The GA’s involvement in the support for curriculum reform in Croatia, implemented by the British Council began in 2018 with the aim of training a group of 100 mentors whose role was to support and develop teachers during the process.
In April 2017, the Ministry of Science and Education of Croatia requested the technical support from the EU Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) in the planning and the launch of the implementation of curriculum reform. The British Council was awarded the contract and has, to date, engaged in three phases of support:
Phase 1: Training of 100 Croatian mentors to strengthen their skills and knowledge in four priority areas (problem solving; coaching; learning outcomes and learn to learn) – March 2018 – March 2019
Phase 2: Training of the mentor team to deepen their understanding and knowledge of learning outcomes with a focus on assessment – November 2018 – November 2019
Phase 3: Training of the mentor team to strengthen their training capacity, increase professionalism and develop teaching and learning – November 2019 – June 2021
The GA was engaged between 2018 and 2021 to provide expert consultancy through all three phases.
Project activities and achievements
In March 2018, GA CPD, Curriculum and Marketing Manager Rebecca Kitchen was appointed as an International Expert with a focus on problem solving for this EU funded project. This work involved visiting schools, developing training materials and providing training for around 100 Croatia mentors both face-to-face and online, working closely with the team of International Experts and the British Council. In phase 2 it also involved training around 100 advisors and teacher trainers from a number of agencies.
The project was evaluated by the University of Auckland and the University of Stirling and focused on teachers’, principals’ and parents’ response to the curriculum reform in Croatia and their understanding of the new curriculum. Over 1,000 teachers and principals responded to an evaluation survey and a significant majority indicated that they understand these key changes and already practice them or intend to practice them in the future. Notably, 81% of respondents indicated they understand what learning outcomes are, 74% already use them in practice and 84% intend to use them in the future.
With problem solving and learning to learn, somewhat fewer teachers already use these approaches (69% and 59%, respectively), but a high proportion of respondents intend to use them in the future (83% and 81%). This suggests that teachers and principals have been motivated to learn about these new approaches and are beginning to improve their practice accordingly.
“Working with the Croatian mentors over the last few years has been a huge privilege. They have embraced these reforms and worked with us to develop training materials to support the teachers in experimental schools. As a consequence, there has been significant progress in transforming education across Croatia with teachers feeling more confident about delivering the new curriculum.”