Third Project Meeting in Amsterdam

Evaluation of first results, adjusting, checking in 

This meeting took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands upon invitation of the Learning for Well-being Foundation from 9 till 11 March 2020 with a total of 8 participants.

The main aim of the meeting was to concentrate on the collection itself. The practices already collected were discussed in detail, the balance of countries and primary/secondary education was mapped.

The collectors looked at the methodology, the time needed per interview, teachers’ profiles and the interview guide.

The Mobility Tool+ was presented to all participants, as this was the first possibility to do this in person as the Tool itself had been opened after TPM2.

The tasks needed for the interim report were discussed. We looked at the project website and found it perfect for the project.

The ethics of the collection was also discussed. It is important that the teachers feel appreciated, and that there is consent from them and the schools for publishing their practices. More details of the collection and the publication were discussed in depth.

We all enjoyed the good atmosphere, the layered activity and felt that the three organisations and the people working on the project are becoming closer.

The meeting was somewhat overshadowed by the news of the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. In the Netherlands there were quite a lot of cases by the time of the meeting, but there were no restrictions as yet. But we all felt the threat of it and discussed whether this would affect the project.

Within two days after the meeting the closing of schools and universities was announced Europe wide.

Second Project Meeting in Budapest

Collection Launch

From 20 till 22 January, our group met for the second project meeting in Budapest. This meeting took place in the office of the Magyar Waldorf Szövetség and brought together a total of 9 participants.

The tone of this meeting was set by the wonderfully reflective poem “The Minister of Exam” by Brian Patten. We felt that this summarised the reasons why we are putting time and effort into this project.

After the round of updates on everyone’s professional (and if wanted to share it personal) activities most of the first afternoon was spent with reflecting on the National Agency’s reactions to our answers to the preventive monitoring.

The form and possibilities of a project website were looked into and decided to create an easy and dynamic webpage on the ECSWE Webserver. This has been done since then and the beta version is already live. It can be found on http://personalisedassessment.ecswe.eu/ which is also going to be the location of the final page. We might however add another domain.

The question arose during the meeting of what our personal motivations were for taking part in this project. This gave interesting topics for discussion. We looked again at assessment as a whole and our focal points and criteria for the selection of good practices.

Although we already had some practices in mind it was invaluable to have a brainstorm session and try to collect all the possible sources. These then could be run along the selection criteria and the final list selected. One thing was clear: although two of the participating organisations have a Steiner Waldorf background, and about 60-75% of the practices would be collected from Steiner Waldorf schools, all these practices should be applicable to ALL schools.

We also decided that when we select practices, we select these based on reaching a broad coverage of competences, e.g. knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, personal development. A good practice should cover several dimensions of the L4WB compass. While collecting, we will thus use the holistic perspective: head, heart, hands and spirit, which in the context of the project means:

  • HEAD is the knowledge behind the assessment
  • HEART is the nourishing relationship between who is assessing and who is assessed
  • HANDS are the skills that put it into practice
  • SPIRIT is what allows the child to develop their inner diversity in a holistic way.

We also worked on the interview quide. Some key points from this:

  • a practice should always be looked at in its specific context of school, cooperation between teachers, parents and pupils, educational climate in the country;
  • asking the teachers to define themselves within these contexts – looking at how the teachers can embed their practices into the school contexts;
  • there needs to be a balance in the collected methods between primary and secondary education;
  • wherever and whenever it is possible, asking also the parents/older pupils about their views on the method – clear definitions are needed of WHAT is being assessed: the learning process, the pupil’s progress, something else;
  • the form of the assessment is also important: written, spoken, etc. Time was also spent on defining the method of writing up the practice and on success indicators.

At the end of the meeting we used our very useful tops and tips method for evaluating the work that we had done up to this point in the project and the meeting itself. The list of participants and the internal notes from the meeting including the agenda are added to the interim report as attachments. 

First Project Meeting in Brussels

Kick-off and strategic planning 

29 till 30 October 2019 we had the first meeting to launch our project on personalised and formative assessment project. 11 participants took place in this meeting.

In the application we had planned to have this meeting in Hungary. However, after discussing this with the NA we decided to change around the venues for TPM1 and TPM2 as this was much more convenient for our partners: ECSWE was planning a huge event in Brussels and couldn’t take more time off, and the representatives from L4WB were also in or around Brussels as they also have an office there. As the ECSWE meeting room was blocked due to event planning the meeting was organised in the Learning for Well-being offices in Brussels.

Originally we planned the following activities for this meeting: Drawing up financial agreement and task division. Also the digital working platform will be set up and explained to partners. After this the following activities take place: – identifying the possible good practices – making contact with them and asking for cooperation – discussing and if necessary adjusting collection template.

However, we spent most of the time answering the questions of the preventive monitoring. This did not necessarily mean that we discussed other things than planned, but the focus and the mood was different. The list of participants and the internal notes from the meeting including the agenda are added to the interim report as attachments.