A journey to sources of motivation. An interesting high school education project in Krakow

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The aim of the project was to identify both the factors that trigger the willingness to act and the factors that result from the lack of motivation. This type of analysis allowed the development of methods that activate students and get closer to what often seems inaccessible.

The project became part of the daily life of the school, partly due to the participation of a very large group of teachers (ie more than half of the teachers of the secondary school class No. 13). The multitude of interesting experiences, insights that were constantly systematized, named and discussed, allowed each project participant to create his own, individual work concept with the student, and the sum of these activities had a very stimulating and inspiring effect on many aspects of school life.

A specific combination of all impressions resulting from direct or indirect participation in the project is very well illustrated by the philosopher’s sentence: “Different complex words create a different thought, different complex thoughts achieve a different effect.” [ Blaise Pascal: Myśli, tłum. Tadeusz Żeleński ]† Despite the individual experiences of each teacher, the internal consistency of all elements of the project is visible.

Everyone agrees that the interdisciplinarity of teaching is one of the main mechanisms that positively influences motivation to learn. It tells you to connect individual areas of knowledge, shows relationships and thus enables you to see the meaning and value of learning. The relationship between the teacher and the student who need each other is also important. Much depends on their cooperation. This is reminiscent of the words of one of the sixth-century thinkers: “…the ray exists only through the center, and the imprint through the seal…”

From symbol to meaning

To describe the project: “Journey to the sources of motivation” and to visualize the different processes that take place during learning and teaching, many metaphors were used, which – depending on their function – reach for the obvious and tangible to explain the complex and the non-complex, always easy.

This is how they succeeded, among other things shadow, trip, source, road, dandelion. One of the activities carried out at each meeting with partner schools was job shadowing. A teacher from Spain – Ana Ferreras Valladares, who summarized the visit of Spanish teachers to secondary school No. 13 in Krakow, vividly explained the essence of job shadowing: “We became the shadows of teachers; we accompanied them when they conducted lessons, participated in meetings with the management, we had many informal conversations, also with the students.” This understanding of this action was followed by teachers of secondary school No. 13 during meetings in European schools – in Spain, Romania, Italy and Greece.

The project participant’s diary was an attribute of teachers who went to partner schools to perform job shadowing and teaching assignment activities. In the English version, the title of the project is: Journey to the sources of motivation. Word tripjourney, alludes to French log – diary – † Teachers wrote their observations in the project participant’s diary. This interesting combination of travel and diary shows the consistency of the project assumptions and evokes the Latin saying: Dies diem docet – day learns day…

The concept of the project focused on , which is synonymous with the beginning, starting point and cause, but here it also meant the goal and at the same time indicated sources of inspiration from which to draw. The main assumption of the project was an attempt to view motivation in such a way that it would make you aware of its meaning, allow you to fill the word with content. , which are often just a thoughtlessly repeated slogan. They looked for “motivation resources” to build interesting mechanisms that support the educational process on this basis.

While visiting European schools, teachers from Secondary School No. 13 lessons from Krakow, they learned the way of leadership in a particular school, recognized the cultural context that influences the way of thinking and acting, exchanged ideas and each time formulated conclusions that they implemented in their work.

The cultural programme, which allowed a better understanding of the system and methods of teaching in partner schools, was very diverse. He broadened the horizon of thought, deepened his knowledge, made many aesthetic impressions. They visited monuments representing different eras in the history of European culture, learned about the intertwining of events that shaped the history of the countries where the partner schools are located. Representative here were the beautiful art galleries visited by the project participants – Prado in Madrid and Uffizi in Florence, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, cities and towns and places of great value to local communities.

The journey in the title of the project is associated with a path that everyone takes personally, gains experience and broadens their own horizons of thought. This path is also a common pursuit of the goal – recognizing one of the most important elements of education – the value of learning and teaching. The motivation of both the student and the teacher is essential in this regard.

Yes is presented on posters that – after joining – show the successive stages of the project, determined by its rhythm. The graph also contains statements from teachers who are successively given the title “journey”. The comments of the participants confirm the correctness of the chosen direction. This one way can be understood in many ways. Aside from the metaphorical meaning, it means distances that the participants have literally traveled, to partner schools or language schools.

As part of the project: “A journey to sources of motivation”, teachers of secondary school No. 13 from Krakow took part in English language courses in Cyprus, organized in collaboration with the language school Glossa and conducted by the Cypriot English language school in Cyprus. The courses were delivered during the summer holidays of 2020 and 2021 in the form of two-week stays. Two English teachers in turn participated in a methodological course in Ireland in 2021: “In-Service Course for Non-Native Teachers of English”, organized by the Irish language school Linguaviva.

It can be a clear picture of people’s cooperation focused on the idea of ​​the project † It represents the sum of developed experiences, skills and knowledge. Spreading the ideas and results of the project refers to the spread of dandelion seeds, meaning that the inspiration of working together is transferred to different environments. Educators in many places shared information about the project, encouraged similar activities and shared their experiences.


By summarizing all phases of project implementation, activities and meetings, one must constantly return to the essentials and assumptions. A Philosophical Approach Regarding when we see an idea move from the realm of possibilities and concepts to reality. A reference to explains why something happened. Perhaps the project was carried out in order to realize again that relationships and connections are the basis of education and a source of motivation.

“But the parts of the world are so connected and intertwined that it seems impossible to me to know the one without the other and without all …” [ Blaise Pascal: Myśli, tłum. Tadeusz Żeleński ]

The project was completed in March 2022. The idea of ​​​​the project, conclusions, experience gained are part of the continuation of the work of the school …

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