Innovation and Networking
                            in STE M
Coordinators per country (in
  alphabetical order),

Doris Arztmann, Austria
Risto Leinonen, Finland
Anna Pascucci, Italy
Frédéric Pérez, France
Andrew Thirlwell, United-Kingdom
  Authors (in alphabetical order)

Maija Aksela
Tracey Baxter
Paola Bortolon
Karen Brunyee
Claire Calmet
Laurence Constantini
Matt Cornock
David Craven
Frances Dainty
Cédric Faure
Laurence Fontaine
Maria Angela Fontechiari
Andrea Frantz-Bittner
Gill Gunnill
Julia Halonen                                                                                             LEARNING FROM
Jaana Herranen
Pekka E. Hirvonen                                                                                         INNOVATION AND
Karen Hornby
Irina Kudenko
                                                                                                          NETWORKING IN
Minna Korhonen                                                                                            STEM (LINKS)
Jérôme Lambert
Mark Langley
Anne Lejeune
Adam Little                                                                                               EXPERIENCES IN IMPLEMENTING EFFECTIVE
Tom Lyons
Elena Pasquinelli
Johannes Pernaa
Tuula Pesonen
                                                                                                          CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONNAL DEVELOPMENT
Antoine Salliot
Clémentine Transetti
Murielle Treil                                                                                            FOR STEM TEACHERS IN FIVE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
All partners of the LINKS project would like
to warmly thank the following persons who
accepted to provide their feedback on this             This publication is funded by the Erasmus +
document:                                              Programme of the European Union.

  Critical friends (in alphabetical order),

H.M.C. (Harrie Eijkelhof, Utrecht University, the
                                                       The European Commission support for this
Cliona Murphy, Dublin City University, Ireland         publication does not constitute endorsement of
Christel Op de Beeck, Flemish Ministry for Education   the content which reflects the views only of the
and Training, Belgium                                  authors, and the Commission cannot be held
Marco Signore, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy   responsible for any use which may be made of
Barbara Streicher, Science Center Network, Austria     the information contained therein.

Table of contents

List of abbreviations........................4
Foreword.............................................. 5
  1.1 Rationale of the study: STEM Education in a
      Changing World.................................................... 8
  1.2 Methodology and methods used to draft the
      study................................................................... 11

The description of the main
features of the 5 systems.............15
  AUSTRIA................................................................... 16
  FINLAND................................................................... 18
  FRANCE.................................................................... 18
  ITALY......................................................................... 19
  UNITED-KINGDOM................................................... 21

Main levers for effective
and impactful professional
  3.1 CPD core contents............................................. 26
  3.2 CPD delivering.................................................... 38
  3.3 Who do we work for, who do we work with?...... 49
  3.4 What are the conditions for successful CPD pro-
      grammes?........................................................... 59

The future of STEM CPD: the
vision of LINKS partners.............. 73
  4.1 The proposed strategy ....................................... 74
  4.2 The key challenges ............................................ 76
  4.3 Recommendations to decision-makers.............. 77

List of abbreviations                                                              Foreword

