As the first school in Denmark, Sønderskov School in Sønderborg is now introducing the “LEAPS-model” to replace the subject-based traditional curriculum. LEAPS stands for Learning and Engagement through Authentic Projects with a focus on Science. In this spirit, the education will be focusing on a cross-scientific project that is directed on real-world problems. “The teaching and learning will be taken out of the books and brought out in the real world.” the school leader Rasmus Andreassen explains to Jyllands Posten.
The LEAPS-model forms a bridge where science meets the digital society’s demands. Kristiina Kumpulainen, professor of pedagogy at the University of Helsinki, says the following about science education to Scientific American: “the world of children and young people outside of schools has changed, and so the school environment, teaching methods and the content aren’t relatable or inspiring to them any longer, which creates motivational problems.” Finland is a pioneer in the efforts of removing subject divided education in school to a more project-based real-world approach.
Authentic Science Education
Added value with such a learning-by-doing approach is that science will be more integrated with the daily communication of the learners. Since the problem-solving, collaboration, the experimental approach and actually getting results is something the boosts engagement. It is destined to sneak in the conversations also after school-hours. At the same time, as it helps the learners directly exploring more opportunities in their future working life hands-on. In contradiction to the mosaic of facts that is passively received. That is common in the traditional classroom. While they also are getting a future competitive advantage when they can show that they generally have a working life adapted education in their learning portfolio.
With this approach, the traditional classroom that mostly is favouring teaching-by-telling education in small bits. It is turning into a lab for active learning and skills training. At the same time as education is integrated into a real world-context, which is doing magic for understanding.