Widening the future. Improving guidance interventions at school
Project funded by
Promoter name and country
Centro Studi Pluriversum, Italy
Partner(s) name and country (if applicable)
Denmark, UK, Spain, Italy, Romania
Type of provider
Area of implementation
Context and motivation of the project - legislative background/obligations, institutional policy, institutional structures
Career guidance is an essential component of modern education and training systems to empower children and teenagers towards the acquisition of 21st century skills.It is essential for primary-level schools to provide opportunities and support for all students to explore and develop educational and career plans, and individual pathways for success in school and life. Lack of support and guidance, limited implementation of experiential learning and alternative teaching are some contributing causes of ESL. European documents underline that the availability and quality of counselling (psychological and emotional support) and career guidance in schools and training institution. Lack of motivation, low self-esteem, disruptive behaviors, learning and emotional difficulties are some of the causes of school failure and dropout during compulsory education.
Aims of the project
The aim of the project was to widen the scope and to enhance the quality of guidance activities in schools, which entails improving teachers’ skills and knowledge on the subjects in question.
- Guidance practitioners
Description of the target group
Over 40 schools were involved in the pilot actions. These schools collaborated with the project partners to design and carry out career guidance and career management skills development activities with students ranging from age 5 to 13. The diverse project actions involved teachers, school counsellors, tutors and guidance practitioners, and reached over 1,300 students.
Staff (selection, evaluation, training, promotion)
Each partner has a team project who was involved in the selection, evaluation, training and promotion the activities of the project. The coordinators of the project for each country communicate with the project leader to select the participants and the institutions who are motivated to take part in the phases of the project. For example, we invited in the project primary schools, resources centres focused on the dropout prevention for disadvantaged area (Early School Leaving/ ESL). Training activities for primary teachers were provided by the different specialists, like school counsellors or psychologists. Also training activities for students were organised with monitoring and support offered by the team of the project. Promotion of the project was the responsibility of the team project (web pages, posters, leaflets, units) with help of the each person who participate at the project.
Methodological approach, activities implemented
The project has adopted as its pedagogical approach the methodology of Participatory Action Research (PAR) to promote the direct and active involvement of school teachers as researchers. The main aim of this methodology is to create and share new knowledge, based on the emerging needs of each of the involved target groups. Within this perspective, one of the Widening the future core actions was the development of training pathways for teachers based on cooperative learning approaches. With regard to guidance and counselling, is to identify and to facilitate timely intervention, identification, monitoring and tracking activities. Teachers play two roles at the same time: they are experts who share their own experiences and define emerging needs and problems; and they are researchers who collect and evaluate the experiences and resources of others. This process was tested through cooperative twinning trainings during three learning events, one in Italy, one in Romania and an international workshop in Spain, and with the support of an e-learning platform for collecting and sharing the best proposals and resources across working groups from all 5 countries involved in the project.
Results and impact - data of program internal/ external evaluation, beneficiary satisfaction, the impact of the didactical practices at individual and institutional level
Widening the Future partners designed an international research project to investigate emerging needs for guidance activities in primary and lower secondary school contexts. The research involved schools and teachers in 5 European countries (Italy, Spain, Romania, Denmark and the United Kingdom) and consisted of two phases: national focus groups, carried out face to face; and an international online survey entitled World of Work, carried out through a standard questionnaire translated into 5 languages. The twinning groups were given several opportunities to share both methodological and operational experiences, enhancing in-house resources that had been utilized in different contexts for tackling similar problems.
Conclusions, lessons learned
School staff has had a central in the project. During the twinning training sessions, teachers were motivated to reflect on the quality of their guidance interventions and on how to improve their skills and teaching resources. The twinning training model envisages school as a learning community, which can grow through cooperative efforts promoted by the teachers. This process should be supported through a well-organized set of informational, educational and guidance resources, provided with the aid of new technologies. Improvement of quality in learning and guidance processes is the ultimate goal, to be achieved through improving guidance interventions at school the development of key teaching skills, made possible through the support and help of other teachers and the testing of innovative tools and methodologies.
Directions of further development/ Transferability, replicability
Guidance and counselling systems may represent an effective interface to help students in primary education develop the necessary skills to successfully complete their school paths, to feel themselves integral to their communities and to move into their chosen professional careers in the future.
Type of ESL (early school leaving) practice
Web references (url, social media presence)
Parameters on which the practice is applicable (check those appropriate)
- Governance and coordination
- Methodologies of provision
- Measures and profiles
- Objectives and needs
- Competences and skills for practitioners
- Common framework and quality standards
- Evaluation of performance and effectiveness
Widening the future. Improving guidnace interventions at school. Available at: https://www.ucviden.dk/portal-ucc/files/31775902/Wfuture_handbook.pdf (verified 30 November 2015)