ANISN: Associazione Nazionale Insegnanti di Scienze Naturali - Italy
                                                                                   The LINKS project (Learning from Innovation             public authorities for the sake of the qualification
CBL: Context-Based Learning                                                        and Networking in STEM - science, technology,           of teachers.
                                                                                   engineering and mathematics), funded by the
CERN: European Organization for Nuclear Research                                   Erasmus + programme of the European Union and           Thanks to this position, LINKS partners take up
                                                                                   coordinated by the Fondation La main à la pâte          another key challenge which is the commitment of
CPD: Continuing Professional Development                                           (France) is carried by a partnership composed           decision-makers in the support to the expansion
                                                                                   of 9 institutions involved in STEM Continuing           and sustainability of proposed CPD strategy.
ECTS: European Credits Transfer System
                                                                                   Professional Development (CPD) of teachers and
                                                                                                                                           The principal objective of LINKS project is
ES: Education for Sustainable Development                                          their educators in five countries: Austria (IMST/
                                                                                                                                           therefore to develop a network focused on
                                                                                   NEP), Finland (LUMA Centres), France (Maisons
                                                                                                                                           systemic change, in order to propose to their
IBL: Inquiry-Based Learning                                                        pour la science), Italy (ANISN) and the United
                                                                                                                                           main targets (CPD providers, local and national
                                                                                   Kingdom (STEM Learning). They belong to (and
IBSE: inquiry-based science education                                                                                                      governments, employers, the scientific community
                                                                                   some of them coordinate) national networks which
                                                                                                                                           and the European Commission) long-term
                                                                                   all together represent 120 local CPD providers.
IMST: Innovations make schools top - Austria                                                                                               strategies to answer this central question: what
                                                                                   These national networks share the same                  should be considered –and thus promoted
ICT: Information and Communication Technology                                                                                              and supported- as innovative, effective and
                                                                                                                                           sustained STEM CPD programmes?
ITT: Initial Teacher Training
                                                                                   1. The challenges of our time require the
                                                                                      consideration of the role of broad science           For that, the partners collate and share practices
LHC: Large Hadron Collider
                                                                                      and technology education as a basis for              on the design and implementation of impactful
LINKS: Learning from Innovation and Networking in STEM                                securing the innovation potential and the            CPD in their country, share experiences on five
                                                                                      sustainable social and economic development          cross-cutting issues conducive to successful
LUMA: Matural sciences (LUonnontieteet) and Mathematics (MAtematiikka) - Finland      in Europe. This involves increasing public           CPD programmes, and have the objective to
                                                                                      understanding of science, interest and               disseminate the outputs of the project to enhance
MOOC: Massive Open Online Course                                                                                                           the mobilization of various stakeholders. The 5
                                                                                      motivation for innovation, civic competencies
                                                                                      as well as the achievements of students in           cross-cutting issues targeted within that project
MPLS: Maisons Pour La Science (Houses for Science) - France                                                                                are the following:
                                                                                      STEM (science, technology, engineering and
NEP: NaturErlebnisPark Science Education Centre - Austria                             mathematics).
                                                                                                                                           -- working with the schools,
                                                                                   2. For the crucial task of preparing young
NGO: Non-Governmental Organisation                                                                                                         -- working with the scientific community,
                                                                                      people to live in a complex world marked
                                                                                      by rapid change, key players are teachers.           -- working with the employers,
NoS: Nature of Science                                                                                                                     -- quality assurance and evidence-based impact
                                                                                      Just like their students, they need to constantly
                                                                                      learn and develop their skills.                         evaluation,
STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics
                                                                                   3. Continuous Professional Development is               -- building comprehensive partnerships and
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics                                the most effective leverage to support                  alliances.
                                                                                      teachers in their task and enhance the quality
OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development                                                                               The first step of the network’s work was to
                                                                                      of STEM teaching.
                                                                                                                                           propose a common framework for STEM CPD
PCK: Pedagogical Content Knowledge                                                 However, to make the most of CPD benefits, it is        based on the experience of the 5 national
                                                                                   crucial to design and implement programmes that         networks and to draw some recommendations
PFL (in German): Pedagogy and Teaching Didactics for Teachers                                                                              for its implementation. This took the form of a
                                                                                   target effectively the needs of teachers. LINKS
RECCs: Regional Educational Competence Centres (Austria)                           partners, in their diversity, actually share a number   capitalisation of best practices which is the core
                                                                                   of similarities in terms of content, formats and        content of this study that analyses conditions
RRI: Responsible Research and Innovation                                           the organisation of professional development,           for innovative and successful CPD on the basis
                                                                                   that draw the lines of such programmes, in any          of activities and programmes that have been
SCK: Subject Content Knowledge                                                     peculiar context.                                       developed within qualification networks and that
                                                                                                                                           have proven themselves beneficial in different
RCUK: Research Council Cutting Edge Science programme in UK                        Finally, they also share a similar intermediate         European countries.
                                                                                   position as network structures that connect
SID PROJECT: Scientiam Inquirendo Discere project - Italy
                                                                                   teachers, schools, researchers, pedagogical
                                                                                   sciences, science studies, economy and the


