Thematic learning in ICAROS. A practical view. Spain.

According to our vision of thematic learning in the project, we have designed a conceptual structure in the form of onion layers.

In the kernel of the onion is the theme, the main idea: the drones and ICAROS. Over this kernel the other logical layers begin to be constructed.

The second layer contains the skills that we want to work/improve/develop with our students.

Finally we have the outer layer. What people see is only the outer layer -> the microprojects or activities that we do with students.

All the onion layers are connected. The kernel layer is connected with the skills layer. The skill layer is also connected with the microproject layer.

A microproject is created to develop one or more skills. The more skills included in the microproject the better.

In the microproject the result has to be a clear product. For example a leaflet, a landing gear, a program, etc.

It is important to focus in the process not in the final result.

¿Why process is important?

  • Because students have to work cooperatively in order to get the final result.
  • Because students have to develop their skills.
  • Because students have to improve their knowledge.
  • Because students have to improve their way of working.

One microproject matches lots of skills. When we are working in the assembling ICAROS I microproject whe are working in at least this activities:

  • Make decisions
  • Languages
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Problem solving
  • Technology literacy

Every microproject is divided in several activities/goals.

Once you conclude one goal you will start to work in the next one.

Every goal is also divided in phases or stages:

  • Phase I. Define the objectives or the problem to solve.
  • Phase II. Research.
  • Phase III. Compare the possible ways.
  • Phase IV. Work cooperatively to get the desired result.
  • Phase V. Evaluate the result.

In the phase five the students have to evaluate the final result. If the result is good they will start with the next goal. If not, they will repeat the goal having into account all the mistakes commited.

Repeating a goal should not be viewed as a failure. It is a way to improve skills and learning. We are not in a competition.

Role of the teacher

What a teacher should have to do when he is working in this way:

  • Prepare the brainstorming
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Give clear guidelines
  • Prepare tasks and groups
  • Follow this motto “Everybody counts”
  • Etc.

It is important to keep in mind that the teacher is only a mediator.
It is important that the teacher has to adjust the level of information to the students.
It is important that the teacher supports to maximize the ability (of the students) to take responsibility for learning.

Tip for the teacher: Don’t let the students make their own teams.
Tip for the teacher: Don’t let the students organize by themselves.

If you want to have the whole presentation please click on this link: THEMATIC LEARNING IN ICAROS (SPAIN)