reAct – re-activating Teaches and Learners
Motivation has always been one of the key challenges in education. In the XXI century, with so many external sources that attract the attention of students, this challenge becomes increasingly important.
To a greater or lesser extent all students are affected by the dissonance between the official curriculum, which defines what should be taught in the classroom, and their own perceptions and expectations regarding the relevance of what they are taught. The consequences are greater for those for whom this lack of motivation, together with other factors, affects their performance in formal education and their integration into society, with the result that they do not complete compulsory education.
Numerous studies have shown that intrinsic motivation is associated with high educational attainment and enjoyment for students. It is intimately connected with the feeling of personal involvement and commitment to a task, with tasks that the individual finds relevant and meaningful, and with interaction with other people around these tasks. Thus, a person learns best in a social environment, doing something that is significant to him or her.
Ownership and creativity are also key issues. A project will be motivating if the activity is mostly directed in an autonomous way by the actor, it is creative, and it involves collaboration.
The dynamics of the traditional school and the classroom often militate against these three elements. However, by harnessing the potential of new technologies it may possible to bring new dynamics to the educational process and integrate new elements that will help to change the attitude and motivation of these students toward learning. There are initiatives that appear to indicate this. The aim of reAct is to explore this possibility.
What are the objectives of reAct?
- A change of attitude. The aim is for the learners to change from being passive subjects, an attitude instilled by the educational system throughout their childhood and youth, to being active. To effect this change we aim to propose that they participate in creative activities, defined and directed by themselves, they are relevant and close to their lives.
- Open minds. It would help to broaden their perspectives and let them discover other experiences and points of view of people living in other environments. European mobility initiatives have shown the benefits of this kind of activity. This should not be limited to a distant abstract knowledge, it is necessary to promote close relations between people of different backgrounds through joint cooperation.
- Teach them to learn. This includes developing cognitive skills and critical thinking skills that enable them to cope independently and autonomously with social and labor demands.
What is reAct?
The project will integrate the three key elements we have mentioned: autonomy, creativity and collaboration in a methodology aimed at harnessing the potential of new technologies, in order to:
- carry out creative activities
- facilitate collaboration in collaborative projects, reducing geographical distances and promoting mutual cultural understanding, and reflection
- develop meta-cognitive skills and critical thinking
- This methodology is based on investigation and consolidated processes, taken from informal learning, in which students “discover” by doing what motivates them, and through this process take a number of cognitive skills that allow them to act autonomously, tackling and understanding the learning situations as new opportunities.