Promote active learning and develop 21st century skills through STEAM, design thinking and problem solving activities.

A practical 7 day course that will provide participants with tools they can use in their classroom to increase student inquiry by using project based learning, design thinking and much more!
  • Designed by teachers for teachers.
  • Activities tried, tested and approved by teachers and their children.
  • Methodology renowned internationally.
  • Innovative, effective and motivating!

Today’s world is changing at a fast pace. Technology improves every day and it’s hard to imagine what the world will look like when our youngest students will start their future careers. One of school’s biggest roles is to prepare students for their future. We might be preparing them for jobs that don’t yet exist. So, how do we do that?

We have clues and indicators about what skills will be important in the future that we can use. Those are skills such as active learning, analytical thinking and innovation, critical thinking, complex problem solving and social perceptiveness. This course will provide you with the tools you need to promote those skills with your students. In doing so, you will learn all about project based learning and design thinking and what it looks like in the classroom.


  • Explaining project based learning and design thinking.
  • How to structure a project based learning session.
  • Tackling real world problems.
  • How to maximise student inquiry.
  • How to use design thinking in the classroom.
  • Innovation with design thinking.
  • How STEAM can be used in the classroom.

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

Activities can be used for children aged 4 – 16 years old.


  • To introduce the ideology behind PROJECT BASED LEARNING and design thinking and observe first-hand how projects are working in local schools in Iceland.
  • To give participants a close-up and personal insight into the Icelandic school system.
  • To learn how to structure project based learning sessions and projects.
  • To provide teaching tools and activities which promote active learning, innovation and analytical thinking.
  • To provide teaching tools and activities which promote critical thinking, complex problem solving and social perceptiveness.
  • To explore the STEAM educational approach in the classroom.
  • To give teachers the opportunity to share successful activities they use in their own school/country so we can learn from each other.
  • To help teachers plan the vision for their PROJECT BASED LEARNING CLASSROOM with time to reflect on their individual schools and plan realistic steps for implementation and success.
  • To have fun, share experiences and learn from like-minded teachers from different countries.
  • To continue growing our network of teachers and schools from all over Europe and beyond!


The course is run by Dr. Lilja M. Jónsdóttir and Thorleifur Örn Gunarsson.

More about Lilja …

Dr. Lilja M. Jónsdóttir is an assistant professor emerita at the Faculty of Education and Pedagogy at the University of Iceland.  Lilja specialises in general pedagogy of classroom practices and the teaching of social studies. Her research interests include the experiences of novice teachers and classroom teachers, teacher education, general pedagogy, school development, professional development and democracy in teaching and learning. Lilja has a B.Ed. degree from the Iceland University of Education, an M.Ed. degree in Holistic Education from OISE, University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Iceland.

Lilja taught at the compulsory school level for 25 years, at the Experimental School of the Iceland University of Education. There, she placed great emphasis on diverse and flexible schooling; where democracy in the classroom, negotiating the curriculum with students, curriculum integration, project based learning, creativity and differentiated instruction were at the forefront. She has written handbooks for teachers and student teachers on project based learning and curriculum integration and creativity. Additionally, Lilja has a long experience of conducting professional development courses for teachers around Iceland, as well as serving as consultant on development projects in many schools.

More about Thorleifur …

Thorleifur Örn Gunarsson, or Thor, is an experienced teacher who has worked with children from 2 to 18 years of age in schools and youth projects. He has a B.Ed. degree from University of Iceland in Teaching of Social Studies and a MT in Social Studies from Teachers College Columbia University, New York.

He is currently a secondary school teacher in Langholtsskoli, Reykjavik where he works with his team integrating the subjects of Icelandic language, social studies, natural science and information technology into their curriculum.  In 2020 they received the Icelandic educational award for their outstanding developmental project based learning environment for their students.

Thor integrates subjects in his learning environment to better represent the reality of modern society. Students are encouraged to initiate projects that empower them in their own lives, to start an inquiry on how to take action and make a difference.  They are able expand their creative thinking and explore how technology can be used as a creative tool.

John Deway’s ideas on education heavily influence his teaching – especially his thoughts on how school should reflect the reality of the students’ lives. Project based learning, design thinking, subject integration, MakerSpace and 21st century learning skills are staples in Thor’s teaching. 


This course offers learning opportunities for teachers and school staff across the education sector including: Preschool; Primary; Secondary; Adult education; Special Needs; Teaching assistants; School management; Vocational education; Higher education; and Student teachers.


As part of the course and with your Icelandic hosts, you will have the opportunity to visit Icelandic schools at each educational stage. You will witness, first-hand, how Iceland, with only 330,000 inhabitants, produces so many well-known athletes and artists. You will see how outdoors, sport and practical subjects, such as home economics, woodwork and art, are given the same priority as academic subjects at all stages of education.


We also provide the opportunity to share good practice during the course so we can learn from each other and find partners for future projects: KA1 projects, job shadowing opportunities and/or KA229 projects.


One of our priorities while you spend your valuable time with us in Iceland is your well-being. Every teacher is important to us and we want you to feel valued and comfortable throughout your stay. As well as the extra activities we provide as part of the course fee (see below), we work hard to ensure you have a really good time. We ensure lots of team-building and “get to know you” activities from day one and our courses are dynamic and fun-packed. We are genuine Icelandic hosts so you will get the real Icelandic experience and we are renowned to look after our teachers really well.


• Morning refreshments
• Cultural evening
• Visit to the local swimming pool and hot tubs
• Course material
• Certificate of attendance


Join us on our own tailor-made local tour of amazing Iceland with our SMART TEACHERS PLAY MORE TOUR PACKAGE for both participants and their families! A great way to enjoy the wonders of Iceland, network and get to know your new European friends.


Don’t miss out on our EXCLUSIVE PARTICIPANT DISCOUNT VOUCHERS for a brand new trendy hotel we work with close to our course centre!


31.03.2024 > 06.04.2024 CONFIRMED

14.07.2024 > 20.07.2024 CONFIRMED

03.11.2024 > 09.11.2024 CONFIRMED

13.04.2025 > 19.04.2025

20.07.2025 > 26.07.2025

05.10.2025 > 11.10.2025

COURSE PRICE: 595€ per participant

COURSE I.D. for Erasmus +: 218789