Conference co-creating a quality school




5th and 6th March 2021

27th August 2021

Call for Papers
The epidemic unfortunately prevented the execution of the international conference Co-creating a Quality School, which was planned for the 17th March 2020 at the Danila Kumar Elementary School.

We decided to host an online supported conference in two parts. The first part of the online conference will be held on Friday, 5th and Saturday, 6th March 2021, while the second part will be held on 27th August 2021, 16 hours altogether.

Contributions approved last year are already included in the programme, which will be published on the Danila Kumar Elementary School web page (

Our goals are:

  • quality general education,
  • acquisition of new learning strategies, which include ICT,
  • raising awareness about the importance of intrapersonal balance,
  • developing of organisational skills for teaching and learning,
  • the necessity of physical activity during the learning process,
  • shaping of the school culture, which is based on empathy and common system of values.

One of the building blocks of a good school is tending to improving interpersonal relationships and improving connections amongst each other. Therefore, we are inviting you to find answers to the following questions together:

  • What is the role of the teacher in the 21st century?
  • What are some strategies for developing the students’ critical thinking, planning and inquiry into their own learning?
  • What do our students need for learning in a cooperative and supportive environment?
  • How important is learning through experience and how can we implement it in our teaching?
  • How do we facilitate peer cooperation and what poses the greatest obstacle preventing it?
  • What knowledge and experience should elementary students acquire?
  • What is the nature of the partnership between a teacher and a student?
  • How well is the teachers’ voice heard and how well the students’’?
  • Which are the important building blocks of generations z, 𝛼… ?
  • What are the positive outcomes of the pandemic for education?
  • Digitalisation of the teaching and learning process.

Please apply for both conference parts through the Katis Portal by 3rd March 2021.

There is still time to apply for active participation (a talk or a workshop) at the second part of the conference.

Your contributions will be published in an online collection of scientific papers, issued on the day of the conference in August. All participants receive a certificate of participations, and those with active contributions receive the certificate of a contribution at an international conference. Part of the conference will be in English. The conference fee (both parts) is 10 euro For all further questions and inquiries, contact Karmen Bizjak Merzel (


Karmen Bizjak Merzel, Danila Kumar Elementary School
Conference Coordinator

Conference Programme

FRIDAY, 5th March 2021



Kristjan Musek Lešnik
Quality school after the epidemic: About clogs and wings

The opportunity to share ideas and meet presenters from abroad


Emily Staudacher:

Developing a sensitive and supportive writing workshop that provides writing as a coping strategy to overcome trauma and adversity (International School Carinthia, Austria)


Lilijana Klinger, Marko Šolić:

Engage in STEM (Matija Gubec International School, Croatia)


Katarina Lovenjak:

Let opinions spark fire or a simple recipe for class (Gimnazija Kranj, Slovenia)


Simona Samida Cerk:

Interdisciplinary approach to teaching humanities (OŠ Franceta Bevka, Slovenia)


Tina Starec Klobasa:

Kamishibai connects (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Anja Podreka:

Contemporary art in elementary school (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


SATURDAY, 6th 2021




Jukka Miettunen:

Managing the Change Finnish Way (Yli-Iin koulu, Finland)


Jennifer Navarre:

Balanced Literacy and Fitting It In To Your Classroom (International School Carinthia, Austria)


Mojca Planinc:

Lessons as theatre and playground (OŠ Franceta Bevka, Slovenia)


Lojzka Lušin:

Real world Maths (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Brigita Praznik Lokar:

Formative assessment at history lessons through authentic tasks (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Tanja Jankovič:

Animated film as project work in class (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)

*please download Stop Motion Studio app on your smart phone or tablet


Mojca Škof:

How to connect home economics with basics in textiles (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Katarina Čepič:

Inclusion of multilingual students into (international) education (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Ines Schreiner:

The impact of the adolescent brain research on educating middle school students (International School Carinthia, Austria)


Emilia Hiltunen, Sari Sälevä and Ville Sillanpää:

Co-teaching Towards Sustainable Future With STEAM (Yli-Iin koulu, Finland)


Melita Plešnik:

Story line in teaching Slovenian (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Uroš Marolt:

School is a circus! (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Irena Lahajner:

Lost in space (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)


Damjan Beton:

Good people create a quality school (OŠ Danile Kumar, Slovenia)



James Brightman:

Launching Virtual Professional Learning Networks within ACES (International School Carinthia, Austria)



Plenary Speakers


The world is changing, learning is changing, and learner is changing. What about the schools?
Stories and case examples of the process in one school with personal development, positive pedagogy, technology, STEAM and working methods.

Jukka Miettunen, Project Manager

Mr. Jukka Miettunen, MA Ed, is a former Principal at Yli-Ii Comprehensive School in the City of Oulu, Finland and now a Project Manager in Digione. He has over 20 years experience as a teacher, school leader and innovative project’s management. He has also worked in private sector and as an entrepreneur.

