Dealing with diversity, a flexible methodology and promoting the
learners’ continuity are the main points our project is focused on in order to
reach better academic outcomes.
Although the staff of CEPA “El Fontán” tries to adapt and meet the
learners’ needs and characteristics, however we think that we should be
more ambitious in the flexible adaptation of the methodology.
We are concerned about the high rate of dropouts and irregular
attendance and we are trying to fight this in order to improve learners’
Therefore our main goals are to increase learners’ attendance and
prevent dropouts, address the diversity of learners by teaching in an
adaptive way, improve the academic performance and establish links with
the labour market.
In order to achieve these goals, we will…
a) …develop a flexible methodology
b) …apply an adaptive teaching system
c) …put learners in contact with the local employment agency
d) …design new materials to be used on the e-learning platform
available at http://aulafontan
We want to show that adaptive teaching improves the learners’
learning attitude, English oral skills, Spanish language skills like
reading, writing and speaking as well as solving Maths problems.
In addition we will conduct activities regarding job search, job
interviews and work environment.
This experience is open to:
• Adults who dropped out of secondary Education
• Adults with a poor learning experience
• Precarious workers with little training or at risk of exclusion
• Unemployed or low skilled employees
These learners meet some or most of the following criteria:
• They have family or work obligations that make their attendance
• They had an inadequate schooling or had a bad school experience
• They lack specific learning skills
• They look for an easier way to learn
The adaptive teaching to learners’ characteristics is for researchers,
legislators and teachers a promising alternative to address the many
differences that are to be found among learners (Wang &Walberg, 1985).
We agree with Fernández’ statement(1993): “the correct response to
the educational needs involves meeting the specific needs of students by
means of adjusting, as Arteaga & García-García(2010) suggest, the content
to their capacity and initial interest”(p.20).
That is why we adopt a variety of teaching methods and techniques
as a way to respond adequately to diversity, taking into account that both
young adults and real adults learn at their own pace, in a different way and
following their own cognitive styles.
Diversity exists in all the educational centres, even when learners are
the same nationality, age, gender, language, religion or intellectual
ability.(Aguado y Ballesteros, 2012) . However, it is in the adult centres
where a wider range of profiles can be observed as well as the largest age
difference. The groups are thus heterogeneous. Despite this, diversity is not
often considered to the appropriate extent in the adult education centres.
Addressing diversity involves considering learners’ characteristics,
both in young adults and real adults, and offer content in different
situations of complexity and purpose, depending on the learning style and
the previous educational level, working individually, in pairs and in groups.
When doing the current guide we follow our colleague at the CEPA
El Fontán Dr. María Luz Pontón and her doctoral thesis“Adaptive teaching
to enhance English language acquisition in Secondary Education for
Adults” which is mainly focused on maximizing language learning.
1 To get a persistent attendance and prevent dropouts.
2 To address the wide diversity of students by teaching adaptively.
3 To improve academic performance.
4 To pair and to connect the learners with the labour market.
1 To help learners continue and persist in their training.
2 To facilitate access to e-learning platform.
3 To support learners to develop continuity strategies.
4 To involve learners in the design and content of the course.
5 To help them identify their own goals and make decisions about
their learning process.
6 To create links with local employers and employment agents to
engage low-skilled workers.
Six teachers are involved in the project as well as two groups of
learners: second year of secondary (ESPA) and Key Competence.
The diversity of students in our centre is reflected in the groups
involved. The age ranges from 18 to 50, the employment situation varies
but most are unemployed, they have different origins, different languages
and different training backgrounds.
18-20 21-25 26-30 31-40 41-50 >50
ESPA 1.2 Key Comp.
8% 4% 4%
España Ecuador Venezuela
Perú Paraguay Brasil
Rumanía Marruecos Senegal
Español Portugués Senegalés Rumano Árabe
ESPA 1.2 Key Comp.
Employed Unemployed Sporadic job
The areas in which our Project is developed are Communication
(Spanish and English) and Science and Technology (Maths and Computer
In addition to the teachers involved in the project we have the
cooperation of the Public Service of Employment of Oviedo through
informative sessions on access to employment.
Collaboration with local cultural agents is a good opportunity to
relate culture to the workplace. We have seen “Low Cost”, a play by Teatro
Higiénico Papel in which job insecurity of the middle class is reflected.
Resources and support
We have the support of the directive team that provides:
• A schedule for the coordination of teachers involved in the project.
• Availability for carrying out the activities.
• A shared schedule of three teachers.
• Trainee teachers who help us carry out the activities.
We also have:
• A computer room with Internet access and 18 computers.
• The E-learning platform.
• The research made by one of the participants, Dr. Maria Luz Alvarez
Ponton for her doctoral thesis.
