News . Events United Nations SDG 2023 Summit Accelerates Progress Towards 2030 Goals.
Can open schooling declaration be integrated into government programs to empower this and next generations?
News . Events The Open School Declaration sparks hope for a more sustainable, empowering and innovative future
On March 17th the Connect project User Advisory Board convened to validate the Open School Declaration and discuss the further steps towards a broad and effective implementation of Open Schooling.
At the meeting, the experts discussed the Open Schooling Declaration (OSD), which aims to accelerate the open schooling movement with resources, technologies, practices, and policies. The OSD consists of 10 principles, 14 recommendations and 42 actions, and was created by the partners of the CONNECT project underpinned by three years of open schooling implementation with evaluation and can be read here.
The experts participating in the meeting were excited by the declaration and found it both relevant and powerful as a tool for the broader implementation of open schooling. As there are other projects that promote the Open Schooling approach, the experts pointed out, that the OPD can contribute positively to both strengthening the local movements and accelerating the broader political implementation by paving the way for a top-down diffusion. In particular, OSD can be a common declaration supported by several projects, institutions and partners.
In other words, the experts shared the hope that the OSD can contribute to much more open schooling in the EU and partner countries.
News . Events CONNECT International Conference on Open Schooling 2023: A Resounding Success Fostering Education Innovation
The CONNECT International Conference on Open Schooling (CICOS 2023) held in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain, from July 6th to 7th, proved to be a resounding success, leaving a lasting impact on the education community. Organized by the CONNECT consortium, this scientific conference brought together practitioners, researchers, educators, and policymakers from all over the world to engage in a critical exchange of knowledge and debate on the latest innovations in Open Schooling educational practices.
With the event taking place in the esteemed Museo de la Ciencia CosmoCaixa, the atmosphere was charged with excitement and enthusiasm for exploring the potential of open schooling to revolutionize education. The CONNECT project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 872814, played a significant role in supporting the conference, underscoring its commitment to advancing the future of education through two key publications.
The CONNECT project book “Inclusive Open Schooling with engaging and future-oriented science: Evidence-based Practices, Principle & Tools” was launched in the conference – free download here
The Open Schooling Declaration was officially presented with the support of hundreds of practitioners and advocates of the open schooling movement, who provided their signatures. You are invited to join this movement. Sign in here
“We received participants from Greece, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, Romania, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, Denmark, Norway”
News . Events Connect Science Actions in Romania “Project Sunborn”
The implementation of Connect Science Actions in Romania is coordinated by the Valahia University of Targoviste. A close and reliable partner of the University, among the many schools that have chosen to implement Connect units, is the Technical College “Constantin Brâncuși” in Petrila.
During the Science Actions, the students of Colegiul Tehnic “Constantin Brâncuși” Petrila developed various products as learning outcomes. A group of students initiated the development of a video game called Project Sunborn. The creators of the game aimed to raise children’s awareness of the usefulness of solar energy and solar panels.
The implementation of Connect Science Actions and the development of the game had a significant impact on the whole school, with the initiators succeeding in engaging the whole school.
To learn more about the game, watch the video created by the students HERE
News . Events 6th User Advisory Board Meeting
How can CONNECT attract more policymakers and Scientists to enhance STE(A)M
The CONNECT User Advisory Board (UAB) met online in October 2022 to discuss how CONNECT can mobilize scientists and policymakers to enhance STEAM education. Scientists and policymakers are important in promoting open schooling and STEAM. Scientists play an important role in motivating and encouraging young people to pursue careers in science, and policymakers are key actors since they are setting the frame for schools and education. In this regard, policymakers should not only be understood as those operating on a national level but also on a local level, e.g. school heads.
The CONNECT platform
The user advisory board meeting began with EXUS presenting the CONNECT platform, and how it facilitates the mobilization of policymakers and scientists and supports their involvement. The platform is a multi-actor virtual environment that supports and consolidates the work done in CONNECT. It contains various tools, such as educational resources, a social network and a database of partners and projects. Consequently, the platform brings the community together and is a think tank for open schooling.
