New Initiative Promoting Creativity, Problem Solving and Collaborative Skills in Second Level Education Launched
May 11, 2011
A practical initiative which aims to bring about radical change in second level classroom practice by encouraging creativity, problem solving and collaborative skills as well as a sense of personal responsibility for learning was recently launched at Trinity College Dublin. The ‘Bridge21’ programme is a joint initiative of Suas Educational Development and Trinity College Dublin's Centre for Research in IT in Education (CRITE) and the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP). Named ‘Bridge21’ to symbolise the transition to 21st Century learning, the programme embodies progressive thinking and practice in education.
Features of the ‘Bridge21’ model include a team-based, technology-mediated approach, the main components of which are: a highly structured team-based learning method that facilitates collaborative working; a sufficiency of technology to facilitate the objectives of the team while promoting resource sharing; teachers who orchestrate rather than direct; peer to peer learning; cross curriculum project-based work and a learning space designed and configured to support the work of teams. The model, which has been evaluated and underpinned by research conducted by CRITE, has been endorsed by its 30 partner schools, both primary and secondary, as well as many leading national education agencies.
Speaking at the launch, CEO of Suas Educational Development, Colman Farrell said: “Bridge21 can play a leading role in realising the potential of young people and in particular those who suffer disadvantage in the current system.”
The launch of the ‘Bridge21’ programme was followed by a graduation ceremony where 300 transition year students who participated in this year’s outreach programme were presented with certificates of achievement by Pro-Chanecellor Professor Petros Florides.
The Centre for Research in IT and Education (CRITE) at Trinity College is a multi-disciplinary research centre whose focus is on creating and evaluating innovative learning experiences, inspired by educational principles and technical progress. Students and researchers from CRITE provide technically-mediated learning tools and material for the Bridge21 programme, built on the findings of current research. These learning activities will be based on a constructionist approach to learning, with the students supported in developing their own interests and experiencing a novel use of technology.
The Trinity Access Programmes are a key part of Trinity’s social mission and their central goal is to make Trinity’s student body more inclusive and diverse and to reach out to the wider community. Bridge21 is one of a number of programmes involving primary and secondary school students. These programmes focus on working in partnership, through a network of School Liaison Officers, with 20 primary and 20 secondary schools in the Dublin area, designated disadvantaged by the Department of Education & Science.
About Suas Educational Development:
Suas Educational Development is a movement dedicated to supporting quality education in targeted under-resourced communities with programmes in Ireland, India and Kenya. In 2010, Suas improved the education of over 20,000 children from under resourced and marginalised communities through peer to peer mentoring and extracurricular learning initiatives, by improving resources and facilities, supporting teachers and building the management and learning capacity of our partners.
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