challenge: Denmark meets Scotland!
trainees using Storyline at Aberfoyle Primary School, Scotland.
by experienced Storyline educator and head teacher of Aberfoyle Primary
School, Carol Anne Omand, we: Anne Mette Linnet and Soren Birk Jensen
from Frederiksberg College of Education, Copenhagen, got the chance
to plan and teach a three week Storyline in a 3rd/4th form class. We
called it "Our village" focusing on the pupils local
village environment - an important community for everyone living in
and around it. The activities concentrated on buildings: what buildings
are in this village - and what purpose does each building serve? Apart
from extending the pupils´ knowledge and awareness, strengthening
their relationship to the village, our aim of the three week project
was to present the children with central aspects of teamwork. Therefore
we designed activities that made argumentation, compromise and decision
unlike detectives the Aberfoyle pupils were to gather specific information
about their village, finding important details of selected buildings.
At the same time excited and concentrated, they came home with a useful
resource. "I didnt know there were that many different buildings
here!", one of the children said. The Storyline then entered an
imaginative phase setting an individual activity: what building would
you wish was here in the village? The ideas were very creative, including
a "Better weather building" and a snake shop.
a telefax from Stirling Council, the highest authority in the area,
("Wow, we received a real telefax !"), the class was transformed
into four teams of "Building Constructors" on a contract:
each team was to make a new building of their own choice in Aberfoyle,
reasoning their choices. Then, the "professional" building
process waited ahead: sketching, planning, writing an application form
for materials and the concrete construction; model scale buildings made
of painted cardboard. The final "Grand Opening" was a big
celebration starring the constructors the new village experts
presenting their work for the teachers and the rest of the class
part of the whole process was fascinating. Not only did the Aberfoyle
pupils work hard and focused, showing results as they were learning,
they obviously had great fun. And so did we; the stay abroad gave us
two fairly inexperienced students - a unique and very intensive
learning experience, not only in teaching Storyline, but also in meeting
a different style - of teaching and of life. The differences put our
own culture educational and national into a wider perspective;
we can learn from each other.
Hence, we feel the
bottom line of our experience is this:
Storyline approach gives us the common ground, our different styles
give us the challenge
Take it on - you will neither regret nor
Frederiksberg College of Education, Copenhagen, Denmark.