The NEXT STEP project will realize the following outputs and main activities
Empowering schools to design a more desirable and sustainable future
The main objective of this Output is to develop a competence-based framework that builds on the essential features of STEAM learning including exploration, dynamics of discovery, student-led activity, engagement in scientifically oriented questions, priority to evidence in responding to questions, formulations of evidence-based explanations, connection of explanations to scientific knowledge, and communication and justification of explanations which is tailor-made to achieve quality learning in the wake of the Corona-virus limitations on schools. These elements support creativity as a generic element in the processual and communicative aspects of the pedagogy by integrating arts (visual arts, performing arts, design, music) and proposing innovative teaching strategies that will offer students high participation and enable them to generate highly imaginative possibilities and supports students’ deeper learning. Based on project- and inquiry-based approaches students will be asked to create innovative projects involving external stakeholders. The proposed pedagogical framework will guide the teachers in these interventions, will provide the reference for the development of the assessment approach of the project and will provide the necessary requirements for classroom environment re-organisation and possible curriculum re-design that are required.
Scenarios of Use, Material and Support Mechanism (Competences development)
The two aims of the Output are:
- to develop an effective mechanism to support the operation of the STEAM IDEAS’ Square through specific student projects (activities) in schools that will propose interventions in their regions, communities, and cities in collaboration with the respective stakeholders. The proposed mechanism will be supported from a social empowered community platform, the NEXT STEP Community Support Environment (which will be included in the project’s website) that will act as the aggregator of best practices and working models among the schools’ community and as the central meeting point of the participating teachers and students.
- to develop a series of scenarios of use that are in line with the proposed approach and involve schools in a series of creative and innovative activities for the improvement of the local cities, settlements, and communities’ physical and built-up environments, while engaging key stakeholders (experts, researchers, local communities, businesses etc.) in the process.
Virtual workshops will be realised with teachers and students in order to introduce them to these activities.
The development of needed material will be also one of the main scopes for this output.
Operating the STEAM IDEAS’ Square Approach
The aim of this Output is to plan and support the users’ communities on how to operate the STEAM IDEAS’ Square Approach through various recommended activities. During this Output the activities will be realised at the local, national and international level following the proposed methodology (Output 1) as well as the material that will be produced explaining the operation of the IDEA’s Square (Output 2). During the lifetime of the project NEXT STEP participants will be supported through workshops, summer schools (virtual and face to face) as well as a structure web-based resources’ platform. This Output is devoted to the development of concrete and detailed plans for recommended activities (operating the STEAM IDEAS’ Square approach) in Local, National and International Level, that will present the methodology adopted for the design of the planned activities and will serve as a practical guide of action for the whole period of STEAM IDEAS’ Square operation and assessment phase of the project. Will define all types of project recommended activities along with the mechanisms that will be applied to monitor, guide and support the participating target groups.
NEXT STEP Guide of Good Practice
This output will summarize in a simple and systematic way the lessons learnt for the NEXT STEP professional development programme implementation and evaluation with the user communities.
The proposed innovation process (design and operation of the creative, innovative and inclusive activities in the STEAM IDEAS’ Square environment) will be monitored during the whole period of school involvement in the proposed activities. Applying the NEXT STEP approach in local settings will make it clear that schools have much to gain by fostering connections between formal and informal learning, between existing providers of education and new entrants. The NEXT STEP Guide of Good Practice will be an evolving set of guidelines that will be informed from the O3 findings and it will be delivered in two versions, the initial version that will support the schools that will be involved in the Operation of the STEAM IDEAS’ Square activities and the final version that will be the main outcome of the project.
Workshops and Professional Development Course
The consortium will employ a variety of dissemination, raising awareness and exploitation strategies that will target to guarantee the dissemination of project’s activities and outcomes at national, European level and beyond. Furthermore, it will provide the mechanisms for effective community building and active participation in order to encourage a better sharing of experiences among school education practitioners across Europe. To maximise dissemination and impact outcomes key stakeholders from all necessary areas of expertise are included in the consortium. These institutions are highly reputable within their respective fields and thus have a significant networking and consensus building capacity.
The aim is to create a multi-directional and multi-level information flow, which will allow partnership and recipients to learn from each other by assimilating and acting on the information acquired. The extended and effective dissemination approach will allow for the development of a wider collaboration and engagement in the project approach and outcomes.