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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2013

Future Challenges Report Editors


This report describes the results of the WP6 research activities performed in the first year of the Go-Lab Project and represents a Milestone in WP6 – Community Building and Support. It is serving the need for the identification of the current and future challenges as it regards Science Education and the scope and the approach of the Go-Lab Project in order to address them in a holistic and state-of-the-art way. Therefore, the results and the conclusions are presented as a basis for further work. However, participatory engagement and the study of related methodologies will continue during the life-cycle of the project and will allow partners engaged in these parts of the project to periodically update and enrich their work in this domain with new inputs, to go beyond the scope of this deliverable. For this reason, following the description of the activities performed and the conclusions that can be drawn from this work, the last chapter contains a set of open questions that will remain in the agenda of the project partners and will drive further activities. The structure of the report is the following: Chapter 2 presents the original hypotheses and the methodology connected, Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6 present the main results according to the sources and approaches used to collect data and articulate them, Chapter 7 contains an integrated overview of results and, together with the conclusions, presents a list of open issues that the project will continue to address in view of maximising its future impact. Finally the Six Discussion Papers (Challenge and Opportunities Papers) produced as a main component of this study by WP6 partners are presented in Annex 1, while the list of names of experts interviewed is presented as Annex 2. The following conclusions are the result of the work reported here: 1. The Future Challenges Study confirms the relevance of the aims and the approach adopted by the Go-Lab Project in terms of its vision for school education in the future and of the potential of the ICTs to contribute to this vision. The project’s specific contribution to the upgrade of Science Education at the European and international level is still considered as significant, while the project's complementarity to a number of large-scale, Europe-wide initiatives, supported by the European Union, coherent among themselves, is seen as timely. 2. There is also a broad consensus on what the main challenges and the main areas of change are. In particular, these include the curricula reform and assessment methods, the competence-based learning and innovative pedagogy as well as the learner-generated knowledge; additionally, the upgrade of teachers’ competences, the motivation and capacity building towards change, the learners motivation as well as the upgrade of teachers' digital competences, their familiarization with the digital technologies and the use of digital resources. Addressing each of these challenges is possible and small-scale experiences exist to demonstrate good practice, yet system-scale innovation is the real challenge. 3. Nevertheless, although it is difficult to address all challenges simultaneously, this still corresponds to the best approach in order to reach the objective of system-scale innovation. Over thirty years of both European and national Programmes aiming at the adoption of ICT in education show that an integrated approach is indispensable in order to produce real impact: technology infrastructure without the enhancement of teachers’ competences and motivation will not change the way Science is taught - or better Science learning is experienced - nor any change in pedagogical practice will ever happen without a change in the way the curriculum is being conceived and built and the learning assessment is being delivered. It is therefore fundamental that the Go-Lab large scale piloting needs to be supported by the relevant institutions in each participating country and coupled with the above-mentioned principles, if the project is to combine the bottom-up approach of the participating schools with the relevant “innovation policy” framework of the country. The virtuous circle between research, policy and innovative practice must be fully adopted by the project. 4. Stakeholders’ involvement is a crucial element in the project implementation: without stakeholders’ attention and consensus a mechanistic implementation of innovative experiences will not produce significant impact after the end of the project. Stakeholders must not only know about the Go-Lab Project, but also support its efforts, and in order to do this they need to gain “ownership” of the pilot experiences and be allowed to gain an important role in its future implementation. 5. Formative Evaluation and Quality Assurance are two fundamental features of the Go-Lab project because they lead the way so that the partners keep an open and consistent communication channel among WPs and Tasks and, even more importantly, with the stakeholders, and as we have stated this is one of the keys for the maximization of the project's impact in the medium and long term. If we look beyond the project “contractual life” – that is relatively long and already contains quite ambitious quantitative and qualitative objectives - the real success will consist in a large-scale follow up of the project results and their integration into the EU and the national policies for the modernization of Science Education. To reach this goal a systemic and transparent documentation of the working cycle of the project, of difficulties and improvements and of lessons learnt, is of utmost importance. 6. Finally, the Go-Lab Project has a lot of challenges to face in the next couple of years, and at the same time a real and concrete opportunity to become relevant, in view of an anticipated, systemic change of Science Education in Europe. Making this opportunity a reality will depend on the conditions identified above and probably others that will emerge in the coming years of the project. Every one of the identified challenges will need to drive the project activities' planning, while in the meantime, certain important aspects that are still open will be addressed.


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hal-01202007 , version 1 (18-09-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01202007 , version 1


Claudio Dondi, Jennifer Palumbo, Nikos Zygouritsas, Vasilis Fasoulis, Spiros Borotis, et al.. Future Challenges Report Editors. [Research Report] Go-Lab Project. 2013. ⟨hal-01202007⟩
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