News . Events Sustainable development through environmental projects

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Care: The students were involved and interested in a real-life problem: to what extent the environment contributes to the sustainable development of mankind through planting trees by students, either from saplings or seeds.  The students who participated in the activities were of secondary level, aged 11-14 years.

Know: Students used knowledge about sustainable development, environment, food resources and environment.  The competences that the students practiced were:

– Analyzing the impact of technology development on the environment and society 

– Training the capacity for design, execution, evaluation, use and capitalization of products

– Evaluation of personal resources and formation of initiative and entrepreneurship spirit in career planning.

Do: In the end, students prepared posters and planted trees in the school garden, carried out the activities both in groups and individually, being supported by families and community members.

* Identifying the possibilities of capitalizing on food products of mineral, vegetable and animal origin 

*Analysis of links between food production activities and specific trades/professions

– Description of the main resources needed to carry out family production and consumption activities

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity is part of the curriculum at the school’s decision. It was useful, relevant, challenging, innovative and contributed to the formation of the above-mentioned skills. Open schooling could be challenging for other teachers as it contributes to civic spirit and sustainable development.

Student results: Students were interested in this type of project, because it adds value to sustainable development and environmental protection. They proved pleasure in carrying out practical activities and formed social-moral skills in Open Schooling. The most relevant comment of a sixth grader was: “The world develops from seed and everything is possible through the evolution of science and God’s care.”

News . Events STOP – FOOD WASTE!

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Care: The students were interested in a real-life issue related to responsible food consumption that represents a conscious food choice, taking into account aspects related to our decisions regarding health, environment, economy, culture, etc. Carrying out social responsibility activities plays an important role in how participants will understand why making any decision about personal food can have negative consequences /  irreversible on an important part of our planet. .  The students who participated in the activities were students aged 3-18, from preschool, primary, secondary and high school. A total of 825 students participated in these activities.

Know: Students used knowledge about food waste by watching documentaries on the effects of food waste, conducting a case study at economic agents in the city – 3 restaurants, by visiting the bread factory in the city, making leaflets with information through which we can reduce food waste, making a trophic pyramid, healthy breakfast and making figurines of fruits and vegetables,  drawing up posters.  

The competences that the students practiced were:

  • Motivating students to adopt a balanced and economical lifestyle;
  • Encouraging students to find practical and effective ways to reduce food waste;
  • Developing interdisciplinary connections to draw public attention to food waste;
  • Changing the attitude of students, their families, school teachers towards food waste.  

Do: At the end, students prepared posters, leaflets, posters, interview, video. They carried out the activities in groups but also individually, being supported by family and community members.

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity was framed in the curriculum. It was challenging and useful because students’ confidence and self-esteem increased as a result of participating in complex activities that highlighted their abilities and required them to make decisions. The improvement of social skills was reflected through cooperation at the level of working groups and students’ roles in this context, through the relationship with colleagues in school. Open schooling could be challenging for other teachers because it increases creativity levels among both teachers and students. 

Results obtained by students: Students were interested in the topic proposed for research and showed interest in participating in other activities aimed at the practical and applicative character of the given topic

News . Events Participatory Research for Mental Health Promotion

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The Guidance Department of CDP Juan XXIII Chana in Granada has implemented an educational project called “Healthy Minds”, within its Tutorial Action Plan, which involves participatory research with an Open Schooling approach, where the students themselves become active agents in promoting mental health. The implementation has been carried out within the framework of the European project CONNECT.

 

We have conducted this project with 6 class groups from 1st and 3rd year of Secondary Education (180 students and their families). Each group has worked through the sessions designed by Healthy minds, and we have implemented an action plan with various activities based on the identified mental health needs.

Firstly, we delved into the concept of health by analysing the definition proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Through this, we discovered that there are different types of health, not only physical but also social and mental. We analysed what they had in common and found that emotional well-being was the common term. At this point, the students identified risk and protective factors for mental health, based on which they prioritized the ones they considered most important to design and implement an action plan. Students proposed to create an “Emotional Kit” as a solution. They have suggested a set of tools to protect themselves in risky situations and promote emotional well-being. Finally, they reflected on the learning process and the impact on mental health promotion. Throughout the process, teachers and families have been involved, allowing for collaborative design of solutions.

Among the results and impact of Healthy Minds in our educational community, we can highlight a greater awareness among students of the need to focus on mental health and their ability to contribute to solving a problem that affects them through participatory research. The self-organization of students has also been promoted, and there has been a greater commitment from the school institution to improve mental health promotion. The school will start working on creating a physical space that promotes emotional well-being, which will be called the “Emotional Classroom”. Additionally, the Guidance Department will design interdisciplinary activities to promote students’ well-being in collaboration with the “Healthy habits and lifestyle” program already allocated at the school.

 

News . Events Families and forestry specialists worked together to successfully carry out a scientific action adapted to the conditions of a Subcarpathian area

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CARE: In this activity the families of the students were involved in order to study the specific habitat of the Subcarpathian area of Balcani commune, as well as forestry specialists in collaboration with the Moinești Forestry School. 

KNOW: The concepts related to the geographical environment, biogeography and pollution were linked to the school curriculum. 

DO: Students no longer found science difficult and difficult to approach because the activities they did were in line with their abilities and worked differentiated for the needs of the group. 

Open Schooling findings: CONNECT resources were used to draw parallels between the species of CONNECT resources and those studied by students.  

Students’ results: Students showed willingness to learn new things, but also deepened the knowledge already acquired previously. Also, they gained knowledge about the animals studied by making practical presentations/projects about them. 

News . Events Science action on Health: prevention of Covid.19 at the school supported by participatory research (Best Practice – Spain)

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CARE: The socio-scientific issue was on how to improve the prevention of Covid.19 at the school. The professionals that gave support were the scientific community from Escoles Sentinella project: science communicators, biologists, epidemiologists, paediatricians among others, helping on the facilitation of the participatory research. From an invitation letter to the project and with some previous knowledge explorations the students get fully committed to the project. 

KNOW: As the activities were implemented from the tutoring sessions, the debate competence and also the citizenship education topic (social values content) were the aspects more worked using this CONNECT resource. Despite we did not go in depth with biological issues, the students also learned a lot about how the coronavirus is spread and why do we need those preventions measures to protect everybody from the transmission.  

DO: Students developed communication skills and skills to create, design and edit video, as they chose disseminate their results through a video. Students also developed iinquiry skills, participation skills and transdisciplinary methodologies. The science actions included teamwork, collaborative learning within the class and with other stakeholders and that science useful to solve real-life challenges. 

Findings about open schooling: The activity they did was adapted to the curriculum of Obligatory Secondary Education (ESO) and it was implemented at the tutoring sessions. 

Results for students: Students get more confident on debating and on presenting their own opinions to the group. The activity has led to greater awareness of Covid-19 prevention and how the measures to achieve that can be improved by a participatory research process. 

CONNECT Resources used: LINK 

News . Events Global Warming and Chemical Pollution: OPEN SCHOOLING IN GREECE (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE: A list of questions was sent to the scientist and through his presentation on the Webex Meet platform where answered.

KNOW: The school curriculum was satisfactorily connected with the chosen topic to work with. The greenhouse effect is integrated in their curriculum and was highly connected with the global warming issue. Discussion supported by participatory science has led to greater awareness of global warming and chemical pollution and provoked actions to confront and eventually solve these issues. It also changed the up to that point indifferent attitude of some of the pupils towards scientific methodology and science in general, to clear interest and positive attitude to science.

DO: Since we used an open scenario approach the students either found themselves sources or used some, we offered them. In this context they developed videos, presentations, and a game.

FINDINGS: This initiative had the consent of the parents and opened opportunities for dialogue with the family, pupils and teachers. After the appropriate modifications was integrated in the curriculum making the scientific approach a handy tool for the pupils to understand scientific methodology and to a certain degree apply it.

RESULTS FOR STUDENTS: The students who participated seem now more confident with science, they really enjoy science lessons and they have increased interest in scientific approach and problems.

1)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGXgNx3U9gM

2)https://pantou.sites.sch.gr/connect/%CE%A1%CF%8D%CF%80%CE%BF%CE%B9%20%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85%20%CE%B5%CE%B4%CE%AC%CF%86%CE%BF%CF%85%CF%82.pdf

3)https://pantou.sites.sch.gr/connect/%CE%A1%CF%8D%CF%80%CE%BF%CE%B9%20%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF%20%CE%88%CE%B4%CE%B1%CF%86%CE%BF%CF%82-1.pdf

4)https://pantou.sites.sch.gr/connect/%CE%98%CE%AD%CF%81%CE%BC%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%83%CE%B7%20%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9%20%CF%87%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE%20%CF%81%CF%8D%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%83%CE%B7%20on%20Scratch.html

News . Events Creating & using maps for problem-solving: open schooling with open scenario in Greece (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE-KNOW-DO: The scenario follows the structure of Connect: CARE-KNOW-DO and the methodology of participatory science. Students & teachers are participating in all stages, scientists & parents at the stages of “Care” and “Do”, local authorities at “Do” level. The role of the scientist (University of the Aegean, Geography department) was quite critical as at the first level of “Care” he gave initiatives to students in order to start over the process of creating their digital map and at the third level of “Do” where he assisted students on how to present their results, how to make proposals, to discuss in total student’s investigations and to reply to any student’s question about this map creation. The role of teacher is to support students in all stages and motivate them for their personal growth, for further investigating, to encourage them for spatial thinking etc. The role of parents is to communicate, participate, assist, and help students with their questions/actions as they have an active role during this process.

