International

Meaningful Open Schooling Connects Schools to Communities

MOST Welcome!

The Horizon 2020 project MOST intends to open up school education by initiating school-community projects (SCPs) across Europe. Within a school-community-project, schools and community members (families, science education providers, citizens, businesses etc.) work together to find regionally feasible and scientific approaches to solutions on the topics waste management (2021) and energy saving (2022).

To implement this project, our dedicated consortium of 23 educational and environmental expert teams from 10 European countries have come together, including higher education institutions, schools, ministries, municipalities, enterprises, non-formal education providers.

All participants and supporters of the MOST project form the European Open Schooling Network (EOSnet), which will be enlarged step-by-step all over Europe into a vibrant Open Schooling community network.

Find out more about MOST, the School-Community-Projects and the EOSnet on the following sites!

MOST Project News

About MOST: Open Schooling and Citizen Science

Our H2020 project MOST (2020-2023) opens up formal science education and establishes partnerships between schools and their communities (families, science education providers, citizens, businesses etc.). Together they work on environmental school-community-projects (SCPs) with a thematic focus on waste management and energy saving. These participatory projects directly respond to the needs and values of those involved, benefitting the community as a whole and making schools agents of community well-being. MOST’s learning impact is boosted through an educational research-based approach that raises interest in science, scientific literacy and environmental responsibility.

To realise this powerful Open Schooling idea, our consortium gathers 23 expert teams from 10 European countries, including science education research and science teaching staff from higher education institutes, schools, non-formal learning providers, educational authorities, civic organisations, municipalities and enterprises.

To initialize the school-community-projects our consortium provides support for schools in form of preparatory workshops, potential partner search activities and through provision of operational and pedagogical instructions. Activities on the local, regional and European level foster the sharing of knowledge, establishing further partnerships and mainstreaming MOST results across Europe.

The core of the project is the integration of diverse participants: science and research, formal and non-formal educational institutions, politics, economy and society – on a local level by cooperating within “Open Schooling” projects, as within the project consortium, which contains all named institutions. The cooperation of diverse participants is the prerequisite to develop solution approaches, which take the needs of all concerned parties into consideration. At the same time, this is a driver for innovation, which will motivate all participants, to commit in the long term.

Objectives: Establishing Open Schooling Communities across Europe

Our H2020 project MOST supports all school students and members of school’s local communities – regardless of their gender, cultural/socio-economic background or achievement level – in developing scientific knowledge and interest in science. This enables them to pursue scientific careers which will, long-term, raise the numbers of scientists in Europe.

To this end, the project opens up school education with the purpose of creating learning spaces, which are accessible for all citizens to join, and let society learn from, about and with each other. Research and practice have shown that engagement of citizens in open and participatory science education processes supports their scientific literacy and ability to make informed decision. Plus, these projects will take place in the context of a research-based approach to didactically foster interest in science, and scientific and transversal skills.

Particular attention is payed to encourage and enable girls to tap their science potential. Research has shown that girls respond much better to science teaching with links to real life and authentic contexts as well as with a focus on inquiry-based learning and cooperative ways of working. The project addresses this in various ways.

Through targeted exploitation measures, we seek to empower schools and their staff to become agents of citizen science and community well-being. This will, in the long run, enable schools to become solid elements of Europe’s citizen science processes.

Furthermore, a European Open Schooling Network (EOSnet) will be established to connect all Open Schooling actors involved in the project and other Open Schooling initiatives across Europe. The aim of the respective EOSnet website and related dissemination activities is encourage further schools, HEIs or other stakeholders across Europe to initiate School-Community-Projects (SCPs), to exchange best practices of Open Schooling activities and support the progression of Open Schooling in general.

Activities

MOST initiates activities on a threefold geographical structure:

Community: In all 10 countries of the consortium (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Turkey), regional school-community-projects (SCPs) are initiated within communities (schools as hubs).