6                  7
1.1 Rationale of the study:                               relevant. In all scientific disciplines, we find a claim
                                                              for “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI).
                                                                                                                                  to connect logical-analytic insights with other,
                                                                                                                                  qualitative forms of cognition as well as with ethical
                                                                                                                                                                                           When looking at research however, meta-analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                           (Guiso and colleagues, 2008) consistently show
        STEM Education in a                                   Scientific communities regard a multi-perspective                   considerations in order to maintain dialog-ability       that girls and boys are on average much more
        Changing World                                        approach on research topics and interdisciplinary
                                                              scientific cooperation as promising frames to deal
                                                                                                                                  in an increasingly heterogeneous society. Thus,
                                                                                                                                  we aim to foster complex civic competences.
                                                                                                                                                                                           similar than they are different across a range of
                                                                                                                                                                                           skills. For instance, a research conducted in 2008
    The main intention of teaching has always been            with complex environmental and societal problems.                                                                            by Guiso and Monte (ibid.) in gender differences in
    to support children and young people in the                                                                                                                                            mathematics found that girls outperformed boys
                                                              Considering these far-reaching trends and transfor-                 STEM education and the economy                           overall in primary school. Additionally, there was
    acquisition of skills and competencies they need
                                                              mations, Europe faces severe challenges to ensure                   During our LINKS twinning meetings, we repeatedly        no difference in secondary school and there was
    for a successful personal life and their responsible
                                                              its sustainable development of society, economy                     met employers complaining about an educational           only a very slight and inconsistent male advantage
    participation in society.
                                                              and ecology. Europe´s educational systems are                       system that leads to young people leaving school         for complex problem solving.
    Global trends of the beginning of the 21st century        obliged to offer adequate structures to enable                      without acquiring the necessary competencies
    pose manifold challenges to teachers that cannot          young people to tackle these and future challenges.                 to start their working life. A changing world of         The international standard test PISA brought
    be met by previous means and methods of the                                                                                   employment increasingly requires crossover skills.       to light that even though gender differences in
                                                              Responsible STEM education therefore considers                      Employers seek workers who take initiative, think        science performance tend to be small, on average,
    profession. In a rapidly changing society characte-
                                                              social contexts of scientific contents. Some                        critically, solve problems creatively, innovate, are     in 33 countries and economies, the share of top
    rised by globalisation, technical innovation,
                                                              national curricula face this challenge by turning                   capable of working in teams, communicate clearly         performers in science is larger among boys than
    digitalisation and social upheaval, classic subject
                                                              towards more holistic and interdisciplinary didactic                and successfully process a flood of information. To      among girls. Finland is the only country in which
    teaching is getting aware of its limits. Furthermore,
                                                              settings while others include aspects of social                     frame these needs related to economic and social         girls are more likely to be top performers than boys.
    educational policy makers expect schools to
                                                              learning, multi-perspective views and personality                   well-being, OECD refers to a framework developed         In the 2015 PISA study, the average difference
    foster a holistic personality development covering
                                                              development into subject curricula.                                 by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). The    between high-achieving boys and girls was 19
