More than 100,000 teachers have taken advantage of the training opportunities offered within all components of the “LES” Program
The “LES” Program introduces an original quality assurance system into the daily practice of schools, which ultimately increases the skills and autonomy of teaching staff, bolsters the position of the principal as the leader of her/his school’s transformation process and improves teamwork. All this leads to improved teaching results. It is a broad program that encompasses teacher on-line training sessions and courses, staff workshops, post-graduate courses and conferences for principals, a systemic program of formative assessment and other innovative educational practices. Schools participating in the program develop organizational solutions that professionalize teaching, monitor the effects of their efforts, and share best practices. The program has resulted in quality improvement in key areas of a school’s activities: education (teaching and learning) effectiveness, the school as a learning institution, and the school’s cooperation with the outside community.
In 18 years, almost 4,000 schools participated in the program; 1,450 of them took part in the core part which is aimed at comprehensive development of the school thanks to introducing the formative assessment. Also, more than 100,000 teachers have taken advantage of the training opportunities offered within all components of the “LES” Program.
Since 2009 the “On-line Teachers Academy” (OTA) project has been carried out. It is implemented throughout Poland and involves an on-line distance training system for teachers of various subjects in different types and levels of schools as well as kindergartens. “OTA” courses make use of e-learning and on-line coaching and serve to prepare teachers to use modern information technologies in their work with pupils. “OTA” offers seven year-long courses of various types. Since the 2016/17 academic year teachers can also choose a training course on “OK Notebook”, a new tool that supports formative assessment. Each year ca. 800 teachers take part in on-line training courses.
The many-year experience gained in the implementation of the “LES” Program was used in various educational initiatives financed from EU funds, such as the “Students’ Academy” Program, completed in 2015, or the “Digital School”.
The objective of “Students’ Academy” was to promote innovative teaching methods, especially in math and life sciences. The programs were addressed to teachers and students from all over Poland and were participated in by more than 20,000 people.
Since the beginning of 2017/18 school year, “LES” has been implemented in a new environment resulting from broad changes introduced in the Polish educational system. Consequently, a part of the activities had to be adjusted to the new circumstances.
Based on the “LES” experience, in 2018, the “Learning School Academy of Education Leaders” (LES AEL) was launched as part of post-graduate studies for leaders of education conducted since 2007. “LES AEL” are post-graduate studies for 1,000 school and kindergarten principals or vice principals and subject team leaders from the Mazowieckie and Świętokrzyskie provinces aimed at improvement of educational institution managers’ qualifications in development of students’ key skills. The studies are run in cooperation with Collegium Civitas and the Maria Grzegorzewska University-Academy of Special Education, and are co-financed from EU funds.
PAFF is a partner of the “School with Class 2.0” initiative, promoting innovative educational solutions based on information and communication technologies and the design thinking method. It expands on the “School with Class” project, launched in 2002 and inspired by the “LES” Program. It was conducted by the Center for Citizenship Education Foundation (currently by the School with Class Foundation) in cooperation with the “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily. By the end of 2017, more than 9,000 schools from all over Poland and more than 150,000 teachers had participated. It included such initiatives as the “Teacher with Class”, “Lego, Cogito, Ago”, the “Student with Class” and the “School of Thinking”. In 2014, the “First Class Teacher” project was launched offering training, expert support and inspiration for early childhood education teachers.
The Foundation has disbursed $12,062,919, including $805,214 for the current edition of the program.