A total of 15 partner schools of Teach For Bulgaria applied to participate in our new Erasmus+, Key Action 3 project called FIERST (From Innovators in Inclusive Education to Real Scale Transfer)All applications were very strong and after a rigorous selection process 8 schools with a team of 8 to 10 teachers in each school received the opportunity to participate in the first year of the project:

  • Primary School “General Kartsov”, Hristo Danovo
  • Secondary School “Nesho Bonchev”, Panagyurishte
  • Professional High School “Georgi Sava Rakovski”, Kostenets
  • 97 Secondary School “Brothers Miladinov”, Sofia
  • Professional High School “Tsanko Tserkovski”, Pavlikeni
  • School “Hristo Botev”, Dalgo Pole
  • Secondary School “Otets Paisii”, Samokov
  • Professional High School “Sándor Petőfi”, Razgrad

Another three schools which already have some experience in creating professional communities of practice or in developing students’ 21st-century skills were given the opportunity to participate in the trainings with up to three teachers from each school:

  • Primary School “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”, Vetren
  • Primary School “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”, Chelopech
  • Secondary School “St. Paisii Hilendarski”, Zlatitsa

The total number of teachers who are going to be trained in the first year of the project is 79.

FIERST partner schools will be trained how to develop students’ 21st-century skills based on the handbook called “How to Develop 21st-century Skills in the Classroom”. Teachers will be able to exchange best practices and do additional research. To make sure that the impact of these trainings is lasting and sustainable, project partners are going to create professional communities of practice on a school and intra-school level. The 8 selected project partner schools will receive additional support during the school year which would help them start their own professional communities of practice. 

All of the trainers are Teach For Bulgaria alumni and are already planning and preparing for the trainings. Three of them work at Steps Academy (Akademia NIKE) – an organization which specializes in teacher trainings. All of the trainers have both teaching and teacher training experience, one of them participated and contributed in the writing of the handbook.

The first FIERST training will take place on September 9-12, 2018, at the National Education Center of the Bulgarian Red Cross in the village of Lozen.

More about the project:

From Innovators in Inclusive Education to Real Scale Transfer (FIERST), project number 592133-EPP-1-2017-1-BG-EPPKA3-IPI-SOC-IN, is a three-year, Erasmus+, Key Action 3: Support for policy reform – Social Inclusion through Education, Training and Youth project. The main goal is to scale locally generated best practices for inclusive education which have been created, implemented, and tested by innovative teachers and education experts who work with students from vulnerable communities. The project is one of the 22 approved by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) out of 163 submitted project proposals. Teach For Bulgaria is the leading partner of the project consortium with a total of 7 partners from Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania, the UK, and Sweden. The partner organizations from Bulgaria are Teach For Bulgaria, the Ministry of Education and Science, and New Bulgarian University. The Bulgarian Union of Teachers is an associated partner.

The key milestones of the project for Bulgaria are:

Designing trainings based on the handbook “How to Develop 21st-century Skills in the Classroom” and training at least 200 teachers from 20 schools in Bulgaria.

Designing and testing an instrument which measures students’ motivation and engagement in class – in collaboration with New Bulgarian University.

Sharing other measurement instruments implemented by Teach For Bulgaria which track the development and performance of trained teachers (a student feedback survey, a reading literacy test, a teacher questionnaire based on TALIS, etc.)

Creating professional communities of practice for trained teachers. 

Compiling a resource bank of best practices, methods, and instruments which could be scaled to a national or international level and exchanged among project partners and other experts. 

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