Take a look here:
The platform has experienced significant progress in mobilizing policymakers and scientists all over the EU and in Brazil. The platform has increased rapidly (311%) since its start and there are now 1291 users, 257 published posts, and 11757 page views. Currently, there are 1291 members of the platform, including 143 scientists and 137 school heads, and this number is increasing rapidly.
See the up-to-date status here:
News . Events CONNECT USER Advisory Board 5th online meeting
On 13 June 2022 the CONNECT User Advisory Board members and implementing partners met to discuss the open-ended scenarios and strategies for implementation and scalability. Useful input was provided throughout the discussions.
To kick off the discussion implementing partners presented their current work with the implementation of open-ended scenarios at schools. Laia Vives Adrián and Rosina Malagrida from IRISI presented their work with implementing a method combining science actions, open-ended scenarios, and a system approach covering the topic of mental health. One key advise from this implementation experience was the importance of creating and using networks, when setting out to implement open schooling processes and engaging various participants.
Raquel Glitz from APC presented their current implementation of the open-ended scenarios. As the school year runs from March to November the implementation was midway in the know-stage of the process, engaging six schools and about 415 students. Different topics were covered. Social vulnerability of students and challenges in a post-pandemic school systems were reported as recurring challenges experienced in the implementation.
Engaging scientist and other participants
Another challenge brought up during the discussion was the difficulties with motivating scientists in the processes, particularly difficulties with making it clear why they should participate. One board member reported that they would gladly implement the open-ended scenarios as it involves more students, but the main challenge was finding and engaging scientists.
It was hereby suggested to make use of the entire scientific ecosystem and engaging scientist from different scientific entities and not only scientists from universities. Science communicators or scientists from science centres or museums were suggested. Another suggestion was that if scientists could use the data generated in the project for their own research, they might be more motivated to participate. Experiences with larger conference where many students can interact with difference scientists at once were moreover shared as a way of utilising the scientists’ time and engagement. Video recordings with engaged scientist to ensure a reach of more students was also mentioned.
Key benefits and barriers
The discussion also included a mapping of key benefits and barriers of the method to support the further implementation. Key benefits that were mentioned were:
- More participation from students who are not interested in science.
- Working with topics that are relevant to the students.
- Connecting students with social reality.
- Showing students what science is.
- Open schools for scientists and families.
- The concept of open schooling and the open-ended scenarios are experienced as an advantage as it is more fun, a new approach, and can be seen as within the curriculum.
Two key barriers were highlighted during the discussion. The first one was that the processes are very extensive and time-consuming. The second barrier mentioned was the lack of recognition from the state for the advanced work carried out with the implementation of open schooling and the open-ended scenarios. It was moreover mentioned that the processes seem to be engaging more students than usual, but not all and the aim should be to engage 100 % of the students.
Strategies for implementation
After the mapping of benefits and barriers, strategies for scalability and how to motivate the implementation of the open-ended scenarios were discussed.
One suggestion was making sure that the benefits of the methods are clear and well-presented. Promotion of the benefits as well as of the career opportunities that might follow working with open schooling and participatory science education was also mentioned.
Other suggestions were focused on how to support the teachers. Here teacher training, certifications or micro-credentials was suggested as useful for the teachers. Involving and establishing partnerships with municipalities might also be a great support for the implementation.
The feedback and input have been used for the development of the Co-creation Method for Open Schooling as well as the Science Action Multiplier report. Both will be published in September.
The next CONNECT User Advisory Board will take place on 10 October 2022.
News . Events CONNECT – inclusive open schooling for digital and scientific inclusion with gender equity
News . Events The 9th OStogether Inspiration Session organised by CONNECT was a success!
News . Events 4th Panhellenic Conference of the Regional Directorate of Education of Crete
News . Events Good reads by CONNECT – our foundations
In CONNECT we encorporate the #OpenSchooling methodology to evolve practices that enchance #Science__education. Our project is founded on the most important publications on active student participation and science capital. Care to take a look?