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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OSOS (Open Schools for Open Societies)


Our schools should be incubators of exploration and invention. They should be accelerators of innovation. They should promote Open Schooling. School leaders should set a vision for creating learning experiences that provide the right tools and supports for all learners to...


Our schools should be incubators of exploration and invention. They should be accelerators of innovation. They should promote Open Schooling. School leaders should set a vision for creating learning experiences that provide the right tools and supports for all learners to thrive. Teachers should be collaborators in learning, seeking new knowledge and constantly acquiring new skills alongside their students. A holistic approach to innovation is needed. We need to facilitate the process with a provision of the necessary catalyst: This is the foreseen role of the OSOS project, to describe and implement at scale a process that will facilitate the transformation of schools to innovative ecosystems, acting as shared sites of science learning for which leaders, teachers, students and the local community share responsibility, over which they share authority, and from which they all benefit through the increase of their communities’ science capital and the development of responsible citizenship. Τhe project’s overall approach is based on the provision of the necessary support to schools in their attempt to evolve, transform and reinvent their structures towards a more open, localised and socially responsible learning environment. In this framework, schools will facilitate open, more effective and efficient co-design, co-creation, and use of educational content (both from formal and informal providers), tools and services for personalized science learning and teaching that will form the basic ingredients for innovative student projects. Such projects, understood as best practices are the so-called incubators and accelerators on school innovation. OSOS project will be the first step in a journey of educational reform that might take many years. It will be the map. It has to be noted though that the achievement of high quality science teaching requires the combined and continued support of all involved actors, researchers, science communicators, policy makers and curriculum developers, science teachers’ educators, teachers, students and parents.

Work performed

OSOS project aims to support the transformation of 1000 schools into open schooling environments in numerous European countries. The project team is working with numerous experts and with the national coordinators who are researching the specific context and work with local governments to build their capacity, and that of school leaders and teachers in a select number of schools, to establish the desired open schooling cultures. A tailored package of supporting materials, including an Open Schooling Roadmap, Open Schooling Strategies for different schools, an Open School self-assessment instrument and an Open School Development Plan, have been developed to support schools as they transform themselves into Open Schooling Hubs. Guidance is also provided to local and system-level stakeholders. Up to now more than 100 schools have been involved in the project. More than 400 teachers and 8000 students are currently involved in the project activities. They have developed 50 online communities where they are exchanging experiences and best practices. They have developed more than 200 school-based projects that are focusing on local needs and problems. The initial data from the pilot implementation (based on data from 100 schools and 900 students) demonstrate significant opportunities for schools to act as hubs of innovation in their local communities and significant increase to students’ interest and motivation in science.

Final results

OSOS aims to perform a large-scale proof of concept experiment: To demonstrate that the proposed Open Schooling approach can provide the participating schools with numerous opportunities to engage in local, national and international activities with lasting benefits for the school heads, the students, the teachers, the school and the local community. Here are the main ways in which the OSOS consortium will try to demonstrate the progress of the schools and the ways the schools could benefit:
• Provision of unique professional development experiences for school staff: In the framework of OSOS project community building is considered as a major professional development activity. Giving teachers and school heads the opportunity to get involved with international professional development opportunities is a great way to invigorate the school teams. More and more teachers are expected to be involved and to contributed to the shared vision of school openness.
• Connect with stakeholder organisations, policymakers and the community: OSOS approach provides the means to extend learning and teaching beyond the school environment. School heads, staff members and students can benefit through participation in activities that enable them to engage with local businesses, research centers and science centers, policymakers and community members. Such stakeholder engagement can help tackle challenges in school (e.g. student motivation, low achievement, dropout rates, gender issues) through forging links with parents and social services, as well as businesses and other organisations that may help improve the relevance of learning.
• Expand pupils’ horizons and raise their aspirations: OSOS activities can enable staff and students to work with partner schools on learning activities and learn from other students and teachers. Through collaborative activities with peers in other countries, students can move beyond the textbook and explore data, knowledge and experiences in a direct and immediate way. The proposed OSOS activities include projects and activities that simulate the real scientific work. In this way, students develop key skills and intercultural understanding and gain new perspectives on their own learning.
• Improve teaching and learning: Whether the aim of the school is to improve teaching and learning, foster interdisciplinary and project-based learning, in the framework of OSOS schools will have numerous tools available to assess their innovative practices and provide valuable feedback on students’ performance while being involved in the OSOS activities. European activities provide opportunities for staff and pupils to develop and reflect on learning and teaching together with staff and pupils from other schools and organizations (such as universities, libraries, museums and science centres).
• Raise your school’s profile: Being part of international activities signals that the school is ambitious, with bold expectations for pupils and staff. By sending teachers and students abroad, and working with other schools and other organizations in the framework of OSOS, the school will demonstrate its potential to evolve to a reference point for learning in the local community. The OSOS approach recognizes the unique achievements of the participating schools through the establishment of a core network of high performing school communities which will name Open School Hubs demonstrating these schools will act as reference points for all participating schools. These schools are expected to develop innovative curricula, or implement new ways of teaching, all of which increase school’s standing and influence at local, national and international level.

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