Short Case Study about FIRST application
I’m Ola Alkadry from Lebanon, West Bekaa, from a village known as Al Rafid. I have a Diploma in English Literature. I’m an English teacher and a coordinator. I have twelve years of experience in teaching intermediate classes. I love teaching and my destiny is to leave an impact among the students I’m teaching. I was fortune to be one of ROOTS program consultants where I had the opportunity to experience and get introduced to FIRST Framework. I’m Writing this case study to document the impact of applying FIRST Framework and its 15 principles in one of my facilitations “Six Thinking Hats”. In this facilitation 18 teachers who teach different subjects from Arabic to math, science and computer were the participants beside one coordinator and a school principal. Those teachers have a good experience in teaching and are looking forward being active members in the FIRST movement presenting the new era of education. The facilitation was held in Tatweer Training Center, at Rawafid School, West Bekaa, Rafid.
FIRST Framework is simple, flexible, fruitful, applicable, and logical. It is concerned mainly with learners and the type of experience they are formulating while learning. FIRST is only five letters but the deep impact of the framework principles serves the facilitator to fulfill the process of learning through engaging each learner in an active deep learning experience that affects learner’s attitudes and motivate them to proceed their learning even beyond the learning trip.
I can confirm that after applying FIRST Framework in my classes and among the students who are my LEARNERRRRS, that I, as the facilitator, was able to see and feel the change caused after involving the learners in the process of learning, trusting them, scaffolding them with a safe environment, engaging and motivating them, probing and assessing their understanding, supporting them with positive spirit to gain the deep active experience. Not only that, but I also could feel how I was deeply affected by the FIRST Framework that had become the guide to refresh my knowledge and the bridge I use to move toward the new era of education where I, as a learner had the opportunity to be involved in the experience that I want my learner’s latter on to live and experience.
In applying FIRST Framework 15 principles in my workshops, I was able to sense the difference not only on me, but also on my participants who were mostly teachers and school principals. I facilitated three different workshops, where I applied the 15 principles related to FIRST Framework. The topics were,” Active Listening”, “Creative Problem Solving”, and “Six Thinking Hats”. Honestly, what I can say, is that after applying the FIRST 15 principles in my facilitations, I felt how I had a great impact on learners and I saw how they were always engaged and motivated through all the day. They were affected and interested to continue. The learners had great insights, as they were interested to be involved in the workshop from the beginning to the end and were fascinated of how the deep active experience they were going through was moving smoothly and affectively.
In the” Six Thinking Hats” session using FIRST Framework, I noticed how all the day flow was moving smoothly, how the learners had the space to participate, be engaged and motivated to gain deep, active learning experience. I used the 15 principles of FIRST while designing my workshop, and that was the main concept that led me to really express and apply the change among the work. While recalling what experience the participants had in the workshop, I can realize that the I and S domains of FIRST Framework had the greatest impact on the experience gained by them. Of course, all the domains had an endless positive effect on the learners yet, I would like to focus on the impact of the Interacting within a positive spirit and the well-structured sequencing that shaped and highlighted the experience. Interacting with each other, the learners had the opportunity to collaborate actively by exchanging information using a variety of educational games, cooperative learning activities, such as Jigsaw. They shared their insights and reflection positively and politely. Not only did the interaction among the learners create a satisfaction in me but also the smooth, organized, time planned day flow and the repetition for the main concepts in different ways to avoid boredom developed the deeper understanding of the importance of managing time and organizing the transferring of activities to obtain a clear representation for the content structure. And not to forget to mention too the linking of the different parts of the workshop to the learning outcome aimed to conclude. “Six Thinking Hats” facilitation was one of the most unforgettable moments in my career. I inserted gamification too and gave the chance to all participants to be motivated by points given to them. I had an opener and a closer, and what I shouldn’t forget is the energizer that served me to keep the energy level of the participants high. Besides, all the time I used repetition without boredom and summarizing to enrich the knowledge gained and to make sure that my learning process is active and deep. The participants were engaged all the time and they had the chance to act and present their outcome in a way they find themselves in. At the end of the workshop, the learners wrote down their insights and planned to change something in their attitudes using journals. I didn’t forget, of course to make sure that my learning outcome is going to be a habit or a style and be reflected in reality, I had a mission and a follow up action plan.
Most of the learners had positive insights and feedbacks. The school principal had another insight which was how to let their teachers apply FIRST in their classes and how to make it a life habit for them at school and outside. FIRST Framework has brought a change to our school and among the teachers. Some teachers started to apply some activities learned in their classes such as, the jigsaw, the word storm, the tea party and many other countless educational games. I want finally to thank Nama Foundation and SeGa Group for their support and their help to cause a change in the world of teaching.