    cognitive, physical, social and cultural aspects.
                                                                                                                                  so called “21st century skills” serve as a central       points. This is roughly the equivalent of about half
    The educational systems should prepare the next           STEM education and citizenship                                      guideline with extensive implications for schools        a year at school. When factoring in reported levels
    generation for a life in an increasingly complex world,                                                                       and the ways children and young people learn             of self-confidence or anxiety towards mathematics
    where knowledge, skills and expertise are key for         Recent societal challenges for STEM CPD pose
                                                                                                                                  and are being taught. However, these 21st century        however, these differences disappear according
    a successful participation in the global economy.         political discourses that claim “alternative facts” or
                                                                                                                                  skills go beyond the question of employability of        to the study. On average, girls were more anxious
                                                              dispose of theories like Darwin’s Evolution theory.
                                                                                                                                  a (future) workforce.                                    about tests than boys were, and this seems to
                                                              Movements like “March for Science” take a stand
                                                                                                                                                                                           have affected their score. Research from these
      1.1.1 The challenges for STEM                           against anti-science agendas and policies. They
                                                                                                                                                                                           different perspectives converges on the idea
            education                                         are based on the conviction that science as a                       STEM education for all students                          that there is little to no difference in boys’ and
                                                              tool for seeking broadly discussed, theoretically                   With the rapid development of Europe’s                   girls’ average ability at STEM subjects. However,
    STEM education and sustainable                            and empirically proved answers is essential for a                   knowledge economy and new technologies on                PISA numbers also elucidate that on average
    development                                               democratic society. To counter current post-truth                   the rise, it is important to attract and keep more       across OECD countries, and after considering
                                                              attitudes, as scientist Antonio Gomes da Costa                      people interested in STEM studies. The goal of
    According to the UN (United Nations) Sustainable                                                                                                                                       their socio-economic status, immigrant students
                                                              puts it, CPD efforts need to strengthen science                     including all students, whatever their gender,
    Development Goals “all people may have access                                                                                                                                          are more than twice as likely to perform below the
                                                              based validation criteria as opposed to authority                   age, abilities, socio-economic background or
    to lifelong learning opportunities that help them to                                                                                                                                   baseline level of proficiency in science as their
                                                              based ones:                                                         culture is paramount, especially, as recent studies
    acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit                                                                                                                                     non-immigrant peers. (Pisa, 2015: 4). In order
    opportunities to participate fully in society and                                                                             still indicate a severe gap in participation when        to attract students and to encourage them to
                                                              “ T h i s p o s t-t r u t h a t t i t u d e h a s d r e a d f u l
    contribute to sustainable development” (A/70/472/                                                                             closer looking at interest rates in STEM fields.         thrive in STEM subjects, CPD activities need
                                                              consequences: democracy assumes – requires,
    Add.8 - United Nations Decade of Education for                                                                                Facts and figures evidence a disadvantage for            to tackle the gendered and socio-economic
                                                              actually – that decisions made by the citizens are
