Conference report

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The fifth TA Teachers Conference, Assessment for Teaching Thinking  took place in the virtual format on 27-29 August, 2020. The conference was supported by the European Union Erasmus+ Programme and the University of Lincoln. This was the first year when the conference programme was offered in three languages: English, Russian and Latvian. Altogether the participants had an opportunity to participate in 54 talks and workshops offered by an international group of 44 presenters from 13 countries. The conference attracted about 300 participants from various parts of the world. It is possible to purchase access to recordings of conference sessions.

The English track of the programme took place on 28 and 29 August. The first day was fully dedicated to the results of of the ACTS project. Irina Buchinska from the Daugavpils Lyceum of Technologies and Alexander Sokol from TA Group presented the outputs of the project in Latvia. Juli Aerila from the University of Turku, made an overview of the tools for assessing thinking skills developed in Finland. Stuart Twiss from Let's Think Forum, UK, led the participants through the materials prepared by the UK team of the project. The day concluded with a panel discussion dealing with various aspects of assessing thinking skills. The second day of the English track was dedcated to talks and workshops on various aspects of developing and assessing thinking skills. Alexander Sokol spoke about the Thinking Approach (TA) and how it's been changing over the past 20 years. Irina Buchinska and Olga Mikulova ran a workshop on the use of the TA for teaching English and maths. Michael Walsh and Alan Edmiston from Let's Think Forum presented the Let's Think approach for teaching English and maths. Ann Pihlgren and her colleagues from the two schools in Spain and Sweden shared their experience on the implementation of an Erasmus+ project in merging two methods for developing thinking skills: Thinking-Based Teaching and Socratic Seminars. The day also included a number of fascinating talks and workshops by colleagues from Belgium, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine. For EUR 19 you can purchase access to recordings of all the sessions and materials shared by the presenters. 

The Russian  track of the conference took place on 27-28 August and was organised together with the online school "Мастерские знаний". The first day started with the introduction of the results of the ACTS project in Latvia and workshops on the use of the developed assessment tools in English and maths lessons. The next block was deicated to the use of the TA in teaching different subjects. The participants could see how the approach is implemented in Russian (both the mother tongue and a foreign language), English, maths and chemistry classes. In addition to colleagues in Latvia, the workshops were also offered by teachers from Lithuania and Spain. After lunch, Ingrīda Muraškovska shared her views on how school and adult education can learn from each other and ran a practical session on helping teachers use resources of tasks. Sima Kreynin from Israel spoke about her experience in making the first steps in teaching elements of TRIZ to children at the end of 1980s. The  second day of the Russian programme included a large number of talks related to the use of OTSM-TRIZ and TRIZ technologies for developing and assessing thinking skills of learners. The day started with talks by Alla Nesterenko on Problem Centred Education  and Tatiana Sidorchuk on the use of OTSM-TRIZ technologies in pre-school education. Teachers representing both school and non-formal education sectors shared their experience on using elements of the approaches for teaching various groups of learners. Participants could also benefit from sessions run by representatives of other approaches with presentations from Andorra, Belarus, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. For EUR 19 you can purchase access to recordings of all the sessions and materials shared by the presenters.

The Latvian track of the programme took place in the morning on 28 August and was fully dedicated to the results of the ACTS project in Latvia. Renata Jonina introduced the materials and the approach taken by the Latvian team. The talk was followed by four parallel workshops where teachers from the Daugavpils Lyceum of technologies shared their experience in using the tools in Latvian, English, Russian and maths lessons. The day concluded by the round table where all the participants could pose their questions on the tools and their implementation. For EUR 9 you can purchase access to recordings of all the sessions and materials shared by the presenters.

Most delegates were satisfied with the new format of the conference and plan to attend the next TA Teachers conference either virtually or face-to-face. The conference is planned for August-September 2022. You can pre-register your interest here

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