ECS-Forum_Part_2003_QIS by shimeiyan



Strasbourg, 9 April 2003                                   CS-Forum Participation (2003) 3
                                                                       ENGLISH ONLY

                        Working Group on
          "Children, Democracy and Participation in Society"

   Children’s participation in schools and the local community

                            Selected projects

                      Document prepared by the Secretariat
                     Directorate General III – Social Cohesion
                            Social Policy Department
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                         2. Quality in Schools (Q.I.S.)
Theme of the project: Schools review, monitor and develop their own quality.
Schools are becoming more and more "autonomous" organisations which have to
take decisions in many fields, give arguments and implement their proposals on their
The educational outcome of schooling depends to a large extension of the success of
teaching and learning, the main activities teachers and pupils engage in.
    •   Teaching covers the school-specific implementation of curricular
        requirements, the design of classroom instruction and the educational
        approach of teachers. Key elements in this process are – besides others - the
        relevance of educational contents and the recognition of pupils as
        independent persons.
    •   Learning includes i.a. pupils´ willingness to learn, building a sustainable
        knowledge base, mastering learning techniques, understanding how things
        interrelate, applying acquired knowledge to new tasks, self-competence and
        social skills, and delivering performance.
Quality development is the task of all persons (or their representatives) involved,
pupils included. Together they have
    •   to plan, organise and evaluate their own development and
    •   to design the points of intersection and communication with the school
        inspection, administration and the relevant section of public.

All school partners (teachers, pupils, parents, non-educational staff, head of school,
citizens) occupy themselves jointly and systematically with school development
according to quality issues.

To facilitate quality assurance and development work, a proposal for structuring the
complex area of school was made under the Q.I.S. project. For all those who become
involved, material is supplied by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science
and Culture.
The Quality Network (QN) supplies up-to-date information and provides a forum
for the exchange of experience, for discussions and for the presentation of results.
Who was initiating the project? (name and contact details)

         Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
         Minoritenplatz 5
         A-1014 Wien
         Project Management:
         Dr. Herbert Pelzelmayer
         tel.: +43/1/531 20-4792    fax: +43/1/531 20-4780

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        Planning & Co-ordination:
        Mag. Wolfram Hiebl
        tel.: +43/1/531 20-4700   fax: +43/1/531 20-4780
        Mag. Jürgen Horschinegg
        tel.: +43/1/531 20-4424    fax: +43/1/531 20-4130
        Mag. Edwin Radnitzky
        tel.: +43/1/531 20-4705  fax: +43/1/531 20-4780

Who was implementing the project? (name and contact details)

Examples of good practice:
        1. Volksschule (Primary School) Eisbach-Rein
        Hörgas 131
        A-8103 Rein
        tel. + fax:+43/3124/517 34 16
        Eva Ponsold

        2. Volksschule (Primary School) Hirm
        VD Christine Wallner
        Hauptplatz 9
        A-7024 Hirm
        tel.: +43/2687/4770

        3. Volksschule (Primary School) Vereinsgasse Wien
        VD Hannelore Bauer
        Vereinsgasse 29
        A-1020 Wien
        tel. + fax: +43/1/214 32 94
        4. Volksschule (Primary School) Mötz
        VD Johann Zauner
        Winkl 10
        A-6423 Mötz
        tel.: +43/5263/6105 fax: +43/5263/6699

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         5. Volksschule (Primary School) Lieboch
         VD Erich Neugebauer
         Hitzendorferstraße 2
         A-8501 Lieboch
         tel.: +43/3136/627 32 29  fax: +43/3136/627 32 30

         6. Volksschule (Primary School) St. Nikola/Donau
         Ingrid Schachenhofer
         A-4381 St. Nikola/Donau
         tel.: +43/7268/8395 fax: +43/7268/8375

Contact person(s) (name, address, telephone, fax and e-mail): see above

Duration of the project (e.g. 1996 - 1998):   Q.I.S. started in 1999

Target group (social/cultural background):

All school partners in all types of schools

Number of participants (total):

Number and gender of the involved adults:

Number, age and gender of the participating children: age 6 - 19

Description of project (max. 1 page):
Learning in its most fundamental sense as permanent development is a challenge
both for the individual and for every organisation.
Planned development of every individual school and projects for the quality
improvement of all schools need a framework in terms of organisation and contents:
The core element of the Q.I.S. initiative is the school development plan
("Schulprogramm"). It is an aid for the individual schools to co-ordinate, support and
document quality aims and development projects.
It is the task of all school partners to elaborate a school development plan containing
the school’s guiding principles, an account of the status quo and specific objectives
and measures in different "quality areas":
    •   Teaching and learning
    •   Class and school climate
    •   Internal and external relations
    •   School management
    •   Professionalism and staff development
The school development plan is a temporary agreement with internal and external
effect: It serves as a guideline for educational action, as information for the public, as
a planning tool and a yardstick to be applied to the development of the school.

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The following points should be included:
   •   What are the common values we feel obliged to ("school philosophy")?
   •   What have we achieved so far and what are our next challenges?
   •   What are the plans for development in the near future to be in the position to
       face the new challenges appropriately and at what stage could they be
       defined as a success?
   •   What are we doing to implement these intentions in practice?
   •   How do we test the progress made?

Examples of good practice

1.Volksschule (Primary School) Eisbach-Rein
School philosophy
It is important to us that we treat each other with respect in both word and deed. We
all agree that we wish to have an atmosphere of trust and warmth.
We believe it is valuable for the children to work responsibly and creatively with
each other in their lessons.
From that the happiness, candour and flexibility should develop and flourish.
It is important to us that through different teaching methods the children acquire
knowledge independently and effectively and therefore are able to recognise their
strengths and accept their limits.
Through various different learning, playing and recreation areas our school hopes to
cover each individual’s needs and interests.
Our school finds it important to have an active school partnership that is
distinguished by its sense of responsibility.
We want to learn to live together in and with nature.

                                   School development plan
                    1998/99                    1999/2000                        2000/01
         "The culture of our different countries in Child’s view"
         + searching for partners:       + Our own country:          + Famous persons of art,
           fax, phones, letters            sights – sports – tales –   science and sport
         + previsitation in              specific products           + summary in Finland
           Finland: teachers
           partnership, pupils,
           organisation, the
           surroundings of the
           school, town
         + permission of the
         + projects in the classes:
           Home – Heritage –

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         Our Library: 1743 books
                      Fixed Library times
                      Reading encouragement by our Librarian
                      Working with European picture books in their original languages
                      Author readings
                      Book presentations and sales
                      Co-operation with bookshops


         Our playground was structured by teachers, parents, pupils and sponsors into a unique
         natural and creative all-weather adventure playground.

         For this our school was awarded "Best Playground in Austria" by the Minister of Education.

                   2001/02                       2002/03                          2003/04

         "School Development"

         + visit to Wales             + new EU-Project "School        + projects in the classes
         + application for a new        Development – workshop        + further workshops
           EU-Project "School           in Austria                    + evaluation
           Development" until         + projects in the classes
         + previsitation in Finland


         + competition for            + "Reading Night"               + Reading Festival
           designing a stamp for      + new forms of reading-         + invitation of authors
            the library                  promotion                    + evaluation
         + reading-diary              + invitation of authors
         + quiz
         + reading outdoors


         + agreements between the     + formulation of                + evaluation
           school partners –            agreements
           planning                   + signing

Is there any documentation available on the project: Yes

If yes, what kind of documentation:          Homepage of the school

Is the information about the project available via Internet: Yes/No
If yes, URL:

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2. Volksschule (Primary school) Hirm
School philosophy
School helps to cope with life – School is not only a place for learning, we also live
there. The centre of all our efforts is the child.

Social learning – recognising emotional needs and taking them for serious
Communication – promoting good contacts, conversation and handling conflicts
Children work on their own

Self-organized lessons
   1. Pupils and teachers plan the lessons together.
   2. They develop a working-plan.
   3. New subjects are dealt with by the whole class, by partners, by teams or by
          teaching materials.
   4. Through the presentation of the results by the pupils the teacher recognises
          whether they understood the new subject.
   5. Therefore the teacher can help each pupil individually.
   6. Pupils decide on their own with which subject they want to start their work.
   7. At the end of the school-day each pupil must have fulfilled his/her working-

           -      are important for the improvement of teaching,
           -      enable learning in real situations and
           -      touch several subjects.