Regional level: At the regional/national level in our partner countries, all Open Schooling communities from one region are interlaced. This is achieved through regional MOST fairs, where experiences and examples of successful “Open Schooling” are shared. MOST fairs in each region maximise impact and strengthen regional efficacy.

European level: MOST  ‘creates the bigger picture’ by establishing an European Open Schooling Network (EOSnet) at the European level. A final MOST Conference connects all SCPs across Europe to a vibrant science-learning network that opens up for further countries and communities.

Consortium

Project Partners

GERMANY

  • ICSE at University of Education Freiburg (HEI, Coordinator)
  • Stadt Freiburg (policy)
  • Walther Rathenau Gewerbeschule (school)

AUSTRIA

  • University of Innsbruck, Austria (HEI)
  • Verein klasse!forschung (non-formal education provider)
  • Energie Tirol (business)

CZECH REPUBLIC

  • Charles University (HEI)
  • Stredisko ekologicke vychovy SEVER Horni Marsov, o.p.s (non-formal education provider)

LITHUANIA

  • Vilnius University (HEI)
  • Vilnius City Municipal Government (policy)

MALTA

  • University of Malta (HEI)
  • WasteServ Malta Ltd. (business)

NETHERLANDS

  • Utrecht University (HEI)
  • Stichting Naturalis Biodiversity Centre (non-formal education provider)

NORWAY

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (HEI)
  • Ducky AS (non-formal education provider)
  • Birralee International School (school)

SPAIN

  • Universidad de Jaèn (HEI)
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (non-formal education provider)

SWEDEN

  • Jönköping University (HEI)
  • UppTech (non-formal education provider)

TURKEY

  • Hacettepe University (HEI)
  • Ministry of National Education Turkey (policy)

European Support Team

The European Support Team (EST) is an advisory board and involves external experts across Europe with educational or STEM/environmental background. We are very happy that the following experts contribute to the success of MOST with their expertise:

  • Michele Artigue, Paris Diderot University
  • Geert Asselbergs, EU STEM Coalition
  • Katrin Engeln, STEM related pedagogical research, Kiel
  • Agueda Gras-Velazquez, European Schoolnet, Brussels
  • Andreas Ch. Hadjichambris, European Network for Environmental Citizenship, Cyprus
  • Andrew Howes, Manchester University
  • Annette Klinkert, European Science Engagement Association
  • Bedřich Moldan, Charles University, Prague
  • Maryte Skakauskiene, Ministry of Education and Sciences, Lithuania
  • Annita Westenbroek, Royal Netherlands Paper and Board Association

Evaluation

The evaluation concept of the MOST project is designed to see to what extent MOST has reached its objectives: establishing Open Schooling Communities across Europe and a European Open Schooling Network.

The project evaluation has a twofold purpose: on one hand it is intended to measure the project’s short-term impact in terms of the promotion of science literacy, perceived relevance and positive attitudes towards science and scientific careers, as well as increased sustainability awareness and individual capacity to act on environmental issues. On the other hand, it should provide a collection of multiple case studies from ten European countries, illustrating how school-community-projects (SCPs) may be articulated to adapt to different regional contexts, as well as barriers and supportive aspects for their successful and productive implementation.

Due to the scope and ambition of the evaluation concept, a mix methods approach is used, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. To this end, specific questionnaires were developed for the main target groups (students and teachers) and a template for regional case studies focusing on the key concept behind the MOST project: the development of SCPs as means to connect school and communities and to provide more authentic, relevant and meaningful STEM education.

Key Data

Program: Horizon 2020

Topic: SwafS (Science with and for Society) Open schooling and collaboration on science education

Type of Action: CSA (Coordination and support actions)

Duration: 36 months (September 2020 – August 2023)

Project Number: 871155

What is a School-Community-Project?

