Bucharest (RO), April 2009 - (by Elena Lita) Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) welcomed over 100 teachers to its first Project Learning Institute in Romania. The training event, also a first in Europe, was held at Mihai Viteazul National College, Bucharest from 13-16 April 2009.
The Project Learning Institute is a professional development program that trains teachers how to integrate technology, project learning, and 21st-century skills development into their classroom curricula. So far, over 400 teachers from 23 countries have attended Project Learning Institutes in Brazil, Egypt, India, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.
The course uses OEF's online learning platform ThinkQuest to showcase exceptional project-learning examples and to help teachers produce projects as a part of their training experience. ThinkQuest currently supports over 18,000 students and teachers in Romania.
All of the training participants are teachers supported by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth of Romania; they also completed six weeks of online training prior to attending the live training event in Bucharest.
"The Ministry of Education, Research and Youth has always been at the forefront of adopting new and innovative teaching ideas that prepare our students to meet the demands of the changing world around them", said Ecaterina Andronescu, Minister of Education, Research and Innovation. "The teachers who participated in the Project Learning Institute were trained to help initiate a technology-supported, project-learning approach in all our schools."
The Project Learning Institute supports Romania's Ministry of Education, Research and Youth in its objective to adopt project learning in classrooms across the country. "To be successful in today's global economy, students need to develop skills that go beyond up-to-date industry knowledge", said Sorin Mindrutescu, Country Leader, Oracle Romania.
"The teachers attending the Project Learning Institute will be able to help their students develop important skills such as critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and cross-cultural understanding - skills that will help them to be more successful when entering the labour market."
The new professional development program builds on the successful, long-term partnership between OEF, Oracle Romania, and the Ministry of Education, Research, and Youth of Romania, which first partnered in 1998 to launch the Oracle Academy.
The Oracle Academy helps students to develop the technology and business skills required for 21st-century careers. The Academy's curriculum, which focuses on database design and programming skills, is integrated into Romania's National Curriculum. Today, the Oracle Academy supports over 65,000 Romanian students. Notably, Romanian students have taken the top three prizes in the Oracle Academy Global Data Modeling competition for the past three years.