Jukka’s expertise areas are change management, staff development, learning technology, physical learning environments, leadership, entrepreneurship education, learning games and STEAM.


Professional learning communities (PLCs) have shown promise in many schools to enhance several aspects of educational practice, such as teacher-efficacy, professional development, support, satisfaction, collaboration, group dynamics, instructional practices, and school culture.  They have also been shown to raise student achievement when implemented effectively in schools. 

 ACES has been striving to promote the best practices of professional learning communities among our member schools for the past several years.  Many of these programs are face-to-face events, and they often are geared towards school leaders.  The COVID-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to rethink ACES and how it could be of more benefit to member schools in the future.  Virtual Professional Learning Networks (VPLNs) could be a platform to engage, enhance, and extend learning and collaboration among our member schools.  

In this presentation, you will learn about the research supporting VPLNs and how two ACES VPLNs are enhancing collaboration and best practices for their members.  Please come to this presentation with ideas for VPLNs that would be valuable to support educators in ACES schools and how they could be facilitated for maximum benefit.

James Brightman has been the Director of International School Carinthia (ISC) since its founding in 2013 in Velden am Wörthersee, Austria. He has played an active role in developing the IB Continuum at ISC and his previous school over the past 12 years. Over his 22-year career in education, he has taught in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Austria, and the United States and has held administrative roles at two universities. James was elected to serve on the ACES Board in 2020.  He is conducting research on VPLNs for his doctoral dissertation.


FRIDAY, 5th March 2021

  1. Katarina Lovenjak: When our views clash – a simple recipe for a whole-class debate

How can teachers provide opportunities for their students’ deliberate practice in developing argumentation skills, justifying diverse views and opinions? A time and space where the young can polish their critical thinking skills through a variety of topics? The aim of this presentation is to demonstrate how to implement a class debate which can include as many as thirty students, regardless of their level of pre-knowledge, skills, or abilities.

  1. Simona Samida Cerk: An interdisciplinary approach to teaching 5th grade social science in primary school

The paper presents the challenges of a modern school based on interdisciplinary teaching, which includes collaborative learning, innovative learning approaches and learning environments supported, by modern information and communication technology. Modern concepts of knowledge focus on skills and abilities such as the ability to independently search for information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to use information in different situations, problem solving, collaboration and creativity. Digital competences of both teachers and students play key role. The paper presents guidelines and innovative solutions for teaching social science in the 5th grade through an interdisciplinary approach in which students are motivated, mentally active, independent and achieve high learning effects. A teacher in a modern school is not only a mediator of knowledge, but also an enthusiast and a listener.

  1. Tina Starec Klobasa: Kamishibaj brings together

Kamishibai (jap. kami: paper and shibai: theatre) is a form of storytelling with images and a wooden stage and it is extremely useful in the pedagogical process as it includes all elements of formative assessment, provides cross-curricular connections and allows a wide range of possibilities for internal differentiation. In addition, the return to the analogue after the period of distance learning with the help of modern technologies has increased its value and importantance and needs to be even more actively promoted.

  1. Anja Podreka: Primary school – contemporary art

The lecture will be dedicated to introducing the programme of the IB which makes it possible enables teaching global and personal concepts (politics, community and environmental concepts) through Visual Arts or understanding of the Contemporary Art. Lecture will aim at spreading knowledge and experience of the possibility of implementing a new curriculum and a renewal of it, in order to teach Contemporary art in primary schools through/with the theory and practice.

SATURDAY, 6th 2021

  1. Mojca Planinc: Theatre can be our playground, our laboratory, our kitchen …

It is important to acknowledge that theatre as an art and theatre as the teaching method are two completely different approaches to consider theatre. There are not many examples of good practise of theatre as the teaching method in school. Theatre gives children the possibility of research, dealing with problems and finding different solutions to problems. The process takes place in an environment that is relaxed and encouraging. Students also learn critical thinking. After introducing theatre activities in the class, pupils responded very positively. Their knowledge is obtained in a practical way and is therefore more sustainable. Children learn faster, they solve problems more creatively, their orientation and coordination improved and when they speak they are more confident. I also noticed improvement of self-awareness during communication and improvement in relations between pupils. Learning through the theatre method is not only empirical approach, it is also a multisensory approach.

  1. Lojzka Lušin: Is Maths Real? / Living Maths

Developing creativity and transfer skills means encouraging learners to think laterally and to make associations between things that are usually not connected. It means encouraging learners to reinterpret and apply their learning in a new context, looking at things from different points of view and experimenting with alternative approaches to solving problems. How students can understand and make connections between different disciplines in multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary contexts, or in relation to real-life situations, can be developed with the help of five levels of SOLO taxonomy. When exploring various real-life situations, students need to use factual knowledge and conceptual understanding as well as upgrade them to make a connection to real-life contexts by using the highest level of complexity. Studying mathematics by recalling knowledge, applying it to new topics of the subject and generalizing it, energizes learning and makes it more active and flexible. This Maths presentation will demonstrate how to implement thinking with concepts in the mathematical classroom when referring to unfamiliar situations.   

