In line with EC recommendation “Key competencies for lifelong learning” (2019) and the European Pillars of Social Rights (2020) the project aims to enhance the quality of ECEC programs by offering an innovative curriculum “STEAM outdoor education for sustainability”. An added value of this curriculum is creating the links between the two critical challenges recognized in EU documents: sustainability as a source of curriculum content and STEAM as a methodology of teaching and learning. STEAM can be defined as a holistic, inquiry-based strategy of learning by solving complex, interdisciplinary, real-life problems, in a context which is meaningful for children. Using such an approach to early education we can support children’s self-confidence, build their self-efficacy feelings and positive image as learners. We also change the teachers’ perspective – putting emphasis on children’s intellectual abilities (such as: critical and creative thinking, observing, predicting, comparing, drawing evidence-based conclusion, reflecting on one’s own knowledge etc.) rather than on direct reading and writing achievements.
- Enhancing the quality of preschool education by offering the new curriculum “STEAM outdoor education for sustainability” along with the guidelines for educators. The curriculum will be designed as supplementary to national core-curricula, flexible tool for all educators, published on project website as OER;
- Enhancing the sustainability competences (and confidence) in preschool teachers by providing them with a set of innovative didactic materials linking the idea of sustainability with STEAM approach and inquiry-based learning;
- Building the synergy and facilitating the flow of knowledge between higher education, preschools and educational policy makers to ensure a higher impact on local preschool system;
- Educating the “leaders of change” – preschool teachers who will promote the STEAM approach for sustainability education in their own preschool environment and build the support system for innovators to prevent emotional crisis and professional burn-outs. The project aims to increase teachers’ sense of initiative, self-confidence, flexibility in teaching but also their digital completeness and abilities to participate in learning community.
- Enhancing the quality of ECEC pre-service trainings by introducing a module related to “STEAM and sustainability” to universities’ programs (as a blended learning experience which makes the training more attractive linking hands-on experiences with online course – participatory approach with digital, flexible methodology). The project aims to design and disseminate the internationally tested manual for teacher trainers with guidelines for introducing STEAM approach to shape children’s sustainable attitudes to life and nature.
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