One of the most successful methodologies for developing a partnership with industry and promoting creativity, competitiveness, employability and the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit has been created by a Finnish university for university level students. Called 'Learning by Developing' (LbD), this methodology has been chosen by the project team as it directly addresses the problems of building close ties between education and the workplace and engendering creativity and innovation in both fields.
LbD has been applied successfully in Higher Education. This project will adapt the LbD methodology to work with secondary education. The LbD methodology will be adapted by pedagogic and implementation aspects, and for use across Europe, by addressing cultural, legal and localisation issues. Training courses and webinars will be created for stakeholders in the process of adaptation: teachers, administrators, business and government. The training courses will be piloted across Europe, leading to wide-scale preparation of a final training course.
To support the pedagogy, the project will adapt a learning platform (based on open source technology) that takes learning out of the physical classroom to allow all the stakeholders to interact in a way that is independent of time and place and makes learning easily accessible for all generations. This paradigm is a critical feature of the methodology that promotes interdisciplinary cooperation, where all actors gain and create new knowledge, including knowledge of the workplace.
LbD integrates ICT in teaching and learning and is based on five principles: 1) authenticity, 2) partnership, 3) experiencing, 4) investigative approach, and 5) creativity. LbD teaching is based on a development project that is genuinely rooted in the world of work, and it produces new practices and competences. Pragmatic theory of knowledge considers that real-life situations are the focal point of learning, the goal of which is practical development of these situations. This methodology has common points with other successful approaches to learning such as Service-learning, Multiple Intelligences, Learning communities, learning by doing, project-based learning and situated learning.
Enhancement of ICT skills and ICT-based learning is a key goal of this project. Leading researchers, practitioners, administrators and policymakers from various countries underline the importance of an education reform through technology and social media, teacher preparation, curriculum and instruction. This will support lifelong learning of key competences through ICT. It will strengthen the link between the formal and non-formal dimensions of learning. The project takes into account the concept of individual development and will use tools and methods that are appropriate to young people and which promote exchanges among peers. It will adopt forms of learning where the process is more important than the outcome.
The cumulative impact of the methodology is: