At present, more than ever, it is necessary to prepare the child for the future, to be able to successfully surmount the obstacles on his/her way to knowledge. And that is because approaching the future can be learned, like all things! The human survival in the future, of the child especially, is conditioned by his/her degree of mobility in time and space, by the ability to discover and eliminate dysfunctions, by the capacity of solving problems, by the responsibility toward personal acts, by independence and open – mindedness to interaction and exchange of ideas, by the interest and the enthusiasm for personal evolution and fulfilment.
Many teachers seem to fear the new “type of child“, recently appeared on the world stage. He/she seems more and more difficult to discover, to mould, to educate. Error occurs when the educator feels that he/she is the only one entitled and empowered to mould, and the student is nothing else but an object of study. A phenomenon that we need to meditate upon!
The balance between the child’s disposition to be educated and the strength of his/her will changes the schoolchild into the adult prepared to uniquely and creatively integrate in the society.
From this point of view, we think that we,those who educate, need to reconsider our own merits and to put the child in the highlights, and here we emphasise: THE MODERN CHILD. This approach dictates the necessity of modern, high quality, student – centred practice throughout didactic activity.
Every teacher’s duty is to look for direction depending on the class that he/she manages, on his/her intellectual “strengths”, on the working conditions in the classroom, thus giving his/her young schoolchildren the possibility to develop their personality and providing the instruments that might be handy all their life. School is bound to open the way toward new forms of schooling, that can guarantee the development of their creative capacity, a quality required by daily life exigencies and an essential feature of the future generations and of the modern civilisation.
My experience as a teacher has made me understand that it is not the educator who manages the class. In fact, in the class there are two managers: on one hand – the teacher, the one who leads the student on his/her way towards human knowledge and the implicit education; on the other hand – the student, who “leads” the teacher towards his/her professional fulfilment.
As a result of this approach, we have elaborated a study of good practice samples in teaching – learning – evaluation strategies application. The educational process demonstrates that both its own development and its results depend on the methods used, and this fact was sustained by researchers like: Piaget, Galperin, Bruner, T. Radu, I. Stanciu,, I. Cerghit. Through their findings, these psychologists and pedagogies pointed out that, by using different methods, one can obtain essentially different levels of children’s education; that learning new knowledge or behaviour can be acquired harder or more easily, depending on the methods used. These methods are important “tools”, that the teacher can make use of and whose proper handling and usage can influence the efficiency of the educational process. As they are closely related to the teacher’s activity, the selection and the combination of methods are the ground for better didactic creativity manifestation.
The modern educational system has lately been promoting the EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, as an active – participative method that implies the transfer of knowledge, skills, habits and facilitates interdisciplinary approaches. As methods of teaching and learning, but also as evaluation methods, projects provide authentic situations, from the children’s real life.
Projects, either individual or group ones, must follow certain stages, thoroughly studied by psychopedagogy, to be efficient:
a) subject selection: must be done through negotiation between the teacher and the students, the two ‘managers” we mentioned in the beginning of our philosophical insight. It is not desirable to assign the project a rigid topic, picked by the teacher only. The students must come up with their own suggestions, and the subject must be chosen by them as well;
b) objective formulation and work stage planning are the stages where the students are helped to become aware of the project importance, the objectives in view and to establish the carryout/ presentation modalities;
c) the carrying out of the project is the longest, energy and time consuming stage, a test of collaboration and patience, a challenge to search for, find, combine information. At this point, the teacher will concretely support the students; assign the tasks; suggest the bibliography; monitor material processing; signal and correct the spelling, contents and scientific errors.
d) the putting together of information, prior to presentation, is the piece building stage, the selection of the student who can turn their team-work to good account, the selection of the efficient means of promoting the project in front of the audience;
e) the effective presentation through exhibitions of final products, audio – video – slide presentations; multimedia projections;
f) the project evaluation by means of: verbal appreciation, grades, idea exchange, self-evaluation, mutual evaluation. The teacher’s role here is to help students develop self-evaluation and mutual evaluation skills, to become aware of the feedback role.
By going through these work stages, we will ascertain that project-based learning means the expression of individual and group performance, and represents the proof of each student’s personal implication in the educative process. Relying on my own experience, I can assert that this method favours the most timid students as well, those who would not be valued so efficiently if they worked individually, since the maximum project efficiency can only be noticed in team-work, an objective of modern society. The educative benefit is utmost, as the method presented above allows acquisition in the context of basic skills (reading, writing, computing, mathematical reasoning), of cognitive abilities (learning, reasoning, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving), but especially that of personal qualities (individual responsibility, self-esteem, pertinent decision making, self-esteem acquisition, sociability, moral integrity, mutual respect, team-mate trusting).
Bocoş M., Instruire interactivă, Editura Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj-Napoca, 2002;
Cerghit Ioan, Metode de învăţământ, Editura Polirom, Bucureşti, 2006;
Cojocariu, Venera Mihaela, Teoria şi metodologia instruirii, Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică, R.A, Bucureşti, 2002
Jinga Ioan, Educaţia şi viaţa cotidiană, Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică, R.A., Bucureşti, 2005;
Oprea Lăcrimioara Crenguţa, Strategii didactice interactive, Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică, R.A., Bucureşti, 2006