The Polish-American Principal Academy is an annual meeting of principals and vice principals of schools participating in the “Learning Schools” (LES) pPogram with the team of coordinators and LES Lab and Club. This year the meeting was held in Wilga on October 3-5.
The three-day meeting comprised first of all workshops, lectures and panels but it also was an opportunity to share teaching experiences.
The special guests were Prof. Jan Potworowski from United Kingdom and William Stroud of Teachers College Columbia University. The hosts of the meeting were Jacek Strzemieczny, PhD, and Danuta Sterna of the Center for Citizenship Education.
Danuta Sterna gave a lecture on seven conditions for self-regulation of learning. She explained the relationship between formative assessment and increase in self-regulatory mechanisms.
Prof. Jan Potworowski encouraged the participants to discuss on shaping the minds of young generation and teaching patriotism. Next, William Stroud, an expert in teacher education of Teachers College Columbia University, shared his experiences on running a multicultural school and presented the elements of good learning. “Apart from focusing on quality of teaching, the decisive for improvement in the work of school is quality of leadership, including setting the direction, management of teaching, stimulating development of teachers, or organization of a place where teachers can work together. If that is missing, there is no chance to improve learning and teaching,” said William Stroud.
Joint work of the participants and experts resulted in making the list of formative assessment elements that can be applied by principals in their schools. It includes the following:
- Learning by doing,
- Effective teamwork and students teaching each other,
- Feedback giving and receiving,
- Work on educational task,
- Increasing students self-regulation,
- Regular meetings of the teams of teachers to discuss teaching and learning,
- Using errors made by students in learning process,
- Developing classroom discussions,
- Asking questions by students.
Under the “Learning Schools” Program, implemented since 2000, comprehensive activities have been conducted to improve the quality of Polish education patterned on the best foreign models. The quality of work of Polish schools, especially those in rural areas and small towns, is enhanced primarily by improving the teaching techniques. Over 17 years almost 4000 schools have participated in the program, including over 1400 in its essential part which is aimed at comprehensive development of school, among other things through introduction of formative assessment. A total of over 100,000 teachers participated in training sessions offered under all components of the “LES” Program.