About the project

Why COSMOS?

  • Low interest in science, science careers, and lack of perceived relevance of STEM subjects, viewed as disconnected from society (Osborne & Dillon, 2008; Struyfet al., 2017)
  • Science education should equip young people with competences needed to deal with key societal challenges (e.g. human health, sustainability) and to take socio-political action (Hodson,2003)
  • OECD (2018) argues for ‘global competences’ amongst youth to enable them to critically engage with local, global and intercultural issues
  • understand and appreciate different perspectives, interact respectfully with others
  • take responsible action towards sustainability and well-being (OECD, 2018)
  • Asks for scientifically literate citizens, who are critical consumers of scientific knowledge and agents-of-change, able to make decisions and take responsible action ns, who are critical consumers of scientific knowledge and agents-of-change, able to make decisions and take responsible action

COSMOS addresses these challenges by:

Combining 3 elements within formal and non-formal education:

  1. using a pedagogy that combines socio-scientific issues (SSI), inquiry-based learning (IBL) and Citizenship education (CE): SSIBL (Socio-Scientific Inquiry-Based Learning)
  2. focusing on teacher professional development, and
  3. transforming school organizational culture

Overall aim: to create open schools with partnerships within their communities that foster science education for all citizens.

What will we do?

’Creating meaningful science educational experiences transcends the walls of the classroom and the school’

  • Create new partnerships within communities: Communities of Practice (CoP), which include non-formal and informal education providers, e.g. families, scientists, companies, science centers, other stakeholders.
  • All stakeholders in the CoP will collaboratively support students in conducting personally relevant inquiries in order to collect evidence and unveil different perspectives to answer their questions (SSI).
  • Work closely with science teachers, providing opportunities for professional development
  • Foster an organizational structure within the schools: CORPOS – Create Core ORganisational structures for Promoting Open Schooling; collaboration between us, science teacher(s), school board, which will ensure engagement of all societal actors
  • The goal is to encourage an ‘outwards’ mode of engagement between schools and communities.

Objectives

COSMOS’ overall aim is to create open schools with partnerships within their communities that foster science education for all citizens. To achieve this aim we have three interconnected objectives as illustrated:

O1: Establish open schooling structures CORPOS & CoP
1a: Create Core ORganisational structures for Promoting Open Schooling ( CORPOS ).
1b: Establish Communities of Practice ( CoP ).

O2: Embedding SSIBL within CoPs to foster scientific literacy and responsible citizenship
2a: Increase interest in science, science career aspirations, and promote active and responsible citizenship
2b: Develop an open schooling science teacher identity.

O3. Ensure viability and sustainability of open schooling in science education
3a: Viability of open schooling.
3b: Transformation of schools: moving along the inward outward continuum.
3c: Sustainability of the open schooling process. To achieve and sustain these objectives we put forward an ‘inside-out’ approach to selecting target groups and conducting our communication and dissemination activities.

To achieve and sustain these objectives we put forward an ‘inside-out’ approach to selecting target groups and conducting our communication and dissemination activities.

Expected impacts

  • Development of partnerships, contributing to a more scientifically interested and literate society and students with better awareness of, and interest in science careers within partners’ communities.
  • Provide citizens and future researchers with the tools and skills to make informed decisions.
  • Contribute towards ERA objective of increasing the number of scientists and researchers (long-term impact)

WORKPACKAGES

WP 1 Project management

WP 2 Conceptualizing open schooling for COSMOS

The main aim is to conceptualize and elaborate on COSMOS’ core concepts informed progressively by theory and practice, providing a framework for open schooling in science education, as well as guidelines and tools for partners, schools’ CORPOS, implementation of SSIBL within CoPs.

WP3 COSMOS Implementation at the primary school level

The implementation of activities between consortium partners and schools at the primary school level:

  • Initiation and establishment of school and stakeholder collaborations for CORPOS and CoP
  • Facilitation and support of SSIBL implementation within CoP, acting as brokers of learning towards open schooling
  • Reflective consideration and review of SSIBL-CoP implementation with teachers, schools and other stakeholders to inform and refine the COSMOS approach

WP4 COSMOS Implementation at the secondary school level

The implementation of activities between consortium partners and schools at the secondary school level:

  • Initiation and establishment of school and stakeholder collaborations for CORPOS and CoP
  • Facilitation and support of SSIBL implementation within CoP, acting as brokers of learning towards open schooling
  • Reflective consideration and review of SSIBL-CoP implementation with teachers, schools and other stakeholders to inform and refine the COSMOS approach

WP5 Teacher Professional Development for COSMOS

The aim is to design, coordinate and implement capacity-building processes of the educational teams (teachers and other school staff) involved in COSMOS.

  • developing TPD program - guidelines and materials (concerning pedagogies for learning in CoPs and applying SSIBL) for educational teams participating in the project and refining after each implementation round;
  • adapting and implementing TPD guidelines and materials within each national/school context

WP6 Mutual learning, knowledge integration & synthesis for COSMOS

WP6 focuses on bringing together the experiences and knowledge developed within work packages that focus on implementation (WP3-5) of the open schooling framework and guiding principles developed by WP2 to enhance the impact of COSMOS and address objective 3 of the project. Support exchange of experiences, knowledge and information among COSMOS partners across work packages and stakeholders to ensure mutual learning, promote open schooling processes and to facilitate knowledge integration and synthesis for COSMOS.

WP7 Monitoring and Evaluation

WP7 will create an evaluative framework for assessing, monitoring and analysing the impact of open schooling interventions in participating schools, as well as the process of implementation in each round in order to determine to which extent the objectives of the project have been achieved and the factors which have facilitated or inhibited the achievement of the objectives. Findings from the evaluation process will be shared in knowledge exchange events with the school-community, national and European level.

WP8 Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation

WP8 is focused on the communication, dissemination and exploitation of COSMOS activities and outcomes. The aim is to raise awareness of COSMOS and communicate its ambition, aims, approaches and outcomes openly to relevant audiences (teachers, school leaders, Higher Education Institutions and teacher training institutes, local and European policy makers, SMEs) and the general public so as to advocate open schooling as a means for promoting interest and science career uptake through science education.