The FAS project started in 2017. Its subjects, especially the emotional dimension of the project and the development of life skills among students, met with great interest among the educational society in Poland.
The first step that was taken during the implementation of the project, was the broad research stage. The research phase focused on the well-being of students at school in relation to their perception of the learning environment, their emotional competences, life skills and a variety of learning styles. The study included 4 study groups: at least 1200 students (two study groups: students from beginner classes and over 10 years of age), 500 teachers and 800 parents in all countries. All research groups have been achieved. The research was carried out in four countries: Italy, Bulgaria, Poland and Spain.
In Poland, the research was carried out in several schools in both urban and in rural areas, as well as in small cities: Group of Schools in Szczawin, Primary School No. 172 of prof. Stefan Banach in Łódź, Primary School of Leokadia Ostrowska in Bobrowniki, Primary School of J. Twardowski in Dębowa Góra.
During the research, we defined two main research areas:
student’s well-being at school;
social and emotional development of pupils.
In order to gather complete data in each of the main areas, we focused on several aspects. As you know, there is no single factor that causes premature leaving of education – often these are very individual factors. However, a certain compilation of factors in students’ school and social life may influence the decision to abandon school. On the basis of the results we can say that students rather accept their school and feel good in it. However, analysing the collected data, we have identified several areas that require further work and reinforcement among students:
Motivation for learning / learning difficulties
Openness and integration / inclusion
Self-awareness and development / Life skills
Assertiveness and dealing with conflicts
Empathy and emotional management
Coping with stress
In 2018, we completed the research stage and focused on developing the Pedagogical Model – an educational textbook containing a series of exercises and activities for students. On the Polish side, we proposed 8 exercises: 4 to 4 for two groups of students (under 10 years old and above 11 years old).
In 2019, we moved to planning and implementing the next stages of the project. We have already started the first Circle Studies meetings for teachers (in Poland there are 10 groups of 15 people each). After the first meetings, we see how important the topic of the project is for teachers, and how important are emotional competences and life skills of students for them. Further Circle Studies meetings are planned to be carried out in the coming months. The Circle Studies should end in February 2020. We also plan workshops for parents – 5 training cycles of 20 people each. For this purpose, we contacted Primary School No. 172, which also took part in the research stage.
We’ve also taken the first steps to organize testing for the Pedagogical Model. In Poland, this testing will involve at least 100 students and we want to implement it in three classes at the level of early school education and in three classes of students over 11 years of age.
During the project we also carry out Stakeholder Forum meetings. We have completed 2 face to face meetings so far, the last one in September 2019. The participants of the Stakeholder Forum closely monitor the progress of the project and emerging results. They are happy to engage in discussions. The next months in the FAS project will be a period of intensive work with each of the project’s target groups: with students, teachers and parents. We are looking forward to this work and its results.