Conference Day 1 Programme

Friday, 21 September

13:30 – 13:45   Official opening &  welcome to the conference participants.

Conference as a learing experience: Introducing a new format. Room "Lielupe"

13:45 – 14:25  PLENARY

Dr. Alexander Sokol, TA Group, Latvia. Room "Lielupe"

Stages of competence development: a practical model that works.

Competence-based education has become a norm in many countries. New curricula and materials have been developed in various countries, theories are there, various research projects have been launched. And yet when it comes to teacher development, there still seem s to be a lack of practical models that would help both the teacher and the leaner see competence development as a dynamic process that is extended in time. A model that would clarify each stage in the process of becoming more competent and act as a guideline for moving forward.
The first variant of a model for stages of competence development rooted in the Thinking Approach tradition was drafted around three years ago. Since then it has been piloted and polished with various groups of teachers as part of numerous action research projects in Europe and Asia. It is this model that I would like to share with you during this plenary.


14:35 – 16:00  WORKSHOP ROUND No.1

Irina Bučinska & Natalja Kovilina, Daugavpils Russian Lyceum, Latvia. Room “Venta”

Why is it important to ask right questions?

The aim of this workshop is to share experience of developing learners’ thinking skills on the languages lessons for learners of 13-15 years old based on the Thinking Approach. We will focus on such an important for learners tool of thinking and problem solving skills development as questioning. During the workshop we will offer to work with a bank of authentic learners’ questions examples. We will reflect on when, why and how the teacher can work with this bank, discuss the ways of assessment and  improvement the learner’s skill to formulate and use questions in the context of solving a learning problem.


Hilppa Jankama, Rauman Normaalikoulu, Finland. Room “Abava”

Thinking as a Tool for Collaborative Learning

The Finnish Curriculum for basic education (2014) sets thinking as one of the seven core skills crucial to lifelong learning and encourages teachers to emphasise child centred approaches to learning all skills. Learning thinking skills requires thinking and acting based on that thinking which is essentially a creative process. Creative thinking requires intrinsic motivation and fostering intrinsic motivation in a classroom requires open but structured learning environments where the autonomy of learners is respected. This workshop aims to simulate such a learning experience.
This simulated (but accelerated) process of collaborative learning has been tested in Rauma teacher training school several times during the past three years in different learning projects. This method of collaborative learning was originally developed as an attempt to solve low motivation and poor learning results of students with special needs by improving their self-efficacy through creating a social learning culture.


16:00 – 16:30   COFFEE BREAK


16:30 – 17:55  WORKSHOP ROUND No.2

Stuart Twiss, Let's Think Forum, UK. Room “Venta”

Creating the climate needed to explore problems that have a mathematical solution. A Let's Think perspective on the role of group work.

In this workshop I begin with the assertion that mathematical problems are challenging.  I therefore believe that  learners will need to feel able to keep working on solutions when faced with potential failure.  
When learners work with others the teacher determines whether this will be collaboratively or competitively. What can a teacher do to ensure the climate for learning is more helpful for mathematical solution finding?
The workshop will be a demonstration of the approaches I recommend so come prepared to collaborate with others and solve some mathematical problems. 
We will reflect together on the lessons learned for our own practice.


Michael Walsh and Leah Crawford, Let's Think Forum, UK. Room "Abava"

Let’s Think in English: Explore a research-informed programme that develops reasoning.

Let’s Think in English is based on 30 years’ research at King’s College London which shows that structured development of pupils’ cognitive skills over two years raises their attainment. Previously called Cognitive Acceleration, it is one of only three programmes which have repeatedly been shown in international trials to have this effect.
Let’s Think in English is a teaching programme developed at King’s College London to help young people hone the reasoning skills needed for success in English. In the workshop you will learn about the pedagogy and research that underpins the programme, sample lessons and explore how LTE works in classrooms.


18:05 – 18:45  PLENARY

Sarah Seleznyov, Let's Think Forum, UK. Room “Lielupe”

Professional development for teachers of thinking. The Let's Think Approach

This session shares findings from the Let’s Think (Cognitive Acceleration) project led by King’s College University London, which has been exploring the best ways to support teachers to teach thinking lessons in English, mathematics and science for over 30 years.  Let’s Think lessons encourage pupils to work collaboratively to solve challenging and unfamiliar problems, and to reflect collectively  on the strategies they share with each other.  The project’s unique approach to professional development mirrors the thinking approach Let’s Think offers pupils: it encourages teachers to work collaboratively to solve problems of practice, and to reflect deeply on how these experiences relate to their day-to-day classroom practice.  The Let’s Think approach has been shown to be effective across several age phases and subjects, and has evolved over time so that it can operate at greater scale and with greater numbers of teachers.


18:45 - 19:10   Discussion of learning experience: teachers, researchers and experts

19:10 –            WELCOME RECEPTION

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