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Open Schooling: an exciting opportunity for igniting enthusiasm for STEM
Dropped by EASE
August 14, 2022
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Prof. Dr. Katja Maaß, Aileen Fahrländer, ICSE - International Center for STEM Education, University of Education Freiburg Subject: Open Schooling Image Link: https://www.transfernow.net/dl/20220810Rdg8dfuJ/6I5ZhPrC

The International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE) at the Freiburg University of Education is an internationally networked center with the goal of reorienting STEM education in Europe. In our EU funded project MOST we focus on bringing schools and communities together in open schooling projects. When seeing the large variety of great, interesting open schooling projects, the enthusiasm of participating people, the pride when presenting their results across 10 countries, we realized that open schooling actually means an opening in many dimensions:

Personal opening: In Open Schooling, schools work together with other actors (e.g. families, experts from companies, community members) on topics and problems relevant to society as a whole. Persons from specific spheres, which would normally not cooperate, learn to solve joint problems and get to know different perspectives and insight into different professions.

Opening content: Sustainability and environmental issues have changed in recent years and decades and are increasingly influenced by areas such as globalization, digitalization and the pandemic. These interlocking issues give rise to exciting interdisciplinary project ideas: How much paper is saved through digital communication channels? How can waste heat from data centers be used to heat offices? How can electric cars be charged in the smart grid? What is the real benefit of using solid shampoo? Or how much does a coffee-to-go cup actually cost to produce?

Mathematical modeling, chemical and physical processes in recycling or energy generation, the importance of biodiversity – these are all curriculum-relevant topics, but also socially relevant context. This context shows the relevance of STEM subjects and sparks enthusiasm for STEM.

Opening for scientific working: Not simply “teaching” the solution to such challenges, but having participants inquiry on the solution by following scientific processes, like formulating questions, collecting data, evaluating data and communicating results. This not only gives participants insight into science, but also about science and thus enables them to understand publicly communicated scientific results, e.g. in relation to the pandemic, which empowers them to act as active citizens.

Altogether, Open Schooling is an existing opportunity for all involved to experiencing science as it is: related to reality, exciting and cooperative.

Information about ICSE, the MOST project and Open Schooling at MOST – ICSE – International Centre for Stem Education



Photo: Edvin Johansson on unsplash

Graphic: International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE)

Source: International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE)
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