At the heart of the MOST project is the implementation of School Community Projects (SCPs) in schools. In an SCP, students and their teachers collaborate with members of the community: Families, science education providers, citizens, businesses, etc. They join together to work on an environmentally relevant issue that directly affects their community. For the duration of the project, the overarching themes are waste (2011) and energy (2022).

The aim of these projects is for students and citizens to work together scientifically in order to develop regionally feasible solution approaches. The acquired knowledge will then be delivered to the community. The sharing of results can be accomplished via short video clips, pictures, posters, flyers, newspaper articles, etc.

Comic strip, explaining what open schooling can look like.

Comic by Vaidotas Kinčius and Egle Jasute, Vilnius University

What could a SCP project look like?

An example:

An eight grade joins forces with a vendor of the local organically sourced store, an employee in regional waste management, an environmental consultant and a freelance journalist to investigate, as part of their math curriculum, how to reduce waste in private households of their town. After a shared brainstorming exercise small groups are working on different tasks: One group would for example analyse the inhabitants needs and interview passers-by on their shopping behaviour. Another group would collect the house waste over a set period and compare their measurements with the amount of waste produced by consciously shopping over the same time period at the same scale. The vendor will offer them valuable insights. The result will be extrapolated for the entire town. As the final step, the students will create a list of instructions on how to minimize waste in their town, as well as which impact these will produce. The results are then prepared for an exhibition in the school and the local mall, where the local press will report.

Co-creation is an innovative and participatory process, which aims to create shared ownership of all people involved and to support participants in building new knowledge and create values for all concerned. The purpose of the SCPs is to create learning spaces, which are accessible for all citizens to join, and to let society learn from, about and with each other. Furthermore, the introduction of an SCP in the classroom brings real-life relevance to science education in participating schools.

SCPs can be carried out in all grade levels (primary and secondary school). Currently, SCPs are initiated in all of the MOST partner countries. Check out the national websites for further information on site!

Support: Manual for Schools

The open schooling approach leads to a sustainable networking system between schools and their communities. The aim of the MOST project is to work together with private individuals, companies and associations on strategies to overcome current environmental and social problems. The collaborative work leads to a broader understanding of scientific processes and is intended to promote the scientific knowledge and transversal skills of society in the long term.

INCREASE -5-steps to success

The MOST open schooling approach covers a 5-step process aiming to engage stakeholders in co-creation activities and to design and implement joint projects. In order to be able to follow the process successfully, we recommend orienting yourself to the 5 phases of a project.

INVITE

The project team has already invited a large number of interested stakeholders. As a teacher, you can invite other community members or people relevant to your projects. At a later point in time, after a topic has emerged, your students can also look for other participants. Here are a few tips:

  • Search for possible partners in the region
  • Invitations should be explicit and short, make phone calls, to get into a conversation
  • Invite community members from different areas

CO-CREATE

  • Co-creation enables specialists and experts to cooperate with other groups with whom an exchange normally does not take place.
  • Co-creation processes help to find a topic, and similar interests of the participants become visible, from which project groups can be derived.
  • A selection of methodological approaches to facilitate the process can be found in the Co-creation Navigator of the WAAG society ccn.waag.org

ACT

  • Define the goals – which objects should be achieved with the implementation of the project?
  • Share responsibilities by assigning individual members of the project team a role that suits them
  • Keep in touch – regular project meetings support the exchange
  • Set a timeline – a list of milestones helps the students to orientate themselves in the project
  • Develop a hygiene and safety plan – due to the pandemic situation, talk about hygiene and protection in class.

SHARE

Since this is a school community project, it is advisable to present the completed projects to the community. Various channels can be used for this:

  • presentation via poster(s) in school
  • presentation on congregation evenings
  • use the billboard in the school and the community
  • project/school website
  • short video formats
  • local newspaper or radio station

EVALUATE

It is advisable to carry out an evaluation for the class and the school itself to determine to what extend a school-community-project was successful. Each SCP should be evaluated as an individual in order to learn what should be done differently or improved in future projects with a similar approach. Further, Evaluation needs to be seen as a part of any scientific process, so it should be included in the SCPs, to give students a understanding of how scientific processes work out.

