The aims and content of ACTS-project
ACTS – Assessment Companion for Thinking Skills 2017 – 2020
ACTS is an international ERASMUS + funded project with other partners from Latvia and the United Kingdom. The aim of the ACTS-project has been to develop tools for bringing thinking skills consciously and systematically into lessons in such a way that the development of thinking is motivating and can be seen and assessed.
The Finnish team concentrated on making thinking visible in the classroom and on practicing the verbalizing of thinking in order to make thinking skills explicit, concrete and thereby easier to assess for teachers and pupils. The tools for making thinking visible in Finland cover learning to learn skills, self-assessment, questioning, reasoning and thinking games, and are mostly based on Bloom’s taxonomy according to the National Curriculum for Basic Education (2014). The Finnish team benefitted greatly from the expertise of the project partners in the UK and Latvia and has also been influenced by their work and been able to adapt aspects of it for use in Finnish classrooms.
Let’s Think in the UK brought well-tested and researched ideas about metacognition and the social aspects of developing thinking in the classroom, particularly with respect to the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. The input of the TA Group in Latvia offered theories of problem solving and how they can be adapted for the classroom to give the pupils strategies for thinking and for becoming more independent learners.
Although the ACTS project in Finland has been carried out in primary schools, the tools developed are suitable for all levels of education.
The development process in the ACTS project was divided into three phases: 1. Expert teachers develop and test tools for assessing children’s thinking 2. Class teachers and teacher students test the tools developed in phase one, and 3. The assessment tools are presented publicly in project websites.
ACTS / Juli Anna Aerila – Assessment tools for thinking skills
The Finnish participants in the ACTS Project
Juli-Anna Aerila, leader of the Finnish team / Turku University Department of Teacher Training / firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsi Urmson / Rauma Teacher Training School
Susan Granlund / Eura Kirkonkylä Primary School
Merja Toivanen / Rauma Teacher Training School
Taina Pertola / Eura Kirkonkylä Primary School
Hilppa Jankama / Rauma Teacher Training School
Ramona Raynor-Karjalainen / Rauma Teacher Training School
Esa Hakkarainen, IT-support / Rauma Teacher Training School
Teemu Mäkelä, project worker / Turku University Department of Teacher Training
The members of ACTS-project
The project is implemented in co-operation with three countries: Great-Britain, Latvia and Finland. The head of the project is Anita Backhouse from the University of Lincoln ABackhouse@lincoln.ac.uk
In Latvia, the project member is TA-Group (Thinking Approach). The head of the TA-Group is Alexander Sokol http://www.ta-teachers.eu/
In Great Britain, the project member is Let’s Think. Their head in this project is Stuart Twiss. https://www.letsthink.org.uk/
In Finland, the project members are the University of Turku, Teacher Training School in Rauma and Kirkonkylä School in Eura.