Outcomes: The outcome of this scenario was a variety of student’s spatial questions which are forwarded to local community for further actions and investigation. For example: environmental pollution, accessibility & proximity issues, promoting local places that are not known yet, bad roads/buildings condition, lack of spatial interactions, lack of basic infrastructure etc. The initial limitation of this scenario was the reluctancy of participation as students/their parents haven’t faced something similar before; after the completion of this scenario all students requested to have similar projects for action to other study fields.

Findings: Another benefit of this scenario was that it took place during pandemic as all students were online and they could participate with scientist meetings. Scientist intrigued student’s mind and of course broaden the knowledge for cartography and the use of maps in daily life. The fulfilment of both cartography labs led students to working in teams, to resolving problems, to spatial thinking, to be more tech-savvy and generally to encourage students for improvement. Overall, there was a great cooperation among everyone, and the scenario implementation was in benefit of all the participants.

News . Events Open Schooling in Greece with “Renewable Energy Sources (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE: Students discussed with their parents in the “Care” phase about the pollution from the electric plants in Greece. In the first part of the “Know” phase students used a mobile application to compute their electric energy consumption where they were helped by their parents.

KNOW:  Students prepared the questions for the scientist in the padlet for the “know” phase.

The renewable energy resources scenario was performed as a continuity in the electric energy chapter of the Physics Greek curriculum. Students showed interest and wanted to learn what are the photovoltaic systems. They had some misunderstandings as concerns the wind generators but after finalization of the project they showed confidence in science.

DO: Students made a poster (“Do” phase) divided by smaller parts in which they show the environmental problems that arise from the conventional electric plants and what are the renewable energy resources. Also, they put in the poster two small photovoltaic panels that are connected through wires with a small fan.

Findings about open schooling: The benefits of these science actions are that students become more active, and they care about problems that exist, but they never think about them. Teacher’s role was to facilitate the process and to help the students. We faced some problems during the implementation as was for example the minor participation of parents.

Results for students: Connect gave us the opportunity to relate the curriculum with a real problem. Our students learned how is possible to be “connected” in the real problems.   Students like to work in teams and to learn about real problems concerning the environment. They also want to take actions and to give solutions, they want to be more active and not pathetic as they do unfortunately during school routine.

News . Events Rewilding Greece: Implementing Open Schooling with hybrid lessons supported by an online meeting with the Natural Museum scientist and classroom activities (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE: We started it during the second lockdown, using on-line teaching; however, the biggest part of the CONNECT scenario was applied in the classroom at the end of the second pandemic. The only online part of the Rewilding Greece scenario was the online meeting (1hour) with the invited scientist Dr. Iasmi Stathi from the Natural Museum of History at Heracleio, Crete. Dr. Iasmi had a great interaction with all 19 students participating at the programme and there was a bombardment of questions during that hour. The family was involved in the learning process and their task was to discuss with students and choose the animal for rewilding Greece.

KNOW: Teachers need to have their teaching a priority and that pushes the implementation of CONNECT towards the second half of the teaching year. However, the procedures needed to follow were clear.

DO: the last `DO` part really made a difference for having the students organize their learning for a purpose. However, it took a burden on curriculum programme, and it left us with the aftertaste of having fewer hours for applying the scenario.

We decided to make an action writing a letter of intent to government departments responsible for the environment.

Black Francolin:
https://connect-eu.exus.co.uk/?attachment=805&document_type=document&download_document_file=1&document_file=91

Lynx :
https://connect-eu.exus.co.uk/?attachment=804&document_type=document&download_document_file=1&document_file=90

Findings about open schooling: The science needed to make a scientific argument was easy to incorporate, however the task to fit the programme into school curriculum was cumbersome.

Outcomes for students: It took some effort to keep the students focus on the scientific argument when the initial joy of participation passed. The science was not difficult; however the students found the competition a long process. During the teaching the students never complaint about not being able to complete the task.

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