Schools Team Up
The “Schools Team Up” project, which aims to improve and develop schools and teaching, is all about creating networks. Since it was launched in 2007, the first phase of the “Schools Team Up” model – “Schools Team Up – Jointly Developing Lessons” – has been a resounding success with its ten networks and 40 schools in Duisburg and Essen: pupils learn more when schools collaborate in local networks, learning from and with one another and working together to develop lesson plans. If the networks are supported by the respective school authorities and firmly anchored within the local educational landscape, this puts the model on a particularly solid footing – as the next phase of the project in 2009 demonstrated, when 35 schools formed eight networks in Dortmund.
In the third phase of the project, better educational decisions will be the subject of new “Schools Team Up” networks, focusing on how to “jointly organize transitions”. In the first half of 2011, eight regions in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia will be selected – regions keen to make the socially fair organization of schools a central issue in local educational policy and, in particular, wishing to change the way pupils complete the transition from primary to secondary level in their schools. More than 24 networks and about 100 schools are thus taking part in the “Schools Team Up” project overall.
Structure and organization
In this project, school authorities and other educational bodies at local level, school heads and teachers will jointly take responsibility and commit themselves to socially fair educational decisions. To this end, regional education offices will initiate and run school networks within the project “Schools Team Up – Jointly Organizing Transitions”. It is essential for primary and secondary schools in the same neighbourhood to work together, learning from and with each other. Where good examples are found or existing approaches to successful transition practice offer potential for further development, everyone in the network can profit from the experiences of the individual schools. In addition, the network schools will jointly begin to develop and put new approaches and concepts to the test. The network activities will be accompanied by events allowing exchanges of ideas and inspiration. Continuing education seminars and expert advice will ensure the quality of the work pursued by the networks. Results will be documented on all levels and made available to all actors.
The project is being run by the Institute for School Development Research (IFS) at Dortmund Technical University, with scientific support provided by a consortium. The Ministry of Schools and Further Education of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is a cooperation partner which will also be involved in the new project phase of “Schools Team Up”.
For Stiftung Mercator, integration means ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity to take part in central areas of society’s life. Education is the key lever here in order to achieve as equal participation as possible for people of migrant and German origin. “Schools Team Up – Jointly Organizing Transitions” aims to bring about better educational decisions for every single child and thus represents an important step in this direction.