmates, teachers and school? Yes. Shared experiences increase a sense of belonging among the whole class/group.
Does the practice promote students giving value to success in school-related goals? Yes. Things and ideas can be realized. Setting a goal in advance and working towards it together as a class. Learning by doing, seeing and experiencing. It matters how I, as a student, act as a member of the group. Supporting and encouraging others.
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