“Stop-motion animation as an educational tool creates big results in the learning process and give my students an opportunity to be animation heroes”- Macedonia
It’s no surprise that an art teacher would employ stop-motion animation to teach art – it’s a creative solution for a creative subject. What is surprising, though, is the way Macedonian teacher Darko Taleski has used the approach to help teach math, science, language and other subjects – twelve in all. Taleski may have stumbled on one of the most unique ways to engage animation-loving primary students in learning. The process encompasses storytelling, quizzes, interactive lessons, feedback and competition and helps students develop critical thinking and other 21st century skills. Taleski was recognized last month at the Microsoft Partners in Learning European Forum in Lisbon (winner, Educators’ Choice award). We asked him to share more about stop-motion animation as an educational tool and what the program has meant to the rural schools where he
What is your proudest professional achievement?
The stop-motion animation project, which I’ve been working on for three years, has helped me to fulfill children’s imaginations, and to give them an opportunity to be animation heroes. In this project, we included all school subjects. We integrated students from different ages, nationalities, social groups and we made more than 45 animations. The project involved more than 20 teachers and more than 160 students.
What has the project meant to your students?
In the last three years, my students won first prizes for photography in the International Photo contest in Serbia, and second prize for the one-minute movie (stop-motion animation) “Stop Violence in the Schools,” organized by UNICEF. Students have shared their experiences in using stop-motion animation with new friends as a part of exchange visit to our partner school in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. This year, our school was recognized by ACES for a project on volunteering, “Be Creative to Help Others.”
What has changed in your schools as a result of your efforts?
Students that I teach live in a rural environment and they do not have much opportunity
to travel, or to have contact with students from other schools, places and countries. By using stop-motion animation in the educational process, I gave my students knowledge that no matter where they come from, they have the same opportunities and wishes as all students in the world. If they want to achieve something strongly, they will achieve it. My students have been part of many contests, events and projects where they won many awards and traveled outside and within the country. They have gained a lot of new friends, new experiences, new values and more confidence.
How can other educators facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned through this project?
Using stop-motion animation in my school was an innovative approach that created big
results in the learning process. This project inspired my colleagues to use stop-motion animation in their classes, too. It started with my teaching Art and then I spread it to other school subjects, like English language, Macedonian language, History, Mathematics,
Biology, Ecology, Life skills and Physics.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education?
Time limits and working space are the biggest obstacles, because I have to travel every day from my city to the four villages in which I teach students. Every day of the working week I am in a different village and I have transportation at a certain time of the day. I do not have a lot of opportunity to stay after regular classes. I made a lot of effort to stay after regular classes, even finding alternative transportation. In some of the schools there is not enough working space. In the schools in the morning there is one group of students from 11 to 14 years old, and in the afternoon there is another group of students from 6 to 10 years old. There are just 15 minutes between these two groups of students, which is not enough working space after the regular classes.
What is your country doing right to support education?
There is a computer and Internet connection for each student in every school in Macedonia, which helps students to get more resources for learning — especially students in the rural environment.
What conditions must change in your country to better support education?
We have good ICT equipment for each school in my country, but we need more support for maintenance of this equipment and more training for older teachers to use ICT in their classes. Renovation of the old school buildings is the most important and crucial need, especially in the rural areas. We do not have sport halls in our school or in many schools in the rural areas of the country. There is no motivation for teachers to innovate from the Ministry of Education and Science and the local authorities. That must be changed as soon as possible if we want to have good educational system.
What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
ICT is developing rapidly and if we want to have well-educated children we must bring this technology closer to our students. The possibilities of ICT in education are enormous and we must use that opportunity.
What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?
The most important thing is to love your work. You have to be honest with your students and to give them all your knowledge that you have, to give them the opportunity for the best possible education.
If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be?
A computer with an Internet connection. That is most important in rural areas of the world where students do not have many educational resources. Good examples of this are the schools where I teach.
Join the Partners in Learning Network and experience global collaboration!
Innovate in the classroom, help your students build the skills they need for the future—such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity—with Partners in Learning.
You’ll meet other innovative teachers for collaboration opportunities, get access to free teacher resources, and learn about great ways to improve your personal teaching practice using technology.
Embraced by the theme ‘Your Ideas Matter’ the Partners in Learning Network is a community for you, by you, and further amplifies the great work that is being done every day by teachers and schools around the world. With this idea in mind, we invite you to try out this global online resource and community designed to encourage collaboration and the spread of ideas for the betterment of education worldwide.
The new Partners in Learning Network is the next generation of the global network
serving educators and school leaders in over 115 countries. To facilitate a truly global community of innovative educators, the site is now available in 36 different languages, thanks to the use of Microsoft Translator Services.
Sign in, create an account and start connecting with thousands of educators worldwide here.
About Darko Taleski
Darko Taleski is an Art Teacher at OOU Kiril Metodij School. He has been teaching art for over six years in four villages: Kanatarci, Podmol, Desovo, Dupjachani. Taleski is also an accomplished artist and has exhibited his work in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Germany and the UK.
Birthplace: Prilep, Macedonia
Current residence: Prilep, Macedonia
Website I check every day: my e-mail
Person who inspires me most: My relative who lives in Palestine
Favorite childhood memory: My grandmother’s words: “When he grows up he will be an artist.”
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Senec, Bratislava – Slovakia ACES Academy 2012
Favorite book: Week of Goodness in Istanbul
Favorite music: Jazz