eTwinning Schools are recognized for their eTwinning activities and involvement, commitment and dedication to the whole-school approach, where teams of teachers and school leaders work together.
The 2020 eTwinning Report explores how eTwinning Schools operate and endorse a shared leadership approach by examining their practices through the analysis of quantitative data and a qualitative investigation. The quantitative data was gathered via a survey administered in Autumn 2019 where a total of 1, 261 eTwinning Schools shared their practices in respect to the five areas of the eTwinning School Mission Statement. The qualitative investigation focused on the case studies of six eTwinning Schools which the eTwinning Central Support Service guided, supported and interacted with for 18 months via a range of face-to-face and online activities.
The key findings of the Report highlight how:
1. eTwinning Schools have a commitment to shared leadership
Strong understanding and active practice of Shared leadership principles confirm eTwinning Schools are open to a more flexible leadership structure.
2. eTwinning Schools display a strong commitment to collaboration, sharing and teamwork
Collaboration among teachers and among students is strong and effective though the student – teacher collaboration outside of the eTwinning projects would benefit from more practice.
3. eTwinning Schools are models for other schools but networking could be improved
Though eTwinning Schools often act as Learning hubs for other schools, their teachers feel the Schools are not yet ready for the school-to-school networks and collaboration.
4. eTwinning Schools are inclusive and innovative learning organisations
eTwinning Schools establish a culture of inquiry, innovation and exploration, where students’ learning is at the centre and diversity is valued.
5. eTwinning Schools need a more proactive role towards the local community
Stronger support of eTwinning School in the local community would help formalise Schools’ role and in the local context.
In conclusion, the eTwinning School Label is more than a mere ‘certificate of quality’ and represents a formalisation of the potential of the awarded Schools. Their assets and energy could be unleashed with a wise use of encouragement, recognition and flexibility; all key elements of shared-leadership approach. In this way, eTwinning Schools can act as a guiding north star for the other schools in their area and contribute to making eTwinning a common practice for all.
The full Report will be published in 2021, whereas the summary of the Report can be read here.