Erasmus project Early warning – Early reaction
Intellectual output for future use
Our project has the aim of identifying factors that are correlated to students staying and succeeding in school. We also aim to identify useful ways to enhance these factors. That is why we have chosen to put forward some intellectual outputs that are designed to help schools improve.
Each of them can be of use separately but they are intended to make up an integrated wholeness.
Our basic assumption is that the students sense of belonging in school is central of them staying and succeeding in school. Dr. Pat Greco at the School District of Menomonee Falls held a presentation at a Swedish quality conference, where she described their study that confirmed that students losing their sense of belonging were more likely to drop out of school than the students that kept their sense of belonging.
This was the starting point of our project idea.
Our first intellectual output is a questionnaire with 17 statements. These statements were identified in a workshop with our participating schools representing Norway, Basque (Spain) and Sweden. We tested the statements by inviting students in all three countries to answer a survey and then collecting their grades. We ran a correlation analysis and found that some of the statements carried out a correlation factor of 0,29 to the students´ individual grade average
The statements have also been proved valuable as ground for discussions within classes about their psycho social climate Several teachers have used the survey in dialogue with their students, having meaningful discussions leading to more awareness among the students.
The questionnaire is structured in 17 statements which each have an explanation. We have used a scale stretching from 1 – (I don´t agree) up to 10 – (I agree completely). The questionnaire is currently available in Basque, English, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish. It is the first of our intellectual outputs.
In the project we have been using Incito, a web based management tool developed by Värdeskaparna of Sweden. It contains, among other things, web based surveys, statistics, analysis and actions.
The second intellectual output is a web based survey based on the project´s questionnaire. Any school can use this tool to carry out studies among their students. The school can submit a list of the students email addresses and have the survey emailed directly to them. Another way of doing it is to send an email link to the students that the school itself distributes. As the students reply the result is immediately available for a school administrator. The result is presented as a graph with the average response printed in a spider diagram. You can also choose to see the result as a table with the average response in digits or as a diagram showing the spread for each statement.
Best practices in the classroom
Our third intellectual output is a number of Best practices from classrooms at the participating schools. The output of that is a searchable database to find and contribute Best practices.
Using the result of the survey each school has identified Best practices. These practices have been structured and delivered into a searchable database. They each have a name, a description and are related to an area of development connected to the questionnaire.
They are described so that any teacher can take part of them and try them out in their own practice. We find it suitable to let the students do the survey before and after the Best practice is used to provide facts for evaluating the effect of the Best practice.
On the project´s web page our best practices are available. Any school can contribute their own best practices there.