    Sustainable Development: Report of the Second                                                                                 socially marginalised groups (PISA 2015, Danish          stereotypes students and teachers are exposed
                                                              based on factual evidence and rational choices.
    Committee, Dec.2015). The overall aim is to “ensure                                                                           Technological Institute, 2015). For one, research        to and (unwillingly) tend to pass on. Especially at
                                                              Our contemporary societies, our well-being, our
    responsive, inclusive, participatory and represen-                                                                            indicates a gender-gap throughout Europe. Often          a time, when science literacy is increasingly linked
                                                              progress, health, economy, and justice, all require
    tative decision-making at all levels” (A/RES/70/1                                                                             termed as a (leaky) pipeline issue, its effect is        to economic growth and is necessary for finding
                                                              truth and facts and logic to be the basis of our
    - Information and Decision -Making, Institutional                                                                             that fewer girls than boys choose to study STEM          solutions to complex social and environmental
                                                              collective actions and decisions. Post truth is a
    Arrangements, International Cooperation, Sept.                                                                                subjects at secondary school and university. The         problems, all citizens, not just future scientists and
                                                              serious threat to democracy. [….] We need to help
    2015).                                                                                                                        pervasiveness of gender stereotypes that prevent         engineers, need to be willing and able to confront
                                                              citizens grasp the difference between authority-
                                                                                                                                  girls and young women from choosing and thriving         science-related dilemmas.
                                                              based and science-based validation”. (Gomes
    The LINKS partnership agrees that these guidelines                                                                            in STEM is another, often-highlighted reason for
                                                              da Costa 2017)
    should be considered in designing and implemen-                                                                               this bias. For example, research shows that girls        STEM CPD should urgently take on this challenge
    ting CPD programs. The partnership fully supports         We share the vision that STEM education can                         and boys internalize gender norms at the individual      by scrutinizing its own activities for making STEM
    teachers’ individual evolvement as well as teachers’      contribute to strengthening rational worldviews.                    level from an early age on. This means that when         education a more inclusive project for students
    involvement in communities through materials              Moreover, we agree that scientific literacy is a basic              they encounter STEM education activities, they           and for optimizing those science experiences
    and methods that enable active participation and          precondition to participate in social structures and                already have well-established gender identities          to be accessible to an even broader range of
    collaboration. Engaging in educating the educators        processes. Socially engaged STEM education                          that encourage a seemingly natural affiliation           actors: within teaching and studying STEM alike.
    activities, we see considering and responding to          encourages critical discourse and democratic                        with STEM fields for some while for others STEM          This way, inclusive endeavors to STEM teaching
    teachers’ needs as key to meet these goals.               acting1. In our efforts, we LINKS partners strive                   attachments are socially discouraged. This again         and learning can help old and young people get
                                                                                                                                  means that to avoid feeding into a sense that study      a deeper and more nuanced understanding of
    These developments result in relevant changes                                                                                 fields are ‘not for them’, CPD activities should         what STEM study fields entail, and allow them to
    in the way scientists work. More than ever the            1
                                                                  Bartosch, I, Lembens, A. (2012). Naturwissenschaftliche         be carefully designed to be inviting to everyone,        make better-informed choices about their fields
    profession faces the needs to contextualize                   Bildung: ein Menschenrecht!. In IMST Gender _ Diversitäten      irrespective of their entering knowledge, interests,     of (prospective) interest.
    scientific research within societal systems.                  Netzwerk (Hrsg.): Gender _ Diversity-Kompetenz im naturwis-     experiences, and sense of identity (Nagy, 2009).
    Research ethics and questions regarding the                   senschaftlichen Unterricht. Fachdidaktische Anregungen für
    greater good of scientific knowledge are most                 Lehrerinnen und Lehrer. Klagenfurt, Institut für Unterrichts-
                                                                  und Schulentwicklung.

