Project “Innovative Schools” started in Plovdiv, which is being implemented as a joint initiative with the Municipality of Plovdiv. The project is supported by the House of Culture „Boris Hristov“ and its expansion is planned in other regions of the country.
More than 10,000 children from different schools in Plovdiv will be involved in a large-scale project to improve the quality of education. The Innovative Schools project, which will last for 5 years, started on the initiative of the Municipality of Plovdiv and the Foundation World Education Forum Bulgaria. The program is a series of methods for organizing a new way of education and the education environment. The aim of the applied innovative practices is to make all children active and involved in the education process constantly in order to increase their motivation, to develop their skills for analysis, presentation, positive communication, work in a team and to prepare for their successful realization after 10-15 years in high technology society.
Teachers who have defined everyday difficulties and workload will change the organization and the methods of teaching so that they also feel more satisfied and appreciated by the achievements and successes of their students. Project participants will use a project-oriented approach, create a teamwork environment, use state-of-the-art technology in each classroom, learn how to professionally analyze situations. The emphasis is also on integrating students, supporting children’s different talents and preventing aggressive events. The goal is to improve the quality of the educational process, with proven British education models being used as a basis.
In the first stage of the project are included eight educational establishments from Plovdiv – Primary School “Rayna Knyaginya”, Primary School “Yane Sandanski”, Primary School “Aleko Konstantinov”, Secondary School “Patriarh Evtimiy”, Primary School “Kocho Chesemensky”, Primary School “Yordan Yovkov”, Primary School “Elin Pelin”, Secondary School “Lyuben Karavelov” with the active participation of their directors and more than 100 teachers. They will undergo special training to develop and implement innovative teaching methods.
The project is open to all other schools. Plovdiv Municipality hopes in the five-year framework of the project to support the introduction of innovative practices in at least 60% of the municipal schools and from each to have trained teachers to share their best practices with their colleagues.
The new program “Innovative Schools” and the development of the network of Professional Schools are among the priorities of the administration in the coming years. The methodologies developed in the project are in line with the new pre-school and school education law.
The evaluation criteria and indicators to be used in the project “Innovative Schools” are adapted to the Bulgarian education system but are borrowed from the standards in England. Innovative standards have been introduced in a number of European countries. In Plovdiv, the results of their implementation have been observed in the last four years at the Primary School “Raina Knyaginya”, where they were appraised by 500 students and 45 pedagogues. Not only has it achieved an increased motivation and excellent learning outcomes for all students but also reduced aggressive behavior, building a common positive culture of behavior and developing emotional intelligence.