Strand C. Innovations in family learning

Saturday, 20 September, Room "Gauja"

Chair persons: Eszter Salamon, European Parents' Association (Belgium-Hungary) and Andrea Gruber, Pressley Ridge (Hungary)


09:00 - 09:25   Ingrīda Muraškovska, Latvia

OTSM-TRIZ – the planner of a successful life path

Parents always care for safe future of their children, however it cannot be ensured by the very best school anymore, because world is changing too fast and the knowledge is ageing. Nowadays high value is not for diplomas and certificates, but for ability to achieve success in indefinite and complicated situations. This ability is based on creative thinking, which fixes current situation and preferable final result, determines obstacles and methodically finds ways for overcoming them by solving contradictions. For development of this thinking OTSM-TRIZ theory have been created. It does not rely on occasional luck on the way of mistakes and experiments, but offers tools for overcoming psychological inertia and purposeful solving of contradictions. Children who participated in activities of OTSM-TRIZ presented high sensitivity on issues, readiness to accept challenges, as well as stable results in solving problem tasks. Those qualities could be also promoted in family by practising OTSM-TRIZ tools in games and everyday situations.


09:30 - 10:30   Andrea Gruber, Pressley Ridge, Hungary

School Holidays: Finally Time to Learn? Creative Use of Long Out-of School Periods to Foster Creativity.

Education systems in most European countries still fail to recognize school holidays as an invaluable opportunity to foster informal learning and foster students’ creative thinking skills. In these vacation periods parents often face the challenge to provide meaningful yet affordable activities for their children.
This workshop will discuss how the theory of ‘learning by doing’ can turn regular life events of vacation time into a low-cost yet immense learning opportunity. After reviewing the Experiential Learning Cycle and the PIE (Plan-Implement-Evaluate) model, it will collect some of the best practices with the active participation of the audience. In addition the workshop facilitator will provide practical ideas and tips on the types and organization of activities that serve the age-appropriate developmental needs of students, which not only teach skills and foster development, but are also fun for the kids.
Here is a great website for activities in advance:


10:30 - 11:00 COFFEE BREAK


11:00 - 11:55   Linda O'Toole, Universal Education Foundation, Learning for Well-being, Belgium and USA

Learning for Well-being Core Capacities/Practices in Family Environments.

Fundamental differences in how children interact with their environments can be noticed in infancy. In early childhood these ways of functioning are sometimes viewed as problems to be resolved rather than as natural patterns of expression to be supported. When labeling occurs, children are often thwarted in expressing their creativity and enhancing the metacognitive skills that will aid in developing personal resources for lifelong and life-wide learning.

With awareness and simple guidelines, parents and educators can nurture the diverse perspectives and multiple expressions that occur in children and set a course for children to understand and express their own particular learning processes and thinking patterns.

In this interactive workshop, participants become aware of some basic aspects of their core processes of learning. Through increased awareness of their own patterns, they can practice strategies for addressing patterns of children with whom they interact.

12:00 - 12:25   Edgar Lasevich & Alexander Sokol, TA Group, Latvia

PASS materials as a tool for the development of thinking skills of pre-school children: how can we help parents to get started?

The international project Parents As Successful teacherS (PASS) developed support materials for parents to help them facilitate the development of their children's language and thinking skills. The materials proved successful in many European countries and many parents expressed an interest in using them with children. We have learned, however, that the impact is higher when parents have a chance to attend a face-to-face training and later exchange the experience with fellow parents. This works best when organised in local communities and facilitated by local organisations. During this session, I would like to invite the participants to consider launching such small scale communities in their contexts, share some of the ideas on how they could be organised and also suggest possibilities for external support if it is necessary. You would be able to benefit more if you could familiarise yourself with the PASS materials before the session. They are freely available on the project website (

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