2021 saw, for the first time in Poland, an implementation of a pedagogical innovation concerning the idea of lifelong learning and the Integrated Qualification System.
The idea was born out of regional partnership [partnership between the Educational Research Institute implementing the Integrated Qualifications System project and stakeholders of the qualifications system in Poland] in Opolskie voivodship, where John Paul II School Complex in Zdzieszowice acts as a Lead Partner.
The originators of the idea were Małgorzata Nogalska, Headmaster of the School Complex, and Justyna Raszczyk, the School Manager of Practical Training. Methodological and content-related support came from Agnieszka Wojtal, Regional Leader for the IQS, and Ewa Frołow, coach-trainer at the Educational Research Institute (IBE).
The aim of the innovation, called "Get on board the right train, or what the Integrated Qualifications System is and why we need it", is to inform students about the basics of the Integrated Qualifications System and the tools they can use to start building their educational and career paths as early as secondary school.
The innovation consists of a series of four lessons:
- "Get on board the right train - or what the Integrated Qualifications System is and why we need it / First the sculpting mass, then the sculpture - different routes to qualifications",
- "Station Qualification - Polish and European qualifications frameworks",
- "Ticket to Career - validation and the Integrated Qualifications Register",
- "Gather evidence - portfolio method. Tools for creating an e-portfolio".
Evaluation of the innovative actions carried out in Zdzieszowice shows that most of the students had no knowledge about the IQS before the lessons. Students said that after taking part in the lessons they can now interpret acronyms and understand terms related to the IQS, and know what tools the system offers and how they can use them. They found the topics covered interesting, accessible and useful.
In March and April 2021 Ewa Frołow and Barbara Lebedowicz - IBE trainers - conducted a nationwide series of two-day methodological and informational seminars entitled "How to implement a pedagogical innovation concerning lifelong learning and the IQS" addressed to all interested in implementing such an innovation in their schools. The participants of the seminars had the opportunity to recall and systematize knowledge concerning the concept of lifelong learning and the tools the Integrated Qualifications System offers, learn about the details of the project and receive a package of teaching support materials. The meetings are already having an effect.
On April 8, 2021 a new implementation of the innovation got under way in Stanisław Staszic School Complex number 3 in Włoszczowa,. And thus, on the map of Poland showing the places where pedagogical innovations concerning lifelong learning and the IQS are currently implemented, Zdzieszowice is joined by Włoszczowa.
Ewa Frolow, Barbara Lebedowicz
Note: Pedagogical Innovation, in the Polish educational system, is any innovative curricular, organizational or methodological change aimed at improving the quality of school work. Thus, an innovation will be, for example, a modification or development of a new curriculum, a new way of organizing school work or the introduction of new teaching methods. As of 2017, the decision to implement an innovation is made at the school level. It is no longer necessary to submit an innovation to the Regional Education Authorities or the school governing authority for approval.