As far as the development of the curriculum is concerned, the Institut Quatre Cantons supports a vision in relation to the management of academic contents, space and time. Thus, the following decisions were taken to deploy the project:
– Approaching subjects to the everyday reality of students and their social context, in order to highlight the relationship between curricula and the world outside school.
– Reducing the number of subjects and teachers that students have.
– Developing cross-curricular subjects which globalise contents (related to basic skills) in order to deal with contents from different areas in a cross-curricular way.
The school also incorporates different methodological approaches to bring into account its objectives. So, project work, problem based learning, research, case studies, didactic sequences imply a classroom management often decentralized in which students must take decisions about what content has to be learned, which resources have to be consulted or what product has to be elaborated.
This diversity of approaches leads towards the personalization of learning. Thus, all students should find work proposals with objectives,methodologies and assessment activities appropriate to their learning style, their possibilities, pace and expectations.
This may mean the diversification of tasks having in mind these ideas:
– propose different tasks (e g. some students read a document while others listen to a recorded explanation; a group of students chooses a research while another group chooses a different one; some are dealing with spelling exercises as other practice speed reading;)
– in some occasions, cooperative work implies asymmetric tasks for each component with different cognitive levels. in some others, it implies a diversity of activities in the same classroom.
– in some cases, the degree of diversification is present when some students are required just cognitive understanding while some others are required critical judgment, critical assessment or even that the learning process undergoes new actions,
– it can also mean choosing a procedure, either on their own or in group in order to demonstrate what they have learned; so, while a student a can choose to record a narration in a video, another may decide to make a multimedia presentation or an expository text.
A leading example of how innovative learning environments are introduced in the school is the Global work from external proposal, an instrument to implement curricula.
The global work from external proposal brings into the classroom authentic tasks that give students the opportunity to be in touch with the real world through several institutions that collaborate with the school.
Close collaboration is set with external institutions (museums, cultural and research institutes, companies … ) which play a promoting role. Thus, the tasks are designed in a world that the student recognizes and wants to understand. These tasks are perceived as authentic actions involving intellectual and practical values.
Students work together in planning, organizing and controlling their own learning process by working mainly individually or in groups, the group class becomes fuzzy. No pre-work units are developed for all students, tasks and projects are developed by students and teachers together; in the process, the teacher plays the role of supporting, advicing and guiding.
To sum up, all this project is led by the school management, carried out by a professional with extensive experience in management tasks and training both in didactic aspects of organization and management of teams of people. Key positions in the organization are held by teachers who have been called by management in order to perform the function assigned.