COOL is a teaching concept developed in Upper-Secondary vocational schools in Austria – it focuses on the promotion of self-organized competency-based learning strategies, the development of personal competencies and improvement of social skills. The enhancement eCOOL adds the elearning-dimension to this concept.
The staff of the Impulse-Centre for Co-Operative Open Learning, which is an institute of the Federal Austrian Ministry of Education, Department Vocational Schools, helps establish the COOL-concept throughout Austria. The staff consists of educational advisors which are still part-time teachers and teacher- trainers at the same time.
The “Förderverein” is the institution for the management of the COOL-network. It consists of the COOL Board which includes persons of pedagogical relevance in Austria (Universities, Federal Ministry of Education), the members of the COOL Impulszentrum and supporting schools and individual members.
The support of the whole COOL-community in Austria which include:
- development, administration and support of a school-network for continuous development of innovative approaches in the areas involving our project-goals (self-directed learning-forms, key-qualifications, social competences,...)
- development and administration of an information- and coordination-center (virtual info-room, library, video-library,...)
- cooperation with scientific institutions (universities, private institutions,...) both domestic (inland) and abroad regarding information-exchange, results of latest research in the fields of paedagogy, didactics, social competences and evaluation.
- co-operation with universities in the field of research and development (project-seminars in the fields of open learning, social competence and emphasis on different subjects.,...)
- contact with industrial partners to maintain a good connection with local businesses and a focus on practical orientation especially regarding soft skills and social competence
- public relations
- design and development of infrastructure for the conception, organization and monitoring of the academic-level teacher-training „social competence by cooperative open learning“.
- development of a center of education focusing on social competence and reform-paedagogical concepts for teachers in vocational schools.
- development of content of curriculum with practical content focusing on „open learning“, „social competence“ and „soft skills“
- analysis, review and rating of innovative reform-paedagogical concepts regarding their use and implementation in the secondary school system
- development, evaluation and monitoring of new paedagogical/didactical models to be used in classes using information technology „it-classrooms, notebook-classes,…) in vocational schools.
- development of course-material to be used in this form of education
- Persons involved in the project:
Helga Wittwer: initator of COOL, head of centre of Co-Operative Open Learning
Barbara Simetzberger: member of the COOL Förderverein and network, teacher