The Education Team Model

The Education Team is a group (of teachers, heads of teachers, students…) with a common goal. To achieve this goal, very much like in a soccer game, each team member receives a role that best suits their skills, utilizes their areas of strengths, and expresses their creativity. Acknowledging and empowering the individual is an essential prerequisite for the Education Team’s success, and the individual, on his/her part, is committed to the team spirit and to achieving its goals..

As a result, very much like in soccer or basketball, and in sport in general, a focused, meaningful and powerful energy is generated, the kind of energy that can facilitate the fulfilment of almost any task.

The Education Team has two rules:

1. Every group member is both a learner and a teacher

The Education Team works as a network (as opposed to a pyramid), in other words, every team member contributes his/her expertise and skills, and benefits from others. Hence, when the individual is empowered and supported, the collective reaps the benefits.

2. A common measurable and transparent goal

The Education Team has a common goal and all group members are committed to achieving it. Team members are not in competition with one another, but rather work in collaboration and practice mutual help. Each Education Team builds its own measures that allows it to be in continuous touch with the outcomes of the group’s activity. The outcomes (Group’s average, not individual outcomes) are presented in full transparency to the Education Team members and constitute a platform for an ongoing discourse among them, aimed at seeking and developing ways to promote the group’s success.

Red Yellow Green To fine-tune and further advance the “Teacher Learner” model, Education Team’s coaches are encouraged to use flashcards in three colors. After preliminary study of the material, every student places a card next to him/her:

Green – I have full command and understanding of the study material and I can teach others; Yellow – I understand the study material, but still need more learning; Red – I do not understand, I need assistance. The goal is to reach a maximal number of green cards at the class’ end.

The hallmarks of an Education Team that works well are:

Meaningful connections between group members; Collaborations; A sense of meaning and shared responsibility; And most importantly a sense of joy and satisfaction.

Education Cities believes that the Education Team encapsulates the essence of the learning process at its best:

Seeing the one and creating as one – Acknowledging the individual, his/her uniqueness and importance. And at the same time, building a network of collaborations that promotes and empowers both the individual and the group.

The role of the teacher

From a Transmitting Teacher, to a Networking Teacher

the lion’s share of knowledge is available today online. Therefore, the teacher is no longer in charge of the transfer of information to his/her students. A teacher in an Education Team Classroom is essentially a coach. And very much like a sport team’s coach, he/she integrates roles’ assignment according to the areas of strength. For this purpose, the teacher must specialize in supporting the student in his/her process of finding what Sir Robinson refers to as “their element”. Next, the teacher must continue leading the process of transforming all learners into teachers and to build a learning and developing community in the classroom.

The role of the student

When we talk about transforming the classroom into a community of learners and teachers, we refer to the fact that in an Education Team every member has a role in promoting the group. This role doesn’t have to be directly linked to theoretical learning. Those responsible, for instance, for organizing the team’s WhatsApp group or for building a tool to measure the team’s weekly progress, are contributing their strengths. This assistance to the group is not less important than teaching mathematics.

The teacher and the students in an Education Team Classroom

Very much like in a sport team, the role of the teacher/coach differs than the roles of the players. Indeed, he/she no longer constitutes the source of knowledge, however, it is still the teacher’s responsibility to organize the group, support it, and balance between the “players”. The network student has a very meaningful role. Given the fact that he/she is giving and receiving from every direction and not merely from above, the student’s movement in space is under his/her responsibility and choice. In a way, the student’s work is much harder than in a pyramid structure. Once the process of locating and defining his/her areas of strength is completed, the student must implement it with the teacher’s assistance, in the form of roles in the group. In this way, every student has an opportunity for self-expression, and in addition, the uniqueness of every student is being acknowledged and is of significance. At the same time, the group benefits from each member’s skills and above all from his/her motivation to help promoting it.

Theoretical basis

Yaacov Hecht who discusses a paradigm shift from a pyramid to a network; Sir Ken Robinson who perceives the process of finding one’s element as a significant basis to the network approach; Peter Diamandis who predicts a world of abundance following the implementation of networks; The philosopher Gottfried Leibniz who wrote about Vis viva, Latin for “Living Force” (as opposed to a mechanical motion typical of the old organization); and many others, refer to the power of networks and to collaboration as essential components of the world of the future, and, certainly, of the education that prepares one to life in the future. The Education Team model constitutes a solution and an actual application of the Education 2.0 approach (from the expression web 2.0). The network approach enables each and every member to contribute according to his/her abilities and uniqueness while at the same time to acknowledge the abilities and uniqueness of the other.