Dialogue learning beyond borders

"How do you deal with mixed-ability classes." This was the question posed by edu­cation authorities from Styria (AT) to the Guldisloo primary school in Wetzikon, where "dialogue learning" has been practised for some years. Establishing this innovative teaching method at the model school in Switzerland and exchanging experience with Austrian schools were the stated objectives of the one-year mo­bility project "Dialogue Learning Beyond Borders". 

The learning concept was developed by Swiss lecturers in teaching methods Urs Ruf and Peter Gallin. lt supports teachers in dealing with mixed-ability classes and is designed to give pupils a better understanding of independent and social learn­ing. lt met with a very positive reception including beyond national borders. So, teachers, lecturers in teaching methods, education authorities and school heads visited each other in Switzerland and Austria in order to observe how this approach is being employed and implemented in practice. The teacher mentors were not deterred by the high-level visit of the international delegation, but saw it as a chance to prove their skills and experience and to perfect their own teaching prac­tice. 

The project has proved to be a lasting success: the innovative model of learning has been included in the development plan of the regional education authority for Styr­ia. The project is also bearing fruit at the Guldisloo school. "In the meantime, all teachers are involved in the teaching development initiated with the project," headmistress Cornelia Battaglia is delighted to say. This success is, not least, at­tributable to the attention received from abroad and to the setting-up of a project­specific continuing education and training concept for the primary school in Wetzikon.