1. What exactly is SoFIA?
SoFIA is an Education & Administration Model which successfully confronts and addresses the skill, knowledge and competency requirements for students of the 21st century within an organizational school framework that is efficient, effective and economic.
2. What is the main differentiator of SoFIA?
The SoFIA model offers a fresh proposition to learning. It brings together unique methodologies, innovative learning resources and uses technology effectively improving the way students learn and makes the school environment pleasant for all stakeholders. It focuses on the needs, aptitudes and aspirations of individual pupils and is based on the fundamental concepts of the most highly recognized international education systems (UK, USA, Australia, Northern Europe etc) and reputable best practices.
3. How does the model help students?
It is based within a framework of three (3) axes: Targets (what kind of students do we want to develop and nurture), Procedures (how do we achieve our targets), Infrastructure (what kind of tools do we need in order to support our procedures) supported by a 360 degrees continuous feedback and assessment, towards effective evaluation. The basic objective of the Education Model is to support students in gaining 21st century Competencies (a sum of Knowledge, Skills and Values). The concept offers a more holistic approach for the student but also for the parent and the educator. A school, by focusing around the axes and the objectives above becomes Creative, Cheerful, Useful and Effective (CCUE), thus resulting to a better schooling experience.
4. Where and when was it conceived?
The SoFIA concept is being used at one of the most innovative private schools in Greece, Doukas School, where it has been tried and tested since 2007. The school was one of the first globally to embed laptops in its educational system and was able to research technology’s use more effectively by creating one of the first digital classrooms and since, build on the findings. The school quickly became a pioneer in the creation of educational spaces, use of different educational tools, gamified certain parts of the curriculum while making the most effective and efficient use of the school’s space. 7+ years of research by a team of educators and professionals gave birth to a model that could be shared throughout the world.
5. I am a school owner. How can we work together?
As a school owner, you are interested in gaining the competitive advantage. A member of SoFIA’s team can visit your school to conduct a SSA (SoFIA School Audit) and benchmark areas of concern. We will produce a preliminary assessment on how to embed the SoFIA model in your school in terms of which technology to use, how and where to create innovative learning spaces, classroom procedures, how to embrace school stakeholders, how to use educational templates and a number of crucial elements that will provide you with the competitive edge. After the SSA, a timeline will be produced within which the chosen elements will be incorporated. Remember, the model is not only about education, but also about how to organize and manage your school through an administrative system that also saves costs by making the most effective use of facilities, spaces, educators, control procedures and reporting. It thus offers a sound, adjustable and comprehensive administration model that assists schools with their daily operations and improves their performance.
6. Is this an international model?
Of course. The model is applicable in any schooling system given the fact that the on-site research has been conducted in a school that also offers international curriculums (i.e. International Baccalaureate - IB). It can be localized, customized, thus embracing any local educational system requirements.
7. I work for the government in my country.
How can we use SoFIA?
The SoFIA model can become the cornerstone of a schooling system. By using the features and concepts of SoFIA, governments may decide to base their overall approach to schooling. In many parts of the world ministries & investors are building schools but they do not focus on the content / curriculum / educational model. We do the opposite. We focus on the quality of education, the system, the methodology in order to have schools embed it and/or set up from scratch. Building something big and fancy does not mean that children build competencies.
8. I am an investor that wishes to build a school.
How can I use the SoFIA model?
The SoFIA™ concept is an investment opportunity and the easiest way to incorporate it is actually to build a school from scratch given that no changes to existing methods need to be model.
9. How long does it take to embed the SoFIA model
in a school?
The whole system takes one school year given that change does not happen from one day to another. It is crucial to make key stakeholders (i.e. teachers) participate in the process to manage possible resistance while at the same time train certain individuals on the framework. If the school is interested in incorporating certain elements of the model, this may take less time
10. How do I know it will work?
The model is one of the first globally that has produced results for a number of years at a school. While other models may only be on paper and /or focus in one or two key areas (i.e. how to embed a specific software or a competency model), we have used the model holistically in all facets of a school with thousands of students. Furthermore, the school using the model since 2007 was recently certified by EQUALS, EFQM and is being used as a world school by Microsoft (among other accolades) at global conferences.
11. Why should I change?
Education is a recognized priority, not only for governments globally, but also for society as a whole. It is the key to preparing the nation for the emergence of the knowledge economy and its increased demands for skills and human capital. More than ever before there is there is a need to focus more closely on the needs, aptitudes and aspirations of individual pupils, especially through constantly changing times where most educational models are being challenged. As changing social and economic conditions increase the need for learning, so too do technological advances alter the way that we learn.
12. How can I find out more about SoFIA?