School, the quintessential learning ground, proves to be a real obstacle course for some students. On reaching adolescence, a number of them no longer identify with the school system and drop out. By offering lessons based almost exclusively on verbal linguistic intelligence, in other words using language to understand and express complex ideas, school is no longer really in line with modern society. The challenge is therefore to rethink this form of education that is sorely lacking diversity in terms of learning methods, and move towards a school model that is more fun and engaging for all students.
RE-ENGAGE is the follow-on from an initial project (Coménius) focusing on issues around preventing school dropout and in particular on identifying underperforming students and sharing teacher experiences. The RE-ENGAGE project involves, on the one hand, assessing to what extent previously shared methods are effective in allowing students, who have already dropped out or appear to be likely to do so, to find a renewed interest in learning as well as a sense of satisfaction in returning to school and, on the other, introducing new teaching practices at five partner schools.
Through RE-ENGAGE, partners are planning to implement in schools in partner countries, including at the Marie Consolatrice private school in Luxembourg and in Belgium, Latvia and Malta, innovative teaching methods promoting the students' numerous cognitive abilities. Following an assessment of the struggling students and their abilities, the teachers define how and when to use the innovative methods put forward by the project, selecting from cooperative learning, multiple intelligence and tangible interfaces.
It is specifically the tangible interfaces method to which LIST, beyond its role as project coordinator, can offer its know-how and expertise. This latest generation "human-system" interface offers real opportunities to students who, by manipulating physical objects on a screen, can solve the problems presented to them in a collaborative manner. Having previously been involved in developing the related teaching method, LIST is now supporting teachers in implementing collaborative learning scenarios through, in particular, setting up training sessions, an IT platform and user guide.
At the end of the project, the teachers will be able to transform their traditional lessons by drawing on the three proven methods offered by the project and, in so doing, adapt their classes to the abilities of their students. They will, in particular, be able to develop scenarios for the tangible table and implement them there, totally unaided, thanks to the dedicated platform developed within the framework of the project.
Two guides will also be offered to the teachers, one of which will incorporate all of the innovative teaching methods tested in the project, and a second one listing the platform's instructions for use.