Strand B. Innovations in educational management

Saturday, 20 September, Room "Venta"

Chair persons: Dmitry Kucharavy, SeeCore Project, France and Adela Vitkovska, Eurofortis, Latvia


09:00 - 09:40   Dmitry Kucharavy, SeeCore Project, France

System thinking for decision making

This workshop is focused on a question: How to perform systems thinking in practice? It is  well known that systems thinking has a lot of advantages, but it is seldom applied in decision making. System Operator (SO) facilitates systems thinking. In the last few decades, this technique has proved its effectiveness  in the areas of inventive problem solving and long-term forecasting. The focus of the workshop will be on the practical applications of SO. Some examples of using SO in practice will be presented and discussed.


09:45 - 10:30   Shoshi Reiter, SR-TOC4HD, Israe

How to unlock the potential of school's resources management


How do we get more from what we have? Changes in the administration of school resources management in Israel (based on the Theory of Constraints), has produced a marked improvement in the high school graduation rate of underprivileged students. That has been achieved without the need for additional manpower or other resources and without changing the pedagogical methods of teaching. The field research at an Israeli school, adopting of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) has led to a continuous increase in the number of students eligible for high school diplomas. The current workshop will focus on changing school resources management in order to achieve more within the resources schools already have. Participants will be introduced to the thinking tools and processes of the TOC and practice them. They will explore beliefs and limiting assumptions. This self-exploration may lead to new teaching focus and unlock students' learning potential.


10:30 - 11:00   COFFEE BREAK


11:00 - 11:25   Audrone Allan, Lithuania

Implementation Thinking as a Key Competence into Lithuanian Schools 

The discussion is about the latest experience of a two year European Structural Fund Project „Development of Thinking Competence“. The primary aim of the project was to introduce ‘New Thinking’ into school curricula and organisational culture of educational institutions in Lithuania. The project can be characterised as a systematic process, involving:
- Working with curricula at three levels: national, school and individual teachers.
- Working with wide range of people; trainers, teachers, school administration, students, parents and other educational stakeholders.
- Three stages in the work with teachers: introduction to the new thinking tools, training in principles of teaching thinking, support for classroom experimentation.
- Designing wide ranges of practical materials to support the change; for classwork, tools for assessment, evaluation of progress and methodological guidelines for teachers.
- The rich experience of this systematic approach let us learn more about dynamics of the interrelated change in curriculum, school culture and classroom.


11:30 - 11:55   Ingrīda Muraškovska, Latvia

Creative thinking as the principle of training content organisation

Creative thinking traditionally is one of the components of education content as well as other important skills. However it is getting more difficult to implement it, according to the basic contradiction of education: the amount of knowledge is increasing, but the time for acquirement is limited. How to achieve that time for development of creative thinking would not intensify this contradiction, but would let to solve it?

This could be achieved, if the creative thinking becomes a principle of organisation of content. Approach like this could be implemented by using OTSM-TRIZ theory. It is universal – based on the systematic properties of object and constructive – contains tools for effective solution of the problems. In the framework of this theory creative thinking have been understood as manageable, effective thinking, which allows to achieve preferable result in optimal way and ensures acquire of new knowledge by connecting in common world scene. The model of OTSM-TRIZ: element-indication-value of indication is a base for organising nonlinear training process according to the concrete interests of the pupil. Implementation of the content in this way ensures motivation of pupil, connection between knowledge and real life and development of problem solving and independent inquiring skills.


12:00 - 12:25   Cornelia Knoch,  Zürich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland

Conditions of creativity and thinking for professional staff development


The development of creativity and thinking in the context of professional staff development in schools requires specific conditions. This presentation focuses on 4 dimensions within a school’s organization: leadership style, personality aspects, working place / work organization and organizational culture. Based on theoretical knowledge and empirical data, these dimensions must follow specific principles or include certain characteristics, so that they can build at least the basis for creativity-oriented staff development within a school.


12:30 - 13:30   LUNCH BREAK


13:30 - 14:25   Richard Cummins and Ged Murphy, Thinking Schools International, UK

Creating a thinking school


The workshop will focus on a whole-school approach to the teaching of thinking. The model is one that is being used in schools across the world. Headteachers report that the whole-school approach has literally transformed their schools. In all schools which have gained accreditation from the University of Exeter attainment has risen and there has been a considerable improvement in students’ ability to manage their own learning.  Opportunities will be provided for discussion about the rationale behind the whole-school approach. Participants will leave having considered how to produce a school action plan; the six starting points, the phases towards becoming a thinking school; teaching FOR thinking, teaching OF thinking and teaching ABOUT thinking. Participants will be introduced to, and have the opportunity to use, various thinking tools which are included in three key pathways: Visual Tools; Dispositions, Attitudes and Behaviours; Questioning for Enquiry.



