The developed approach consists of a model for yearlong transversal or cross-curricular learning trajectories for world-citizenship (Leertrajecten Wereldburgerzin – LWZ) for secondary education, that addresses the lack of an integrating context for the use or application of general knowledge.
These LWZ are woven through 10% of the teaching time in the curricula of (depending on the size of the school) class/year/grades (two consecutive years) based groups, as improved GIP (Geïntegreerde Proeven/Integrated Tests: long since existing yearlong tests in technical, professional and art educational strands of the Belgian system, combining some of the “theory” and the main “practical” courses of each curriculum).
This update and the implementation of LWZ in also the general education strand, is feasible and meaningful when a) Vakoverschrijdende eindtermen/ transversal educational goals or end-terms are integrated thanks to “world-citizenship” as the practical definition or integral/general goal for the contributing courses, and b) enough good practices are developed as serving examples for school teams.
The rotation system for the contributing courses is organized with a “step-by-step plan for moral reasoning”, at the same time solving the questions surrounding the neutrality of education and serving as a structure for active and integral learning. Divided in:
- Stating the problem
- Values (implied by the human rights) and Alternatives
- Other people’s opinions
- (Pupils) Personal view or opinion
Each course connects for two or more weeks its own content to the “glocal” LWZ subject (a global problem that occurs locally, or a local problem that is globally relevant) that is worked on by the pupils in the interconnected “knowledge” and “doing” parts of their LWZ project.
In the book diverse programs are revisited and a comparison is made between existing theoretical models to work with transversal goals, or to connect education to present (parliamentary agreed upon) societal demands. Concluding that only the LWZ model is capable of in a feasible and sufficient way draw in all the school factors that influence citizenship and/or civic values:
- Role models/teachers attitudes and values
- Participation and sensibility
- Functional school policy
- (In)equality and/or comprehensivity
First try-outs and some more or less LWZ resembling projects done in the past show the following effects or results. They
- enhance pupils civic values and knowledge
- make it possible to implement most transversal goals in one educational practice
- strengthen the classical transfer of knowledge
- reduce demotivation
- safeguard the functions of the transversal goals approach
- improve school policy and reduce the workload through teamwork and integration of several educational pratices
- insert a feasible general framework for transversal active learning
The trajectories are evaluated in both a) course connected tests and exercises and b) in general by a jury that meets three times a year and is composed of the teachers involved and external experts:
- representatives of the private sector (as in the GIP)
- representatives of civil society (local organisations)
- representatives of external educational organisations
This way the development of the broad school is (for the first time) based and guided by the curriculum and/or the pedagogical tasks of the school: a LWZ is both a platform for the present social demands on schools and a buffer against simple social pragmatism or instrumentalism.
The implementation of these trajectories will have effects on the sector of external educational organisations. The book offers a concept for reorganization that involves the sector more strongly with the work and planning of teachers, and better structures the demand for its products and services, which will become both larger and more specific at the same time.