Innovative teaching methods based on application of student learning outcomes in literacy area will be gradually introduced in Bosnia-Podrinje Canton (BPC) in the period 2016 – 2018. The first phase of the project implementation commenced in July with training for 29 education professionals (kindergarten and primary school teachers, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Pedagogic Institute) on application of Common core curriculum for Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages defined on the basis of student learning outcomes.
But what are the student learning outcomes? Student learning outcomes or SLOs are statements that specify what students will know, be able to do or be able to demonstrate when they have completed or participated in a program/activity/course/project. Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, attitudes or values.
Following the series of trainings in 2016, this initial group of 29 professionals will be able to further replicate acquired knowledge and skills for over 100 colleagues that teach Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and literature in two pre-school institutions and five primary schools in BPC. It is estimated that over 2000 students will directly benefit from the project activities in terms of improved quality of the educational process.
“Every education program comes with many promises. We hope, bearing in mind past experience, that we will be able to apply new skills in practice. It is in our interest to do something that will make it easier for us to understand how to assess knowledge of our students, which learning outcomes we want our students to achieve, and how to measure their progress in acquiring good quality knowledge,” stresses Semina Klapo,teacher from primary school “Husein ef. Đozo”.
Following the replication of the trainings, the trainers will also play the role of mentors in the process of application of the Common core curriculum for Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages, that way ensuring quality in replication of knowledge and skills acquired by the teachers.
The Project follows the success of the project “Implementation of defined student learning outcomes for literacy in Zenica-Doboj Canton (2013-2015)” that was implemented, with Save the Children support, by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport and Pedagogic Institute of Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDC). Trainings in Gorazde are now being held by peer educators from ZDC that participated in the pilot project and were selected on the basis of their professional achievements and appointed by ZDC education authorities.
Project “Enhancing Social Inclusion - Equity and Quality of Education to Support Thriving of Children in North West Balkans 2016-2018” builds upon the ongoing education reform where one of the core objectives is to improve quality of education in B-H and harmonize education practices and standards with international standards.
“Save the Children recognized the initiative of the authorities in Bosnia-Podrinje Canton towards improvement of the quality of education and will invest funds and support efforts of the education institutions in this process over the next three years. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Science, Culture and Sport and Pedagogic Institute of Bosnia-Podrinje Canton,” says Save the Children in North West Balkans Director Andrea Zeravcic.
Director of BPC Pedagogic Institute Dika Makota hopes that the new methods will help increase quality and standards in the education process. “We will be very pleased to see teaching based on defined student learning outcomes for literacy in practice, following these trainings. We expect from our teachers to exert all necessary efforts that will lead to new methodologies being used in our classrooms.”
Save the Children is the leading organization in B-H that supports implementation of student learning outcomes defined by the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education (APOSO), including support to education institutions in integrating student learning outcomes within the existing curriculum.
In the next three years, Save the Children will support implementation of defined student learning outcomes for Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages, mathematics and natural sciences in six cantons in Federation of B-H (Zenica-Doboj, Tuzla, Herzegovina-Neretva, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Podrinje and Una-Sana Canton).