Title of Product
The “Cube”: educational tool for teachers and education teams
Name of Author(s)
Language of the review
Language of the product
Type of product
Awareness Material (Leaflet, Brochure, etc)
Identification of students’ at risk
Description of Contents
Within the framework of the European project Stay@School, the working group coordinated by INFOREF (made up of several actors of education in the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles: teachers, educators, school mediators, headmasters, youth aid services, psychologists, services of the Ministry of Education …), has developed a product for teachers in order to help them identify and prevent behaviours and situations that can lead to early school leaving.
The “Cube” is an educational tool to prompt reflexion, foster discussions and the search for solutions on the topic of early school leaving. Each of the six sides is dedicated to a factor of early school leaving and displays a testimony of a student (or an image) along with a QR code linked to a specific video. The video proposes a reply to the evoked situation: a positive message to identify oneself and search a solution.
The tool comes with guidelines. This document details the objectives of the cube and gives ideas for use.
The tool is addressed to teachers but can also be used by other members of the educational team (educators, psychologists, mediators…). It could also be used by anyone concerned by education (parents, future teachers, youth associations…).
The tool was imagined for secondary school students, but the working group made it so it can be adapted, for instance for primary school pupils.
Designing the tool
The working group organised the most common risk factors in six categories:
• Integration in the school
• School guidance
• Learning difficulties
• Violence at school
• Family situation
• Personal problems
Those categories are not mentioned or visible on the cube. They are only used as support for the teachers and are illustrated by the sides.
The first thing that catches attention is a sentence or an image evoking a cause of early school leaving. Thus the students can identify by themselves the risk factor illustrated on each side and think about the problem.
The quotes are real testimonies of students who dropped out (collected during previous projects).
The videos related to the QR codes were selected according to the following criteria:
• Relevance of the subject regarding the situation illustrated
• Neutrality (no propaganda, no cultural specificity)
• Ability to catch a young audience’s attention
• Length of the video (< 5’)
Animation with the tool
The creators propose the following approach:
• To throw the cube like a dice and read the upper side or handle the cube and pick a side
• Read the testimony/watch the image, scan the QR code, watch the video and launch the activity
The creators suggest asking questions to launch the debate: what does the teenager say through the testimony? Do you think it could happen to you, what would you do? What is the video about? Is it related to the testimony? Does it give a solution to the problem? What solutions can you think of?...
The creators also provided for the possibility to insert anonymous notes or ideas in the cube, through an opening. Those comments can be used for future activities or to involve students who would rather not speak up.
The students’ reactions and the discussions that will have emerged will help the teacher identify students at risk more easily, for instance when a student identify themselves with a situation.
But be careful: “such a tool is not neutral!” The cube is a “trigger”, it “launches something else”. The activity based on this tool must have an follow-up organised by the school
The tool was developed in June 2013. It was positively welcomed. Around fifty cubes have been tested in September 2013 during welcome days in lower secondary school.
The tool is adjustable and available in English. It is available for free on the website of INFOREF.
The creators wanted the cube to be adapted by any user. Thus, the user can search other videos in their national language and create a QR code out of them. The testimonies can also be adapted according to their school context.
The product is a result of this previous project
Title of the project
The School Inclusion Project Transfer of Innovation
Lifelong Learning Programme : Leonardo Da Vinci – Transfer of Innovation
Istituto Professionale F. Datini (Italy)