• Previously prepared materials.
As for the difficulties, we have to point out that the schedule for
coordination and teamwork is quite short. Furthermore, coordination with
trainee teachers is difficult because their stay at the centre is limited to a
few months and they have no hours available.
Regarding the timing of the courses we would like to have annual
term courses; obviously this cannot occur because of the legislation, which
represents a certain limitation.
This is an ambitious project which involves secondary English
teachers as well as teachers of Language, Mathematics and Computer
Skills. We assume the risks that may result from a change in approach and
methodology, and we are confident on the benefits that the project could
make in improving the learning of a set of subjects.
Teachers are designers of comprehensive educational proposals, not
just executors. We organize, prepare and sequence a number of resources,
activities and stimulating, creative and challenging tasks in the Moodle
To break the barrier of professional isolation and traditional
individualistic approach, a new teaching organization is done in the
classroom. We formed a cooperative, flexible team with positive attitudes
To achieve autonomy, we inform and engage the students in the
biweekly working plan (sheet of curriculum development). Students share
responsibility for their education and participate in the program
development and evaluation of curriculum.
We seek a more personal relationship, not just academically, through
discussions on general topics that help to have a better understanding of
each other and promote positive attitudes and perceptions.
High expectations for all learners
We try to highlight the success as well as analyze what is not
working well. We make them see that success in learning depends not only
on the skills, but on the dedication and effort.
Avoiding negative feeling
We try to eradicate negative feelings and frustration as: "I am not
able to". Positive messages improve confidence and self esteem, so we help
students identify negative emotional states in themselves.
We make sure that learning has a personal relevance (significance)
and is available and clear in their cognitive structure to serve as an
anchorage for the new knowledge.
After a contact seminar in Birmingham (July 2012), seven European
Institutions dealing with Adult Education or Vocational training, decided to
create a partnership around the idea of re-engagement of vulnerable adults.
In February 2013 the application form was submitted to the each
country’s National Agency and 6 of the institutions were finally approved
Once the working plan was set by the European partners, we started
the design and preparation of activities to be carried out at CEPA Oviedo
El Fontán according to the following timeframe:
We formed the Grundtvig team with 6 teachers and we decided to
address the diversity and use the e-learning platform as a means of
Previously our colleague Mary Luz had been working with diversity
and we had already started working on the platform.
We had coordination sessions every Friday.
We had coordination talks with the European partners.
The first contact with the local employment agency took place.
Elaboration of the first materials (questionnaires, guide of best
Partnership meeting in Dublin.
We learned how the Irish partners use group work as a way of re-
engagement in the course.
Activities in collaboration with INEM (National Institute for
Employment) Information talks and visit to the local agency.
Presentation of the project to the learners. Start of the
implementation of the project.
Phase 0 - Constitution of the working group.
Phase 0.1 -. Coordinating the project design
• Objectives, methodology, evaluation, timing…
• Contact the local employment agency (INEM)
• Distribution of tasks and trans-national visits to our partners.
Phase 1 - Attention to diversity:
• Preparation of materials with different levels of difficulty
• Preparation of resources, learning activities and assessment for the
• Preparation of a questionnaire for the self-knowledge of learners
• Preparation of mentoring activities:
• Training pathway
• Exploring their own expectations and priorities
• Introduction into the working world
Phase 2.-Information and presentation of the work plan to the learners
• Access to e-learning platform
• Curriculum Development Sheets
Phase 2.1-Working with learners in the areas of
Phase 2.2-Tutoring job on self-knowledge, priorities and work culture
Phase2.3- Working in collaboration with the Service of Employment for
briefings on the workplace.
Phase 3.-Work on Continuity:
• Tracking attendance
• Tracking continuity
Phase 4 - Collection of results.
• Analysis and conclusions.
Phase 5- Sharing and dissemination of experience and results.
• Trans-national Grundtvig meeting in Oviedo
o Presentation of activities and practice
o Share experience
We think that a good evaluation design is very important for the
optimal achievement of our objectives, so we want to measure all
indicators which are relevant for a good development of the project.
EVALUATION INDICATORS EVALUATION TOOLS WHEN
Improved continuity Tracking dropouts
(% of dropouts)
Improved attendance Tracking attendance
(% of attendance)
Use of e-learning platform
Benefits of e- learning platform
Nº of activities
Feedback from students
Student involvement in the
design and content of the course
Nº of sheets of curriculum
Feedback from students
Improvement of student skills
Feedback from students
Changes in student attitudes Feedback from students End of
and teachers term
Benefits of activities with local
Feedback from students,
teachers and stakeholders
Organization and teacher
Nº of meetings
Resources of time and space Timetable
Use of classrooms
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