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Investigating educational issues across Europe (ACROSS Base)
Methods
The presentation is related to the project indicated in the heading (see index of projects). 
 
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Method Lesson: Lesson of mutual learning (INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL)
Description The final phase of the project was devoted to lessons of mutual learning. All partners involved in the project set out conclusions relevant for their specific national context. These conclusions covering the whole project were guided by the question: "What can we learn from one another?" (Lasonen et al., 1998, p. 3)

"The starting point of this approach is that there are no general lessons in their own right: lessons are always contextual, related both to the schemes providing them and to the schemes receiving them. The lessons in general are related to specific schemes, ie a lesson is normally drawn from a given scheme A in order to feed into one's own scheme B. In this process, the lesson is determined by aspects of both the scheme A (e.g. good example) and the scheme B (e.g. problem requiring a solution). This interrelation is of course further influenced by factors such as the perception and experience of the partner drawing the lesson." (Manning, 1997a, p. 224)

Discussion "However, care is needed in assessing the role of these lessons. The greatest value of a lesson is perceived by the person drawing it. For him or her, a wealth of insight in the foreign and the national systems is associated with the lesson, generating ideas for new approaches to his/her own scheme.

A lesson as such may express very little, particularly in the abbreviated form compiled in the report. It is fairly difficult to pass a lesson on, and nearly impossible to achieve an effect by disseminating the whole bunch of lessons drawn in the project. This is because for each lesson a great deal of contextual knowledge, awareness of problems and solutions, has to be transmitted. This is particularly required if other target groups, for instance policy makers and practitioners, are addressed. At best, the lessons compiled at the end of the report might be a stimulus for the reader to look at certain chapters more closely, and draw his or her own conclusions." (Lasonen et al., 1998, p. 3)

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