Moving towards Europe 2020 objectives means also to increase attention and interest of students and teachers towards scientific subjects and to improve results of European students in this subjects as a fundamental step towards Europe as the most advanced knowledge-based society. In order to reach this final and European-wide goal, proposed project acts towards two main elements: motivation of students and teachers’ competencies. This means to set two main educational objectives:
first objective is to exchange and to define new didactic solutions aimed at making students from upper secondary schools more interested and active in science education.
second objective is to reinforce teachers’ ability and competence in science education in order to widen didactical solutions to be applied to this specific field.
The first educational objective will be pursued trough a set of activities that will be aimed at defining and experimenting interactive didactic activities in which learning process is based on active participation of students and on connection with daily life: in order to increase motivation and interest in science, it is essential that the curriculum emphasizes connections with students’ personal experiences. Links between science and issues in contemporary society and discussion of the philosophical aspects of science are both important and, at the same time, it is essential to promote varied forms of active learning and participatory inquiry approaches from primary level onwards.
Contacts with daily life will be enhanced trough an activity that will be specifically focused on a specific theme: project won’t focused on generic science education but on those science teaching activities linked to education to sustainability, to environmental education. The idea of sustainability as well as importance of permanent sustainability education in school they both underline that is strategic to have tools enabling for translating these complex theme into a local educational contest. Wide and shared is the need for a training and education system providing teachers not only with adequate competencies but also with specific tools, a practical kit based on laboratory approach and transferable to different educational contexts.
Second educational objective will be pursued trough an intensive exchange and documentation activity that will involve teachers from partner regions: producing documents about local best practices, participation in study visits and in job-shadowing activities will provide opportunity for increasing range of didactical solutions to be applied in daily teaching activities.
Beside these two educational objectives, project pursues also a further objective linked to ethic dimension of the specific selected theme: sustainability and environment. Project is expected to have an impact on teachers and students as the main actors of an educational process within school but the project is expected to have an impact on teachers and students as citizens. The project will aim at build not only competencies but also a new environmental ethic inspiring behaviors inside and outside educational environments.
As above mentioned, project is designed in the context of a European wide challenge: increasing access of European students to scientific studies and careers intended as a fundamental step towards achievements of Europe 2020 goals. Proposed project address this challenge acting towards upper secondary educational levels in order to make students more interested in these subjects and , hopefully, to facilitate transition to higher education studied in the scientific area, an area which still suffer from not adequate level of participation and success in Europe.
Project approach is a mix of exchange and experimental activities, two different kind of activities that are designed in a consequential path: starting from documentation, exchange will be reinforced trough job-shadowing and, from lessons learnt during this first stage, project will see mutual adaptation of practices, application and experimentation in local context. In this strategy, interaction between schools and associations will be fundamental in order to integrate traditional didactical activities (typical from educational institutions) with more active and “hands on” activities (typical from associations and science parks). Of course, this path will be continuously monitored and evaluated in its impact on targets: teachers and students.