8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   9
References:                                              world through knowledge of the basic concepts of               creativity to face the need for innovation they will   for School Reform at Brown University in 1996
                                                                science, scientific modes of inquiry, the nature of            meet in almost every walk of life (see: Europe 2020    (Dunne and Honts, 1998), the Critical Friends
       Guiso, L., Monte, F., Sapienza, P.,                      the scientific endeavour, and the historical, social           Flagship Initiative - Innovation Union).               model for collegial dialogue aims at fostering
       Zingales, L. (2008). Culture, Gender,                    and intellectual contexts within which science                                                                        reflective learning within educational settings.
       and Math. In Science, June 2008.                         is practiced. The ability to apply such scientific               References:                                          In addition to its implementation within schools
       DOI: 10.1126/science.1154094.                            knowledge to aspects of one’s personal and civic                                                                      and universities, it is now also applicable as a
                                                                                                                                 Bybee, R.W. & Towbridge, L.W. (1996).
                                                                life is referred to as scientific literacy.” (Bybee &                                                                 model of organisational learning or learning in
       Nagy, G. (2009). Forschungsprojekt                                                                                        Teaching secondary school science –
                                                                Trowbridge 1996)                                                                                                      networks. In the initial stages of this model, some
       „Geschlechteraspekte in der schulischen                                                                                   Strategies for developing scientific literacy
                                                                                                                                                                                      practitioners have expressed their concern that
       Leistungsbewertung“ Teil I: Bericht.                     According to Gräber et al. (2007): scientific literacy           (6. Ausgabe). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                      the “critical” in critical friends will lead to the
       Verfügbar unter: https://bildung.                        consists of three dimensions:
                                                                                                                                 Gomez Da Costa, A. (2017). From                      depreciation of colleagues’ work. Within this model,
                                                                                                                                 Ear Candling to Trump: Science                       however, “critical” implies “crucial,” “essential,” or
       vs_fb_t1_21126.pdf?61ecim [17.02.2018]                   -- k n o w l e d g e ( l a n g u a g e c o m p e t e n c e ,
                                                                                                                                 Communication in the Post-Truth                      “significant”—in other words, colleagues participa-
                                                                   epistemological competence),                                                                                       ting in this process are eager to provide important
       PISA. (2015). Results in Focus. Online                                                                                    World. In: SPOKES # 27.
                                                                -- age ncy (c ompete ncy, c ommunic ative                                                                             assistance to professionals in a shared field of
                                                                   competence, social competence, procedural                     Gräber et al. (2007). Scientific Literacy:           expertise. Through analysis and critical advice,
       results-in-focus.pdf Download 04.05.2018.
                                                                   competence),                                                  Der Beitrag der Naturwissenschaften zur              everybody involved collectively develops strategies
                                                                -- and evaluation (ethical-moral competence,                     Allgemeinen Bildung. Leske und Budrich               to improve the organizational learning of the home
       1.1.2 How to address these                                  aesthetic competence).                                        Bybee, R.W. & Towbridge, L.W. (1996).                as well as the host context. Costa and Kallick (1993)
             challenges?                                        This means that for us the goal of STEM education
                                                                                                                                 Teaching secondary school science –                  describe a critical friend as a trusted person who
                                                                                                                                 Strategies for developing scientific literacy        asks provocative questions, provides data to be
                                                                in the end is to foster broad civic competencies                                                                      examined through another lens, offers critiques
     The need for new educational                               that enable to draw conclusions based on informed
                                                                                                                                 (6. Ausgabe). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
     patterns for children and teachers                                                                                                                                               of organisational work and takes the time to fully
                                                                debates.                                                         Krainer, K. (2003). Journal of                       understand the context of the work presented and
     as well
                                                                                                                                 Mathematics Teacher Education. 6:                    the outcomes that the group is working toward.
     Considering the importance of action-oriented,                                                                              93. doi:10.1023/A:1023918616310
     situated and problem-oriented teaching methods,            A way forward: fostering innovation
                                                                                                                                                                                      To produce the study, the partners went through
     there is a large degree of consensus among                 Innovation is an “evolutionary” process. Being                   Meyer, M. and Kearnesm. M. (2013).                   a process of deep mutual understanding of what
     the LINKS partners that inquiry-based science              aware of the continuously changing constitu-                     Introduction to the special section:                 is realised in other countries thanks to specific
     education (IBSE) in particular offers good                 tion of our natural and social environment in an                 Intermediaries between science,                      meetings (‘critical friends’ meetings).
     conditions to foster personality development among         ever changing development (in Piaget’s words                     policy and the market. Science and
