Work package 1 (leader UEF) covers management of the project, project evaluation, financial auditing and partner co-operation. This WP is active for the whole duration of the project and responsibility for it lies with the Coordinator. The WP aims to efficiently manage the research project to assure; on-time delivery of the project outcomes according to the work plan; organizational and operational issues that may arise are effectively addressed; close coordination with the European Commission is maintained. Work on this WP is undertaken in an integrated manner within its schedule and budget. The management is guided to meet high research, scientific, technological and stakeholders’ expectations.
The work package is concerned with the following objectives:
– Achievement of the overall project objectives on time and within the budget.
– Continuous quality assurance activities for the operation of the project and the production of its scientific and technical results within its lifespan, including external evaluation of how the project progresses.
– Auditing of project for verifying of good financial practices.
– Establishing risk contingency and conflict resolution procedures
– Development of a shared strategy for co-operation with clear roles, transparent decision-making processes, support between partners and the European Commission and the building up of teamwork.
– Effective management of knowledge and enhancing synergies among the project members.
WP2 Conceptual Framework
This WP (leader UCL IOE) aims to define a clear and detailed conceptual framework comprising of the issues related to motivate students towards science education and the factors to be addressed in all subsequent stages of the research. This is achieved initially by extensive meta-analysis of the literature at the beginning of the project. The analysis establishes criteria for comprehensively and consistently coverage of all aspects determined as relevant to the concepts mentioned in the project, (mainly including: interest, motivation, relevance, attractiveness, scenarios, careers, study choices in science education). The plausibility of the conceptual framework is discussed and enriched through focus group discussions by personnel from industry.
Issues of particular interest to the development of the conceptual framework are recognised as:
– Definitions and aspects of interest, motivation, relevance, attitudes
– The diversity and dominance of societally-oriented teaching approaches, context-based teaching
– Issues indicated by stakeholders, science education literature and career presentation documents.
WP3 Developing and Analysing Career-based Scenarios
This WP (leader UT) aims to create a selection of career-based, science-related scenarios to be used in teaching as case studies, and to examine students’ perceptions on teaching stimulated by these scenarios. The scenarios are based on science-related careers, mainly in fields related to Europe areas of challenge e.g. energy, water, waste, climate change, food, health and transport. These issues are interdisciplinary and included in European curricula in secondary school.
The scenarios aim to present, in a Responsible Research and Innovation context, careers and scientists in multiple ways (virtual scenarios, games for role taking, pictures, texts, videos, visits etc.) promoting multi-literacy. Scenarios are intended to initiate the learning process, to be followed-up by science-driven inquiries and possible socio-scientific decision-making. The learning process is planned to develop students’ collaboration, creativity and reasoning. The scenarios not only point out science knowledge, but highlight key skills required in working life or careers. The scenarios also guide participation activities during the learning process; visits outside school, participation in socio-scientific decision making, expressing opinions through civil society organisations, or the media etc.
WP4 Intervention Studies in Secondary Schools
This WP (leader UCL IOE) aims to achieve detailed, research-based evidence on the impact of science studies, based on career-based scenarios, which are followed-up by student involved science inquiries. Especially important are underlying reasons for the impact of this approach on student interest in science studies. Within the WP learning environments are created, related to the topics of WP3 implemented, using the corresponding scenarios during secondary school science teaching. Each consortium member arranges 5 teaching interventions to the same classes in the following five terms and studies the impact of these interventions: students’ perceptions of scientific careers, students’ experiences, teachers’ experiences, students’ science activities outside school (hobbies, participation in clubs etc.) and other issues determined in an elaborated framework for the research put forwards by stakeholders.
Evaluation of practices is undertaken through using validated questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions, narratives and observations. Existing resources e.g. SCIENTIX are utilised in creating suitable learning environments, as appropriate. The expertise of student counsellors and personnel from industry is incorporated and co-operation with industry enhanced in guiding the planning of the interventions. A special research focus is students’ experiences gained in the intervention learning process. This WP includes development and application of an intensive training programme within the consortium, enabling staff conducting research activities to undertake this in a consistent, reliable manner in full compliance with the methodology and instruments developed within the project.
WP5 Students’ Science Study and Career Choices
The aim is to find out students’ interest development, planned science studies and career choices, as well as scientific activities outside school; follow-up study (WP leader UBO). This is realised through a pre and post questionnaires focusing on students’ science study or career choices during and after three years studies. The questionnaires are supplemented by individual interviews. The relationships are explored between student’s experiences on science-related, career-based studies and their choices.
This WP (leader UCY) aims to disseminate the outcomes of the project; to manage project knowledge and intellectual property rights (IPR); to increase the project partners’ and other relevant actors’ awareness, knowledge and abilities to adapt, utilize and further develop the concepts and methods; and to establish continuity for the research undertaken with in the project. The project partners seek to exploit the research findings in their teacher education programmes.
The aim is also to disseminate the results of the research (WPs 2-5) in research journals at the European, national and institutional level; to make the results easily available not only to the educational research community but also to policy-makers and other stakeholders, particularly teacher training policy-makers and institutions. Building on the work of research outcomes in previous WPs, the outputs in this WP are synthesised into an accessible Final Report on Career-based Scenarios and their impact on the students’ learning process.