As part of the GROWE project, the final event to promote the GROWE model took place on 22 December at the D’Aguirre High School in Salemi. The 50 teachers present learned how to develop their students’ linguistic-communicative and social-emotional skills through authentic texts.
In the last three years, the project, which ended in December 2022, has involved teachers not only of Italian or English – or those subjects where we are more accustomed to finding literature books alongside textbooks – but also of science, mathematics or history. All of them have learnt to use children’s literature texts related to their subject to improve a number of skills in their students, such as self-awareness, self-regulation, managing social relationships, reading comprehension, writing, collaborative dialogue.
If you would also like to include the GROWE programme in your lessons, you can download it here, while in the project toolkit you can find good practice examples and sample lesson plans developed by teachers from Italy, Romania, the UK and Lithuania for different subjects. Some of the sample lessons are: Monologue on bullying, Bookmarks for Remembrance Day, History of the Periodic Table, Water on the moon, Main features of Blues music, The number sets and Soil reactions.
72 teachers from Italy, the UK, Romania and Lithuania completed the GROWE training and around 1800 students were involved by the end of the project. Progress in students’ social-emotional and disciplinary literacy skills was monitored through questionnaires completed at the beginning and end of the pilot period.
“When the student learns with joy, the process becomes easier and more efficient” commented one of the teachers in the questionnaires, while another wrote “it is very important to be able to recognise one’s emotions, understand them, associate with them and manage them”.
Another theme that emerged from the questionnaires was the recognition of the collaborative nature of learning and the role of empathy. One teacher noted that “to facilitate learning… students need to be aware that they need to learn and collaborate with their peers as best they can”.
We can also highlight some of the students’ comments: “I learnt to relate to my classmates’ opinions, even when they are expressed differently from my own. I learnt that I can always find something in common, even something small”. Finally, it was found that low ability students made the most progress. This suggests that students with high abilities are able to make progress when the teaching of disciplinary literacy and social-emotional skills is implicit, while those with low abilities achieve more when the teaching becomes explicit.
GROWE – GET READERS ON THE WAVELENGTH OF EMOTIONS is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme under Key Action 2, Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practice, Strategic partnerships in the field of school education.
- Coordinator: University of Gloucestershire (United Kingdom)
- Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (Italy)
- Asociatia LSDGC (Romania)
- Siuolaikiniu Didaktiku Centras (Lithuania)