The scope of LEARNAS is to her people who are threatened by disabilities in learning and daily live. Examples for such people are slow learning children, or people with language barriers, such as refugees.
History and Background
Since a long time, the Pestalozzischule in Heilbronn, Germany, is leading efforts to address the special needs of slow learning children in education and training. This has led to cooperation with industry and the city of Heilbronn. The project is called "Training on the Job" and aims to train students on actions that they need in daily live or potential future jobs. In this project Pestalozzischule trains students in professional textile cleaning or service. In this scope Pestalozzischule runs a coffee shop that is ran by students and teachers. This has lead to supra-regional reputation of the school.
The speciality of the concept is that children are not only trained theoretically, as traditional schools do, but are also trained specifically for certain jobs to allow them to gain practical knowledge straight from school. This concept has been proven to be extremely successful. A significant amount of students who successfully leave Pestalozzischule can get into jobs that require a high amount of knowledge although these students are weaker in learning. Due to the concept of "Training on the job", multiple employers provide opportunities to those well trained students. Another significant amount of those students is able to continue school lower secondary education.
A core principle of the concept is close support and assistance. There are personal learning plans for students and there is a high work effort of teachers, parents and supporters. Several open questions need however to be addressed:
- How can students learn at home?
- How can one measure learning success?
- What if students do not want to ask because they feel ashamed of asking?
- What if students suffer from disabilities that make it hard to interact with people, such as autism or talking or hearing disabilities?
- How can the learned be trained to remember? There is a need for repetition and repeatability.
- How can the concept be scale? 1:1 assistance is not possible due to the high workload for teachers.
This is where LEARNAS can help and where it originated from. Although having high potential for personal learning solutions in schools, it can also assist in other areas, which is shown in the outlook.
Concept and Aim
LEARNAS stems from the need of personal learning assistance. The novelty is the interdisciplinary approach and the close work with the Pestalozzischule and its' network. Requirements will be specified throughout the development process and will be refined in a prototypic manner. At the time being, there is no more than an idea and a concept, which is described in the following.
The Software developed in this scope will target learning problems that are being faced right now in the Pestalozzischule. The first problem that is being targeted is "the cooking and baking problem".
Pestalozzischule is running a kitchen for serving food to their students that is run by students and teachers to assist the students. The kitchen serves food for the students but is also a bakery for the coffee shop of the Pestalozzischule.
An exemplaric problem is the baking of a cake, which can be problematic for students. Imagine you are baking a cake. What we want is clear but how can we tackle this problem? We need to follow specific steps that are essential to learning and to the solution finding process.
- Find and choose a recipe
- Find the ingredients
- Find the necessary equipment.
- Prepare the dough step by step.
- Prepare the cake out of dough and ingredients.
- Handle the oven and bake the cake.
- Handle the cake after baking.
- Cleaning of the kitchen.
All this is in the recipe and if you did that once you probably can do it a second time. It may even sound trivial to some of the readers. However, this does not apply to a huge amount of weak learners...Read more »