Ukraine: New school curriculum

Embedding EntreComp into the Ukrainian New School curriculum reforms and teacher-training programmes

Training teachers to embed the use of EntreComp in the design of a new curriculum
Training teachers to embed the use of EntreComp in the design of a new curriculum

Transforming education

Ukraine is undergoing a transformation after the 2013-14 revolution, with economic and social impetus for reforms in all areas. Among these, education has been a high-profile area. In 2016, the Ukrainian Government came forward with an ambitious reform programme to develop the New Ukrainian School and turn the education system into a competence-based, student-centred learning institution, aiming to introduce rapid developments at both system and school level. This work is being led by an expert group including representatives from different professional communities, such as the network of teacher-training institutes (pre and in service), the Ministry of Education, different levels of formal and non-formal education, educational and civic interest NGOs, the Ukrainian Centre for Assessment of Education Quality and the National Academy for Pedagogical Sciences. This group is engaged in the development of new education standards and curricula design inspired by the EU key competences for lifelong learning.

Harmonising with the European approach to entrepreneurship education

There are three drivers of this work. Firstly, the leadership by the Ministry of Education and other parts of the Government, as well as the enthusiasm of the expert group created synergy with European approaches to education. This created a strategic interest at national level to harmonise the new Education law, the new SME Strategy and the New Ukrainian School concept with the EntreComp and DigComp frameworks. Secondly, the international engagement that exists with the European Training Foundation (ETF – an agency of the European Commission) is important. Since 2012, they have led the development of entrepreneurial learning as part of the Small Business Act policy assessments and support, under the EU Eastern Partnership cooperation process and have supported the Ukrainian experts in their first steps in applying EntreComp and DigComp. Thirdly, the expert group has been vital to the process, bringing together and building understanding with representatives from education stakeholders including those who already have commitment and experience from prior projects.

Building understanding of EntreComp

The first experience with EntreComp came at a multi-country conference on EntreComp led by ETF in early 2016 for the Eastern Partnership region, involving a Ukrainian country team drawn from the fields of education, economy and the world of work. Those involved have learned that a focus on EntreComp should be seen as an entry point into a) promotion of strategic focus on competence-based education and key competences for LLL, but also b) allowing local experts and policy-makers to discover broader horizons for the career development of students, with entrepreneurship and self-employment as the “alternative” to wage-employment.

Using EntreComp as a practical example of how to demonstrate progression

Local education experts in Ukraine used EntreComp to design the progression model for the overall education standard, forming the backbone of the new standard to create a coherent progression of learning across all levels. For some areas, including the social health and well-being subject area, there is a direct correlation with the EntreComp progression structure.

Integrating EntreComp at each level of education

This process has included design and participation at national-level workshops. Thanks to teaching other professionals, EntreComp understanding has grown. Reforms are being implemented via extensive curriculum re-design, piloting processes and teacher-training roll-out. EntreComp is taking centre-stage in this work. Primary education was the first level developed and is now in the piloting phase, integrating EntreComp through the entrepreneurship theme. Training for trainers’ sessions were held in July and October 2017 – jointly held by the expert group and ETF – to prepare teacher training for the pilot schools for the first-grade primary curriculum and to set grounds for the 2018 “rolling” exercise of training small groups of curricula/teacher development experts across all regions of Ukraine. It was found that EntreComp learning outcomes were not simple enough for the first grade of primary, and so these have been adapted to reflect this. At the lower secondary level, a national expert was recruited (supported by ETF) to work with national subject experts. This small team provided guidelines for different subject experts on how to modernise existing curricula by applying EntreComp across subjects at grades 5-9. Now, the expert knowledge developed by this group is feeding back into the current development of the new curriculum at upper secondary and VET level. Across all levels of secondary and VET, the DigComp and EntreComp frameworks will be coworked within the curriculum. An intensive curriculum development workshop for the expert group was held in October 2017, and the work continues in 2018. There are 3 main lessons that those involved have learned so far:

  1. EntreComp can be used to support ‘light’ improvements to standards and curricula
  2. Moving into large-scale revision inevitably brings the need to engage large groups of experts into a multi-year work on step-by-step integration of new approaches into the standards and curricula
  3. Teacher training is the core element for both approaches, with the need for changes in teacher qualifications, teacher training and career promotion systems

The final picture

Once each phase is fully developed, the new education standard and the competence-based approach will be reflected across all levels of education. EntreComp has been a model for building understanding across different stakeholder groups, integrating entrepreneurial outcomes and reflecting how these progress across the different levels of learning.

Roman Shyyan
Director, Lviv Regional In-Service
Teacher Training Institute

Further info:

EntreComp into Action: get inspired, make it happen (download)

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