The INCREASE-Trail Map is a step-by-step guide that is intended to serve as an orientation for the SCP leaders. The entire step-by-step manual will provide operational steps schools will need to follow when they wish to run a SCP and will be available for download here later this year. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date!

Support: Pedagogical Guidelines

The document “Pedagogical Guidelines and exemplary science materials” introduces co-creation processes and collaborative working methods, as well as provide information on pedagogical concepts we recommend applying, especially for involving girls. It provides pedagogical and scientific materials that can be used as educational basis to run School-Community-Projects. The main target group of this document are SCP leaders in their capacity as pedagogical leaders, although the SCP participants can also benefit from it.

The main pedagogical basis for SCPs stem from Project-Based Learning (PBL), a model that organizes students’ learning around projects. PBL is often associated with Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), Inquiry-Based Science Teaching (IBST) or scientific practices. The common denominator among these approaches is the student-centredness, in which students are actively engaged in tackling problem-solving processes like raising questions to investigate, planning investigations, selecting methods, collecting data, evaluating and communicating results. In the MOST project, the scope of PBL/IBL has to be enlarged to include the community members, school director or stakeholders as participants, with the topic/theme covering authentic environment related issues (e.g. waste and energy) and promoting girls’ participation.

In the first part of this guidelines the SCP leaders will get insight into research-based pedagogical aspects relevant to SCPs in terms of:

  • Valued Outcomes
  • Features of SCP problems
  • Features of SCP ways of working
  • SCP leaders as pedagogical leaders

The second part of this document gives an example of a SCP that can be used as help and inspiration when SCPs are to be planned and performed.

  • Download Pedagogical Guidelines (draft version)
  • Download list of examples of waste issues that could be addressed in an SCP
  • Download an example of a project roadmap

The final version of the pedagogical guidelines will present best practice examples of materials from partners across Europe and will be available for download here in the course of the project. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date!

MOST fairs – connecting School-Community-Projects with the region

MOST fairs are connecting participating schools of a region, their School-Community-Project (SCP) partners and further community members as well as stakeholders from business and policy in order to intensify exchange and cooperation at the regional level. Schools will have the chance to present experiences and project results. In an award ceremony, the school with the best SCP will receive an award for their efforts.  Students will realize the meaningful impact their efforts and actions can have on their region and society in general. Schools will also be able to extend their cooperation with other institutions, organisations and interested community members in order to build significant and lasting partnerships.

MOST conference – connecting partner regions across Europe

The MOST conference will connect School-Community-Projects (SCPs) and their partners on an European level, augmenting the projects results and achievements on the international stage. Best practices, SCP award winners and experiences will be presented, policy makers and other high-level stakeholders invited to connect all levels of Open Schooling – students and teachers, higher education providers such as universities, citizens, companies and policy makers. This will function as a unique opportunity to foster expertise and to engage in networking and the sharing of research findings from the SCPs to efficiently promote Open Schooling all around Europe.

MOST international – sustainably connecting projects through EOSnet

The European Open Schooling Project (EOSnet) is what will give MOST participants the opportunity to connect not just during the project lifetime, but also afterwards. EOSnet is a website designed to present the SCP participants and their stories and to provide information on Open Schooling and its impact and possibilities. Everybody can join as a member via the website.

You are invited to join our network and initiate own similar projects. Join in!

MOST in our partner countries – what happens on site?

Check out the Open Schooling Community websites of the participating countries:

The creation of these resources has been funded with the support of the Horizon2020 programme of the European Union under grant no. 871155. The European Union/European Commission is neither responsible for the content nor liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.

CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license is granted for all our materials. Please feel free to use and adapt them for non-commercial purposes. Make sure to give attribution to the original materials as well as for the adapted ones. Find explicit terms of use for CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/deed.en

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