  1. Brigita Praznik Lokar: Formative assessment in history lessons with authentic assignments

Formative assessment accustoms the students to think independently about their learning, ways to gain knowledge, the facts they have already learnt, what skills they have acquired and why to study at all. The role of a teacher is to guide students and make them aware of all the steps of formative assessment. Thus, during the educational process, the teacher steps into the background, yet such a lesson requires a lot of time for preparation.

  1. Tanja Jankovič: Animated movie as a project in a classroom

In this article we focus on the final stage of the project based learning – the presentation of what has been learned. The presentation of what has been learned, products and evidence of learning is highly important. By presenting, students make sense of learning and put it in its place, in a broader context. What is learned gets additional value. There are several ways to present knowledge. Here, all creativity is left to students and teachers. This time we take a closer look at how we can make an animation in the final phase of project learning – a short animated film. Making an animated movie covers many areas of the curriculum as well as the “laws” of the modern school. Students get used to the useful value of ICT and the sensible use of digital technologies. They also learn how to develop visual literacy and learn about the laws of video content, which are even more important in today’s world of video and visual messages.

  1. Mojca Škof: How to connect the chapter of household economics with the basics of textiles

In the unit on the home economics, the students learn where and how people live. The students and I explore how important it is to plan the time for necessary and less necessary daily needs in a family. In the workshop, we will make a symbolic home – a house that offers shelter to family members (in the form of dolls). At the end, we will make a medal for every family member. On the inside, we will write five key words of praise that are the basis for creating good relationships among the family members.

  1. Katarina Čepič: The inclusion of foreign language students into (international) education

The inclusion of students who have limited knowledge and mastery of the language of instruction is multifaceted. It entails cognitive, social and psychological elements and it requires a holistic approach of the teacher. The following contribution will hopefully serve teachers of language or other subjects who encounter students with language of instruction deficiency and aim to scaffold the students in the learning process. The short lecture will give a general overview of the topic, provide examples of good practice, and engage the participants into a debate. 

  1. Melita Plešnik: Story line and Slovene lessons

Story line ideas and methods enable a quality way of teaching, develop collaboration among students in their learning process and mutual support as well as contribute to shaping student’s personalities. Moreover, the knowledge gained through the story line method is more permanent and better. Students reach their goals themselves through collaborating with their peers (they learn from each other).

  1. Uroš Marolt: School is a circus!

Can school become a circus? With the circus pedagogics we develop coordination, accuracy, speed, perseverance, cooperation and enable students to try out their limits in safe environment. Some of the standard circus disciplines and requisites (e. g. juggling balls, diabolo, Chinese plate, slackline) and ways to include them in the class will be introduced. We will bring into focus movement challenges with easier accessible circus props (wooden sticks, peacock feathers or jump ropes). Activities are suitable for the youngest but also older students in primary school.

In the end we will speak about possibilities to provide circus props, deepen the knowledge of circus skills and where to watch a circus show. We will do a short practical exercise for which you will need a small ball (the best is soft, in the size of the tennis ball). 

  1. Irena Lahajner: Lost in space 

How do we lead the students from the topic to the final project presentation? I will present how we did a project in physics using ICT and a team of teachers (a physics teacher, an English teacher, an ICT coordinator, a librarian and others). I will describe the project steps in writing the text, creating PPT presentations and handouts. I will show the advantages and disadvantages of such projects and point out the strengths and weaknesses students face in such activities.  

  1. Damjan Beton: Good people create quality school

According to positive psychology and ontology we will try to emphasize that person in his core is good and good school stakeholders make quality school. Positive psychology studies and strengtens positive aspects of human personality and his well-being and differs from other areas of psychology that focus more on pathology. Ontology (philosophical field that deals with nature of being, existence) states that person in his essence is good/well. But not to stop on theoretical level, we will search for concrete properties of students, teachers, parents through SWOT analysis (we will focus on strengths and opportunities). For our work we will also use adapted open space method. Both metods of work will be briefly explained so the participants will be able to actively participate on the topic.

Writting Abstracts

The abstract needs to include a summary of the content and the goal of the article. It has to introduce the context, discussed topics and important conclusions. Do not repeat the title of the article in the abstract, as well as no repetitive statements, which are included in the article. Use Times New Roman 12p and italics. The abstract in Slovenian and English mustn’t be longer than 150 words and include a maximum of 6 key words.

Action Committee
  • Andreja Hazabent
  • Urška Šuštaršič
  • Klemen Strmljan
  • Karmen Bizjak Merzel