The aim of the project is to develop innovative teaching units in the field of science subjects. In these lessons, methods of creative work (e.g. story telling, theater, land art, graffiti, videos) should be tried out. Other European project partners are schools and extra-curricular educational institutions in Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain.
The ability to comprehend is probably one of the most important abilities of people. Comprehension can be worked on, developed, improved as any other ability we have. It is not only important but crucial for the education process, since it is responsible for the most difficult task - to pass on particular agreements, different notions, processes and concepts not as a formal text, but in a manner that these notions and concepts find their place among other concepts already existing in the students’ knowledge database, relate to them and most of all be understood in a way, which will allow them to be further applied in everyday life. Comprehension gives us access to know about the world around us. Our way to be and to behave is deeply influenced by our perception and how we comprehend the information that surrounds us.
The aim of the project is to develop youth culture of gaining comprehension in science subjects (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology) as well as to promote students’ creativity, thus making scientific knowledge better understandable and with higher probability of implementing it in real life.
The idea of the project is to develop methodology and pedagogical tools for science teaching and learning focused on coherence of the educational content with the comprehension model of students. This will allow science education in schools to be more motivating, open and students to have greater responsibility for their own learning process. The tools and methodology will combine the best of several pedagogical approaches (as constructivism, connectivism, peer-learning) and focus on comprehension which is usually not the central point of the currently used pedagogical tools and practices, since they focus on the role of the teacher and motivation of students.
The project aims at creating intellectual products that will allow teaching and learning sciences in any school, despite the curricula, type of school, grade the pupils are in, etc.
The project outputs will give the teachers the freedom to relate concepts in scientific subjects, which often are situated in different grades in the curricula for students to study, which make students forget and lose the connection between the different knowledge units, which decreases their comprehension and functional literacy and leads to serious underachievement in the science subjects, which also is a reason for students not having the ability to work on development of transversal competences in the future.
Under the project, teachers will acquire new competences and skills to address students' under achievements and work not only for the forming of basic knowledge and skill of sciences, but also for the forming of transversal competences - development of creativity, adaptation to the rapidly changing circumstances, intercultural competences, social development, “learning to learn” competences and an improved perception of one’s own capacity to solve problems.
Project activities and results page
The particular activities, which will be implemented under the project, are:
1. Involvement of participants (schools involvement)
Result: A database of the involved schools, teachers and students will be created and their data will be available in the online learning and teaching platform.
2. Research on creative pedagogical approaches focused on enhancing comprehension in teaching and learning sciences
Result: The research will be necessary for creative pedagogical approaches, tools and practices to be identified and chosen for the development of the methodology for enhancing comprehension in science teaching and learning.
3. Development of methodology for enhancing comprehension in science education in high schools
Result: The methodology is the corner stone to build and implement a systematic approach for science teaching and learning focused on comprehension and on active student involvement in the educational process. Currently scientific topics are explained through scientific language, which hampers the understanding of kids; their educational success in sciences is mainly related to the word skills of the teachers and their ability to explain. The problem is that no matter how close teachers try to be to the conscious, cognitive and thinking models of kids they usually fail for the fact that the neurological connections in their brains, their experience and knowledge, are very different from these of the kids.
The innovative character of the methodology developed under the project can be found in its main characteristics:
- It focuses on comprehension which is not the central point of the currently used pedagogical tools and practices in sciences, since they focus on the role of the teacher and motivation of students;
- It focuses on active student involvement in the education process – students have to work themselves for the creation of variety of pedagogical tools using their creativity and fantasy;
- It focuses on using associative images, models, art representation of science concepts, which create coherence of the educational content with the comprehension model of students, relating the content to natural and familiar phenomena;
- It requires a process of ensuring scientific relevance of all the created pedagogical tools;
- It will give the teachers the freedom to relate concepts in scientific subjects, which often are situated in different grades in the curricula for students to study, which make students forget and lose the connection between the different knowledge units, which decreases their comprehension and functional literacy and leads to serious underachievement in the science subjects;
- It will makes possible the use of pedagogical tools not necessarily based on language, which allows teachers to address and students to use not only their verbal skills but all their senses, abilities, emotions (thus making the process of understanding and remembering much more effective);
4. Training activities, focused on working with the pedagogical approach/methodology of enhanced comprehension in teaching/learning science in schools
Result: 30 science teachers from the partner counties to be trained. The training activity aims at training science teachers in the developed methodology for enhancing comprehension in science teaching and learning.
5. Research on scientific subjects and concepts to be included in online teaching and learning platform
Result: That activity will lead to identification of the scientific concepts, which will be put in the project online teaching platform. The result will be achieved through discussion among all partners and involved target group representatives (science teachers and students). Research on scientific subjects and concepts to be included in the online platform will be made, so that the concepts correspond to the science curricula in the different EU schools.
6. Development of creative pedagogical tools for enhancing comprehension in science teaching and learning
Result: The pedagogical tools which will be created to support the developed approach and methodology (IO1) will interpret theoretical science concepts by expressing them through familiar phenomena and natural, conventional relation which the student will be able to perceive intuitively through an associative image, video, or a fiction story. The tools will be developed by the students themselves and checked for correctness and scientific relevance by the teachers.
7. Development of an online teaching and learning platform for enhancing comprehension in teaching and learning sciences.
Result: The online tool will allow creation of user generated content as per the individual needs of the teachers and students, who will be the main users. It will contain all project results – methodology and pedagogical tools in particular.
8. Testing and evaluation of the intellectual outputs created
Result: The testing and evaluation will be done both by teachers and students from all involved schools (partners and target groups representatives). The process will give the partnership feedback on the level of applicability, usability, effectiveness and other characteristics of the project results developed and they will be improved according to the received feedback.
9. Organization of multiplier events
Results: one event in each country – Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Romania, (7 events, as min with 140 participants – 20 participants per country).
The lead project partner is Profesionalna gimnazia “Asen Zlatarov” from Bulgaria.
Partners are the following schools and NGOs:
- Zinev Art Technologies from Bulgaria
- Institut equalita from Germany
- Pixel and Connectis from Italy
- PIKC Rīgas Valsts tehnikums and Latvian Education Foundation from Latvia
- Kaunas Juozas Grusas Art Gymnasium from Lithuania
- Associació Empresarial L'alqueria Projectes Educatius – ALPE from Spain
- and Foundation EuroEd from Romania.
Project Website: http://goscience.eu