The Tröllaskagi Model: Teaching and learning at the Menntaskólinn á Tröllaskaga upper secondary school
Lára Stefánsdóttir and Jóna Vilhelmína Héðinsdóttir
When the upper secondary school at Tröllaskagi (Menntaskólinn á Tröllaskaga, MTR) was founded in 2010, it was neither clear how the school would be organized nor how the school would develop. The aim behind the opening the school was to strengthen and diversify educational opportunities in the area of Tröllaskagi, located in the northern parts of Iceland. It was clear that not enough students in the area were finishing elementary education to fill this new upper secondary school. The first thing was to look at different ways of achieving just that.
In 2008, a new education act was passed by the Parliament which led to the development of a new curriculum for upper secondary schools, which took effect in 2011. Thereby it was possible to develop new types of teaching and learning in this new school. It became possible to link the present times more strongly into the curriculum and focus on the society that would be waiting for the students upon their graduation. It was, therefore, necessary to look at different theories in education and to look at what might support the independence of the students in such a way that they would take ownership of their own education.
A specific methodology of teaching and learning has developed over the years since MTR was founded, which was named “the Tröllaskagi Model”, and has come to characterize all the school activities. The school practice and the model have been introduced in many parts of Europe and in Iceland, including the European conference EcoMedia, held at the school in 2018.