How it all started

This team met at a TCA Erasmus+ seminar about flexible basic education in Lahti (September 2019).

By that time the team realized sharing the same values and insights, especially the idea that student motivation and school engagement through inclusive practices plays a significant role in reducing dropout and early school leaving. We later on decided that an ERASMUS+ cooperation partnership project would be the best way for transnational collaboration, to share our knowledge and develop tools, in order to improve teachers’ abilities and schools’ opportunities to prevent early school leaving.

Student agency is now more valuable than ever, in a global context where sudden changes question pre-existing strategies and force schools to adapt at a swift and unexpected pace; the better we equip our children with the adequate tools, the more resilient and successful they will become.

We then applied for the All-in Ed project to gather the necessary means, indispensable for the development of the envisaged outcomes, so that student agency is promoted throughout the involved partners and the remaining schools that will benefit from the dissemination of this endeavour.

The intended spread of good practices and transferable outcomes will make a difference, not only to the consortium but also to teachers and students who will highly profit from this joint learning.

Objectives of the project

Since we consider students’ motivation and school engagement as valuable tools to prevent early school leaving, we identify these as the back-bone of our project. Bearing our final goals in mind, we identify the following objectives:

1 – Identify pre-existing good practices for school engagement and student motivation.

2 – Share and analyse good practices for school engagement and student motivation.

3 – Spread the engaging practices, backed by the collected evidence of impacts among local educational communities, providing teachers with new ideas and tools.

4 – Make recommendations based on the conclusions of the developed process, in order to promote new actions.

Reduce early-school leaving and dropouts in the participating schools and in the schools that learn from the outcomes of this project. We thereby plan to achieve the reduction in early school leaving rates, at least to some extent, and at the same time to increase the levels of student engagement in their learning process while improving the quality of students’ success.

Theoretical Framework

After evaluating different theoretical approaches related to school engagement, and intending to find a practical and useful theoretical framework for our project, we established one, based on the Participation-identification model (Finn & Zimmer, 2012) about school engagement and in the Teaching Through Interactions (TTI) approach (Pianta & Hamre et al, 2013).

Using these approaches, contrasted with the analysis of the collected engaging practices and the contributions of our team during the international meetings, we developed a list of indicators that should help us to asses practices (identifying points needing improvement). A list of facilitators is also defined to help teachers improving good practices in other to make them more engaging for everyone.