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Participation of NGO Organization Drom in High-Level Roundtable on “Science and Education: How Innovation and Collaboration Can Deliver Better Science Education”

Participation of NGO Organization Drom in High-Level Roundtable on “Science and Education: How Innovation and Collaboration Can Deliver Better Science Education”

 

October 8th, 2021

 

In order to open new roads to science education in Europe, the Lisbon Council and the European Network of Science Centres and Museums, organized the High-Level Roundtable on “Science and Education: How Innovation and Collaboration Can Deliver Better Science Education”.

NGO Organization Drom was represented in this meeting by Mr. Rumyan Russinov,  International Advisor.

Schools and Living labs project held a high-level roundtable and interactive workshop to discuss what policy measures should exist to foster the implementation of innovating formal education system in Europe. Education systems are under pressure to prepare students for success in a complex and interconnected world that is undergoing rapid technological, cultural, economic, and demographic change. Scientific education is identified as a core competence that requires further development, yet more than 21.6 % of 15 yearolds in the EU underperformed in the science domain of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). How can schools adapt and prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century?

In order to open new roads to science education in Europe, the Schools As Living Labs project invited high-level speakers and policymakers to reflect on what policy measures should be implemented to foster the dissemination of innovating formal education system in Europe, and among them Open Schooling.

Cassie Hague, analyst at the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation at the OECD presented reflections and learnings about taking innovation into individual classroom-level and using it to inform and support changes at the system level. : “Teachers are open to innovation, although that might be at different levels in different countries. So, with the right support and structure, there is a lot of possibilities to transform science teaching in European countries.”

Tuija Hirvikoski, director of Laurea University of Applied Sciences and former president and council member of the European Network of Living Labs, described how in the early 2000’s schools, higher-education institutions, SMEs, large companies and cities in Finland started to collaborate, to operate as a living-lab and to convince the European politicians about the need of open innovation, open science and open school. :“The decision-makers should have the courage to trust the teachers and the teachers to trust their students, in the long run, this will create a completely new open science & citizen scientists in Europe”

Michael Teutsch, head of unit, schools and multilingualism, DG education, youth, sport and culture at the European Commission closed the roundtable by presenting the European Commission’s perspective and strategy to tackle the challenges of science education and disinterest in science studies: “Make the learning more effective in terms of competences acquirement but also to make it more attractive to students is actually not only a science-related issue. It’s really about good teaching in the 21st century, so it’s about more collaborative teaching methods, reaching out to society to innovate together and making assessment. […] When we discussed the key competencies recommendations in 2018, we shifted the focus and completed a bit for not only looking at the ‘what’ – which competencies – but also put quite some emphasis on teachers’ education, assessment and new learning methods.”

To make changes happen at the system-level the speakers all agreed on the same strategy to adopt:

  • Scale-up from successful individual classroom-level initiatives
  • Collaborate across the system with different actors and areas involved
  • Be patient, these kinds of changes don’t happen over the night

Schools As Living Labs opened a public consultation to develop a set of policy recommendations and mainstream the open-schooling education approach. This roundtable was an opportunity to gather participants inputs on policy objectives and gaps they are facing on the national level. The results will feed directly into the formulation of Schools as Living Labs’s roadmap to European Policeis for Open Schooling.

Participants from the Schools as Living Labs project underlined that the project will continue its work towards advancing science education in Europe by fostering collaboration between schools and local communities. This roundtable was the first edition of a series that will focus on engaging with policymakers and the wider science-education community with the goal to produce actionable recommendations for the implementation of living-lab-based open schooling in Europe. 

The second session of the workshop was highly interactive and participatory where participants were asked to weigh in with their thoughts on the policy challenges and appropriate measures in fostering the implementation of open schooling.  In this session, Mr. Rumyan Russinov, international advisor for NGO Organization Drom, drew attention to the issue of Roma education and the possibility of seeking cooperation.

After the meeting, in a separate letter to the organizers, Mr. Russinov explained in detail what the Organization Drom is doing and expressed hope that we could continue our dialogue and mutual exchange of ides in search of common projects and solutions.

Organization Drom has a proven track record of successful innovative practices and expertise both in terms of integrating Roma children into the classroom and advocating for these practices to become part of state education policy. Our dialogue with this project is good to continue in order to combine our practical achievements with their theoretical expertise in seeking ways to raise the educational level of students.

Roundtable & Workshop: Rethinking Policies for Innovating European Science Education - SALL (schoolsaslivinglabs.eu), September 30th, 2021