14:30 - 14:55   Adela Vitkovska, Eurofortis, Latvia and Inese Didže, Dobele State Gymnasium, Latvia

Total quality management implementation in daily life of schools


For 25 years, leading European organisations have been using the ‘EFQM Excellence’ model, which is one of three worldwide Total Quality Management (TQM) instruments widely adopted today.
The ‘EFQM Excellence’ model, when used as a philosophical background in combination with organisational self-assessment and continuous improvement, creates the foundation that leads to organisational excellence, sustainability and future success.
Sustainable and continuous growth of educational organisations - as well as their daily improvements - can be further ensured by following the ‘Excellence’ principles in all EFQM criteria: Strategy; Leadership; People; Processes and Resources that are linked and developed by all people involved.
With this presentation, we will demonstrate how usage of this ‘Quality Excellence’ approach can be beneficial for every type and size of educational organisation and also how the simplicity of its implementation, makes it easy to use.


15:00 - 15:30   COFFEE BREAK


15:30 - 15:50   Ann Pihlgren, Ignite Research Institute, Sweden

Complementary education in classrooms and after school activities


This paper analyzes how teachers meet the demands for cognitive and creative development of students. Observations of lessons and sessions in afterschool activities (‘fritidshem’) for grade K-3 and teacher interviews were used. The questions guiding the analysis concern what criteria are important when teaching thinking and creativity to students, how these are planned by the teacher and represented in the activities, and how co-planning between school and afterschool affects the cognitive outcome.
Teaching thinking and creativity presupposes that the teacher plans, assesses, chooses activities and tools, and arranges the setting carefully, with focus on fostering students’ habits of mind. The contextual and communicational interactions play a vital part of support. Evidence of the anticipated criteria was difficult to ascertain in the observed classrooms and after school activities. However, a few teachers present successful models, with some of which school and after school activities interact to improve students’ thinking and creativity.



15:55 - 16:35   Eva Leffler, Åsa Falk Lundqvist, Umeå University Sweden

Entrepreneurial Learning promotes creativity and thinking in learning situations

Entrepreneurial learning is described as an attitude to teaching and learning and is incorporated into school practice under current policy documents. This applies in Sweden as well as in other European countries and is based on policy and political manifestations rather than on school research. Important keywords in developing an entrepreneurial attitude to teaching and learning are creativity, responsibility, courage, cooperation and beware of possibilities instead of focus on problems.
Is there a theoretical and pedagogical basis for this or is that foundation now under construction? At the work shop we are going to discuss how theories of learning can help us to understand the entrepreneurial practice and vice versa - how practice and the theories can help us to understand entrepreneurial learning in a school context. Finally, a theoretical model is developed on how "tools for thinking", which include reflection, creativity, improvisation and participation, can be communicated to practitioners.


16:40 - 17:00   Sylvie Studente, Nina Seppala & Noemi Sadowska, Regent University, UK

Facilitating Creative Thinking in the Classroom: Investigating the Effects of Plants on Visual Creativity

We report upon a pilot study concerned with the effect of exposure to live plants upon visual creativity. This study was undertaken with 36 business students who were randomly allocated to one of two conditions. The control group completed a visual creativity task in a classroom with no plants present and blinds drawn to block views to natural settings. The experimental group were placed in the same room but were surrounded by live plants. The room had large windows with a view to a green area. The level of creative thinking in the participant’s work was assessed by three independent experts using a modified version of Amabile’s Consensual Assessment Technique (Amabile, 1982). Findings indicate that participants in the experimental group achieved higher creativity scores than those in the control group. This suggests that live plants and views to natural settings have a positive effect on the ability to think creatively.

17:05 - 17:25 Ieva Kimonte, Creativity Castle, Latvia

Creative thinking methods in large school environment - process and result

Large schools face challenges regarding motivation, creativity and management strategies. One of the biggest problems at the 5th secondary school of Liepāja were highly heterogeneous and unequal students background from different socio economical environments and teachers that are not ready to try new strategies to face these issues. Creation of growth supporting and inner motivation awakening environment shows first behavioural outcomes in pupils and educators. Most noticeable results in pupils and teachers are: taking initiative and openness to change, innovations and motivation for involvement and taking action.


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