At the beginning of 2019, the Ministry for Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton launched a Pilot program of teaching based on learning outcomes and competencies. The Pilot program aimed to develop the capacity of schools in conducting classes defined on the outcomes in the subject Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Language and Literature. The goal of the program was also to improve the language and communication competencies of students in third and sixth grade in project schools, which would help change the educational paradigm and achieve full integration of the Common Core Curriculum with learning outcomes.
The first phase of the pilot program was conducted in the 2019/2020 school year in six primary schools in Sarajevo Canton with a total of nine third grade classes and six sixth grade classes. Teachers involved in the program received training on conducting innovative teaching based on the application of learning outcomes in the language and communication area organized by Save the Children for the Northwest Balkans. Prior to the implementation of teaching based on learning outcomes, teachers attended additional training organized by the Center for Educational Initiatives "Step by Step" Sarajevo and by core trainers in the application of learning outcomes in mother tongue teaching.
In order to examine and monitor the effects of the pilot program, the Open Society Fund BiH has provided funds for conducting research on the effects of teaching based on learning outcomes in project schools to be conducted in period from June 2019 to September 2020 by proMENTE social research. The aim of the research was to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the conducted pilot program and to examine the effects of teaching based on learning outcomes.
In order to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the pilot program, the research had to answer the following questions:
- Has the training program enabled teachers to develop the competencies needed for implementation of teaching based on learning outcomes?
- How do students involved in the pilot program assess teaching activities? Do the teaching activities in the subject Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language and literature meet the needs of students?
- Has the pilot program been implemented as planned? What are the obstacles in the implementation of the program?
In order to examine the effects of teaching based on learning outcomes, research had to answer the following questions:
- What are the effects of teaching based on learning outcomes on the language and communication competencies of third and sixth grade students?
- Do the language and communication competencies of third and sixth grade students differ between students involved in the traditional way of teaching and students involved in teaching based on the outcomes in the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language and literature?
- Do the language and communication competencies of III and VI grade students differ with regard to the characteristics of children (eg age, gender, environment in which the child grows up), characteristics of teachers (teaching methods, work experience, professional development, etc.), and school characteristics (eg school size, material and human resources, etc.)?
The research involved a quasi-experimental pretest - a posttest design with a control group. The research included a sample, which consisted of teachers and students from a total of 11 public primary schools in the Sarajevo Canton. The experimental group consisted of students from 6 classes of the third grade, 6 classes of the sixth grade who attended classes in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language and literature based on learning outcomes and conducted by teachers involved in the pilot project. Control group 1 consisted of students from 6 classes of the third grade, 6 classes of the sixth grade who attended classes in Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian language and literature based on traditional teaching approaches.
The evaluation of the outcomes of the pilot program included the collection and analysis of data related to the improvement of teachers 'competencies for the implementation of teaching based on learning outcomes and the improvement of students' language and communication competencies. Data on students' competencies were collected through Knowledge Tests in the subject Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian Language and Literature at the end of the second and fifth and at the end of the third and sixth grade. Data on teachers' competencies and teaching characteristics were collected through the Teachers' Questionnaire, the Classroom Observation System and the Students' Questionnaire.
The evaluation of the process or program involved the collection and analysis of data related to the characteristics of the program itself and its implementation. These data were collected through the Classroom Observation System, Evaluation questionnaires for teachers and students involved in the program, and through focus groups with teachers.