Bridge21 brings 21st century education to schools across Europe

13 Nov 2015

Students at work as teams in one of the learning pods at Bridge21

Trinity College Dublin’s education programme Bridge21 has launched a project to bring 21st century team-based learning environments to secondary schools across Europe.

It aims to achieve this by integrating learning activities that are team-based, technology-mediated, project-based and cross-curricular.

Research has shown that 21st century learning (21CL) approaches will help students to develop the habits and reasoning skills that will permit them to become effective problem-solvers and self-directed learners. However, it has also been highlighted that, without adequate structure, support and scaffolding, the creation of opportunities for young people to develop these skills within the school environment is far from a straightforward task.

Teachers from partner schools in Ireland, Estonia, Germany and Sweden will collaborate to progress the existing Bridge21 model into a transnational model of 21CL with a particular focus on assessment, communities of practice, and different learning styles.

21st-century learning comes to Europe

The project will involve an initial immersive experience of the Bridge21 model for 16 teachers from the partner schools.

These teachers will form a community to practice and design new learning experiences. Participating teachers will also be developing their skills and competencies in orchestrating and creating active, 21CL experiences, while simultaneously developing a pragmatic, transnational model of 21CL.

“This project springs from the shared recognition that we need to integrate the basic and transversal skills associated with 21CL into mainstream secondary school education,” explained Aibhín Bray from Bridge21.

“Many teachers wish to develop teaching and learning strategies that incorporate skills associated with 21CL to benefit their students, but they are hampered by numerous factors outside of their control, including the restraints of current practices in curriculum and assessment, and a lack of relevant continuous professional development.

“This project should help to develop best practices in this area and spread the impact of the Bridge21 programme throughout Europe,” Bray said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years