In general, a project is (in context of industry or management) a time-limited, relatively innovative and risky task of considerable complexity, which usually requires separate project management due to its difficulty and importance.
Project work in both universities and schools is of growing importance to promote self-responsible learning. It was evident that project work as such is not a new didactical approach and depending on the teaching traditions in the different countries and faculties involved in IMPROPAL, project work had been applied for a considerable amount of time.
In the IMPROPAL subproject “project work” the following common understanding of “project work” has been developed: A complex task has to be solved in topics in which the students are interested in and which is relevant to their learning process. Students should be enabled to apply several competences and work interdisciplinarily. All stages of a project (conception of ideas, planning, implementation and evaluation) should be done in a team which works target- as well as process-oriented.
In IMPROPAL the method of project work has two innovative features:
- Firstly, it includes an international component by doing project work on a European or even international level, therefore, intercultural projects are dealt with in which at least two international partners are involved
- Secondly, it promotes the cooperation between education institutions and companies to increase the real-life-relevance of the projects.
The aim of this subproject was to
- share experiences and good practice to reach a common understanding of “project work”,
- jointly develop ideas for project work involving companies to foster practical experiences and to facilitate contacts between education and economy,
- conduct project work with pupils as well as students on a European level to raise – awareness for cultural differences and to facilitate intercultural communication,
- develop “guidelines for good project work” for documentation and exploitation purposes,
- offer teacher training on project work,
- promote the idea of entrepreneurship among students and teachers (close cooperation with subproject on entrepreneurial approach is planned)
- get students more involved in the teaching/learning process.
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