COOL stands for Cooperative Open Learning and is a teacher initiative promoting more independence and personal responsibility in education.

Cooperative Open Learning is a pedagogical approach to teaching and school development – an opportunity for further development for students, teachers, and schools at their respective locations.

The three COOL principles based on Helen Parkhurst’s Dalton Plan, which was published as early as 1922, are integral to our teaching and the development of staff and organization.

  •    Freedom
  •    Cooperation
  •    Personal Responsibility

Students, teachers, parents, and so-called school partners, learn with and from each other by promoting freedom, cooperation, and personal responsibility. The Dalton Plan, like COOL, is not a ready-made model, but an approach that is developed at each school site – “a way of life,” as Helen Parkhurst called it.

COOL is based on the appreciative attitude of all partners involved.

The teachers’ initiative was founded in 1996 around Helga Wittwer and Georg Neuhauser in Steyr, inspired by vocational schools in the Netherlands and Denmark.