Pedagogical constructivism as scientific basis
The pedagogical-didactic concept of the miTAS project is based on a process model divided into five phases, through which the key competencies mentioned above increase progressively from phase to phase and in which this improvement can be reflected section by section. The reflection of this learning progress after each phase forms the transition to the next phase. The miTAS concept follows the principle of constructivist didactics, which presents a comprehensive concept of action in which the learner not only acquires knowledge but also participates in his or her own competence development in a versatile and extensive way (Reich, 2005).
Learning can be described as an active process in which learning is always self-directed but also takes place in social exchange with others. For the accompanist, this means that previous experience, prior knowledge and strengths and weaknesses must be supported (Siebert, 2005). This way of thinking benefits heterogeneous groups of learners, since the learning conditions can sometimes be very different.
For the groups of people in the miTAS project, this scientific basis means that the different learning requirements are considered by the pedagogical concept when learning with the miTAS app and that learning is individually conveyed, deepened and reflected in different phases in order to support self-directed, active learning. The individual phases will be presented later. In order to enable learning with the app along the lines of constructivist pedagogy, the concept of digital station learning was used and a digital media box was developed, which should simplify the work and handling of the miTAS app for learners and users and encourage individual learning.
Digital station learning with the miTAS media box
Station learning is a didactic concept that originally comes from school pedagogy. It still deals with physical stations, which contain different work orders and can be worked on in independent order. Differences in learning behaviour should be easily compatible with each other. This method is particularly suitable for:
- The deepening of knowledge
- The practice of tasks and work orders
- Interdisciplinary teaching
The focus is on self-organisation: accompanists and learners should participate in the same learning process and actively shape the learning process.
"Stationary learning is particularly characterized by the fact that the type, selection and preparation of the learning material allows a variety of possible accesses to the learning material (such as experiments, puzzles, exercises, practical tasks, background literature, etc.) This promotes the methodological competence of the students, as each individual learns how to solve tasks in a goal-oriented and effective way. Station learning can take place in individual work or in smaller groups" (Wehrfritz, o.J.).
Through station learning, several of the previously mentioned areas of competence can be promoted. The variety of methods, techniques and materials used can "promote individual learning paths and enable positive learning experiences" (Wehrfritz, o.J.). Thus, this concept is also suitable for inclusive learning groups and heterogeneous target groups, since learning and the learning process can be structured at one's own pace and with the possibility of repetition. In addition, learning is combined with a variety of methods and learning paths, which increases the motivation to learn and makes it possible to combine different types of learning.
The concept of station learning is realized in the miTAS project with blended learning. This is a combination of virtual and non-virtual learning settings and methods (Rinn & Bett, 2006). This is particularly suitable since the learning environment of people with intellectual disabilities in education and training, i.e. in a professional context, is often characterized by face-to-face teaching, school and small group work. Blended learning can take a position between media-enriched face-to-face teaching and pure online teaching. In this way, the advantages of the respective settings can be used and their disadvantages minimized to a large extent. The miTAS app is presented and introduced to people with intellectual disabilities (e.g. in the training company, professional school, etc.) by the instructors or accompanists. For the preparation of the lessons or learning units the teachers or accompanists have a selection of didactic materials available in the media box. These can be selected and adapted according to the level of knowledge of the participants (Rinn & Bett, 2006). The purpose of this is to increase accompanists’ acceptance of the app and to reduce the fear of losing too much time working with the app.