In projects various teaching materials are offered. The pupils are more active and
initiative, which promotes their self-confidence. They can work according to their
individual rhythm and capability and practice social abilities by helping each other.

The school was Burgenland´s winner of the NEWS-Magazine - school-ranking
Project "storybook": The pupils together with old people of the village created a
storybook "Hirm – village in tales – history of a village"
European Project "I – you – we" with the following partner schools: Primary
Schools Hergenrath and Elsenborn, Belgium, Primary Schools Siebeneich,
Vilpian and Burgstall, Südtirol, Italy

Is there any documentation available on the project: Yes
If yes, what kind of documentation: Homepage of the school

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Is the information about the project available via Internet: Yes/No
If yes, URL:

3. Volksschule (Primary School) Vereinsgasse Wien
School philosophy
The basic principles of social learning are development of personality and promotion
of self-responsibility
Development of personality needs:
-            feeling safe in the community
-            self-esteem
-            communication
-            development of creativity and fantasy
Promoting self-responsibility means:
-            planning and organising one’s own work
-            to fulfil one’s work according to the own rhythm
-            critical self-evaluation
-            developing independent judgement
Co-operation and mutual responsibility:
-            rules for behaviour are important
-            all actors have to co-operate in defining these rules
-            treating each other with respect

Presentation of various activities on the homepage of the school using texts and
photos made by pupils:

Is there any documentation available on the project: Yes

If yes, what kind of documentation:
Homepage of the school

Is the information about the project available via Internet: Yes/No
If yes, URL:

4. Volksschule (Primary school) Mötz
School Philosophy
Or pupils shall learn for life!
Therefore our teaching concentrates on: Computers, special instruction, languages,

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Aims of co-operation
-            co-operative head-teacher
-            involvement of parents in all fields of school-life
-            agreements on and consequent implementation of school-rules
-            appreciation of knowledge and competence
-            participation of and responsibilities for pupils
-            rich and manifold school-life through co-operation with public
              institutions and local associations
-            in-service training of the teachers in school-development with stress on
              languages and new technologies
-            international school-partnerships
Is there any documentation available on the project: Yes

If yes, what kind of documentation: Homepage of the school

Is the information about the project available via Internet: Yes/No
If yes, URL:

5. Volksschule (Primary school) Lieboch

1.) Our school at the first glance
          LIVELY                       festivities
                                       involvement of parents

          DIVERSE                      project teaching project- and sport-weeks

          SPORTY                       fitness for brain and body through sports

          SWIMMING                     basic training in swimming,
                                       participation in competitions

          OPENNESS                     Openness for other cultures

2.) School development plan:

Lively School
      agreements on school-rules, conflict management, tutors, festivities, sports
      competitions, spatial arrangements from the classroom to the campus
      co-operation with the local community
      -      co-operation with the kindergarten, with secondary schools, special-
             needs-schools, school-psychologists, other partners, sport clubs,...
      -      environmental education

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              parents´ involvement
      -       co-operation during the lessons, in projects, at festivities and
      -       parents´ evenings
      co-operation of the teaching staff
      -       self-organised learning of the pupils, working plans for a school day or a
              school week, learning stations, projects, ...
      development of a common pedagogical concept
      -       new teaching methods
      -       acquiring of key qualifications (work in teams, interdisciplinary
              thinking, language skills)
      -       verbal assessment
      -       integrated teaching of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils
      -       conflict- and communication-training for girls and boys; mediation
Sports, swimming
      project- and sport-weeks,
      activities during the breaks
      participation in competitions
      PCs and internet in all classes
Openness for other cultures
      European school-partnerships

3.) Results
Integrated teaching of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils
Winner of the 19th Austrian Youth Competition for Informatics
-           virtual picture-book "Pictures – Words- Sounds"
Finalist at MacDonalds Football Cup 2002
European school-partnership with
-             Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Hackenberg, Lennep (Deutschland)
-             Mount Pleasant Primary School, Dudley (UK)
-             Hurst Hill Primary School, Dudley (UK)
Is there any documentation available on the project: Yes

If yes, what kind of documentation:          Homepage of the school

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Is the information about the project available via Internet: Yes/No
If yes, URL:

6. Volksschule (Primary School) St. Nikola/Donau
a. School philosophy
Ecological aware – intercultural
b. Aims

well-being – social and intercultural consciousness
- people should like to be in school and classrooms
- mutual respect and consideration
- common values
- international contacts
- acceptance of diversity and pluralism
- co-operation of all school-partners

prosperity – education
- reliable primary education
- diversity of methods and didactic
- mutual understanding
- motivation, responsibility, creativity, teamwork
- co-operation with the parents

- the school community acts for the benefit of nature
- we use eco-friendly material
- we practice ecologization
- our school shall be supportive and encouraging

c. Results

Since 1985 the school carries out projects in the above-mentioned fields of
action, exhibited the results and won several awards.
With its project "Schools as cultural and ecological centre of the local community" the
school was winner of the Upper-Austrian and the National Award for Conservation
in 1998 (compare ....)

Which one of the following objectives is pursued by the group?

1. The representation and realization of the interests of children and youths
2. Political socialization (encounter with political decision-making processes)
3. Expansion of political participation opportunities for children and youths
4. Other objectives, namely:

Quality development

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What mechanisms for participation are/were used (e.g. focus groups, discussions,
questionnaires, role-playing situation etc.)?

Quality development is a comprehensive project of the whole school as a learning
organisation. All players have to contribute to the process through a variety of
methods according to the situation.

What kind of support are/were children given to help them participate fully?

By action-orientated and reflective forms of instruction (open learning, project
instruction, etc.) pupils take over responsibility for shaping things in progress

Evaluation and impact (including any (preliminary) results or experience with
methods of participation (individual level & level of school society): Yes

If yes, what are the main results?

The school should be made into a working place for teachers and a working and
living place for pupils in a common attempt to reach a high satisfaction at the
working place.
Understanding school as a "learning organisation" requires:
         -   the development of transparent and flexible organisational structures
         -   the orientation towards tested methods of project management both
             inside and outside of school instruction (team structures, administrative
             and pedagogical management teams, etc.)
         -   the anchoring of the transparency- and feedback-principle in all fields of
             school work, ranging from the structuring of the lessons to performance
         -   the serious occupation with a form of staff development that is oriented
             towards the pedagogical development intentions (together with the
             school administration)
         -   the creation of an integrating social climate at school
         -   the development of a close working-relationship with the school
         -   the support of the principle "self-organisation of all the people
             concerned, which refers to the working processes between students, but
             also teachers and "mixed" groups, even regarding administrative tasks
         -   the perception of management and assessment functions by the
         -   the regular further training of the principal
         -   responsible marketing of the individual locations and new external
             contacts of schools

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What kind of problems have the adults or the children encountered during the
activities? (Please list them and give a short description):

Quality management cannot be achieved from one day to the next. The introduction
of a quality system starts a process which affords new roles of all actors, which
affects the teachers and head-teachers in particular, but also the other school
Teachers and parents in particular have to do additional, unpaid work.
The systematic procedure requires documentation enabling a precise control, which,
however, can cause fear.

Were they able to solve the problems? If yes, please describe how:

By creating a new culture of decisions which involves all school partners (teachers,
head teacher, pupils, parents, non-teaching staff) in taking them jointly, they feel
more responsible for what happens in school.
Awareness that additional work will be redeemed in the medium term.
A clear definition of aims increases everyone’s scope of action.
The way towards reaching the goal can be the objective itself.
What kind of essential conditions for successful participation of children have been
The pupils´ motivation must be for the now and then, not for "the future".
Purposes and aims must be fundamental and meaning-making.
Children have at least to understand the process, they are consulted and have their
opinions treated seriously.
For the design of successful programs and environments that are truly for children
(e.g. the design of the school building and school premises) shared decision-making
with the pupils is recommended.

Can you give examples of how the children were able to influence the actual

compare the described examples

How are/were the results fed back to the children?
compare the described examples

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                                                                APPENDIX III

                     LIST OF WORKING GROUP MEMBERS






Mrs Guri-Mette VESTBY - NORWAY




Dr Renate KRÄNZL-NAGL - European Centre for Social Welfare Policy & Research –

Mrs Ulrike ZARTLER - European Centre for Social Welfare Policy & Research –

Secretariat of the Council of Europe



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