The YOUNG STUDENTS AS CRITICAL SCIENCE DETECTIVES project emerged from a number of Erasmus+ experimentations with open schooling and open science schooling.
The lessons learned from this rich experimentation revealed that it is difficult for secondary schools in Europe to implement and experiment with the full concept and methodology of what we understand as “open science schooling”.
The challenge for many schools and science teachers are: when trying to implement the full open science schooling methodology, they experienced – not surprisingly – that the traditional school and science curricula made it almost impossible. Students and teachers were not provided with the necessary time and space for such experimentation.
Faced with these conditions in the Erasmus+ projects, many schools working with open science schooling limited the experimentation to more punctual out-of-school activities such as visit to science centers – or including technology to “modernize” the science teaching. However positive such activities might be to students with less interest in traditional science teaching, such punctual activity is very far from what is intended in the open science schooling methodology.
The open science schooling methodology is about student teams’ long and immersive and full engagement in science activities and processes in the community – and this is quite demanding. The idea is to create of open science schooling approaches that could be integrated in the normal science education or added to normal science education without the need to change the curricula fundamentally – and sufficiently flexible to be implemented in different ways according to the schools’ capacity and resources.
Therefore the idea became to create an open science schooling methodology that was based on the narrative form of classic detectives, appeared attractive and interesting to the young students – and was implementable at different levels and in different ways.
The result was the YOUNG STUDENTS AS CRITICAL SCIENCE DETECTIVES concept, at the same time able to integrate important Commission science learning policies, such as “science with
and for society” and “responsible science”, but also to integrate sharing the science engagement with the students’ families and with other citizens.
In conclusion, it is expected that YOUNG STUDENTS AS CRITICAL SCIENCE DETECTIVES will be an attractive model for many schools and science teachers across Europe.
CHAPTER 1: EMPOWERING AND BRIEFING (4 months)
A major objective is to create practically useful guidance to the different groups of players and empower them to start working with confidence in the first round of critical science missions.
CHAPTER 2: STUDENTS AS CRITICAL SCIENCE DETECTIVES ROUND 1 (6 months)
Supported by the guidance the student teams will engage in the first long period of critical science detecting and create valuable experience and story-telling from these critical science missions.
CHAPTER 3: LESSONS LEARNED AND MOVING FORWARD (4 months)
In the middle of the project the project will collectively evaluate the results of the first round of critical science missions and make new and improved guidance available to the detective teams, this time also based on the evaluation of the practical experience from the first round science missions.
CHAPTER 4: STUDENTS AS CRITICAL SCIENCE DETECTIVES ROUND 2 (6 months)
Supported by the improved guidance material the student teams will engage in the second long period of critical science detecting and missions.
CHAPTER 5: CREATING AND SHARING THE PROJECT RESULTS (4 months)
In the last chapter of the project the knowledge partners will, in collaboration with the student teams and their science teachers, create the final outcomes from the knowledge bank produced along the two long critical science missions periods.