     children (e.g. it fosters problem solving, creativity,     modulating between “adaptation” and “assimila-                   Public Policy, 40, p.432-429.                        Indeed, all partners have taken part in some
     cooperation, communicative abilities), supports            tion”) it is necessary to keep an institution in a vivid                                                              transnational meetings for the purpose of sharing
     reflecting on individual every-day decisions and           relation with its contextual framework. Adapting to              Owen, R., Macnaghten, P. M., & Stilgoe,              their practices in STEM CPD. During these
     contributes to responsible citizenship.                    an actual situation or challenge can be achieved                 J. (2012). Responsible Research and                  meetings, the organizer presented to participants
                                                                either by modification of established methods or                 Innovation: from Science in Society to               its experience focusing on the expertise and
     In addition, we aspire to broaden inquiry-based            by breaking totally new grounds.                                 Science for Society, with Society. Science           the innovative aspects developed in the specific
     educational settings by including perspectives of                                                                           and Public Policy, 39(6), 751-760.                   context. Questioning and exchanges between
     humanities, economy, language teaching, etc. to            Innovative institutions therefore are characte-                                                                       participants, after visiting an illustrative activity,
     enable lifeworld orientated teaching and learning.         rized through “iterative, continuous and flexible                                                                     sought the identification of best practices both
     In LINKS, we found a broad spectrum of implemen-           processes of adaptive learning” (Owen 2013)                    1.2 Methodology and                                    during the meeting and after.
     tations that support embedding IBSE activities
     into a global view of social and environmental
                                                                taking place in circles of action, reflection and
                                                                development. Ethical foundations and their
                                                                                                                                   methods used to draft                              These visits were organised among sub-groups
     responsibility and change.                                 constant re-negotiation are paramount. Questions                   the study                                          of countries, to allow for an extensive first stage
                                                                like the following link innovation to participation,                                                                  of comparison in order to draw some lines for
     With IBSE activities, educational action research          informed citizenship, community building and                   Using a qualitative content analysis approach          the study. Once the process of ‘critical friends
     and further CPD activities within STEM, we do not          equal opportunities: Whom will these innovations               (Mayring, 2014), this study aims at describing         meetings’ was completed, reports of each visit
     only intend to promote academic competencies but           serve? Who is taking part in their shaping? Who is             and understanding experiences made and                 have been analysed and the final plan of the
     also aim to foster dialogue and debate capability,         absent? What will the benefits and costs of these              documented within the various national STEM            study was produced for further writing (See the
     evaluation and reflection skills, ambiguity tolerance      innovations be? How sustainable are its effects?               education networks.                                    flow-chart on the following page).
     and informed and community contested truth
     seeking as basic civic competencies as described           Innovation in this sense of inquiry and activity               The objective of this study is to capitalise and       We developed a template for compiling the
     in concepts of “scientific literacy.”                      is resonant with the basic approach of Action                  analyse processes of STEM CPD best practices           necessary information for each network. Amongst
                                                                Research.                                                      developed by partners in their national networks.      others, the template requested to collect data
     OECD defines scientific literacy as the capacity to use                                                                   In engaging and discussing common trends and           on the following indicators: information on the
     scientific knowledge, to identify questions, and to draw   Regarding the actual discourse about responsible               issues with related European networks in the field,    funding, the source of information on the networks
     evidence-based conclusions in order to understand          research and innovation (RRI) “innovation” has a               ultimately we want to suggest next and future          including overall aims and objectives, the design
     and help make decisions about the natural world            dual significance for our work.                                steps in developing innovative and sustainable         of the conducted fields of work within CPD, as
     and the changes made to it through human activity.                                                                        STEM education policies and networks.                  well as information on the addressed fields of
                                                                First we strive to be innovative in our methods,
                                                                                                                                                                                      STEM and on the geographical scope. One factor
     “School science education contributes to the               settings and approaches to tackle actual                       With this aim in mind, a key methodological
                                                                                                                                                                                      becoming a challenge for this cross-national
     broader goals of education by providing students           challenges. Second, our activities aim to foster               framework we draw from is the critical friends’
                                                                                                                                                                                      analysis was the variation of languages. As most
     with a scientific understanding of the natural             students’ attitudes, competencies as well as their             method. Developed in the Annenberg Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                      of the findings from national projects were only

10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             11
available in the respective national language,                the picture of the main characteristics developed      Some important points concerning                         While some readers may regret the lack of scientific
     partners had to translate and provide the info in             by all partners to address the issue of quality CPD.   this study                                               evidence of the impact of CPD on teachers and
     English as our common language. The template                                                                                                                                  students, we assume the choice of witnessing
     was used to offer first-hand information on the               The draft has been revised by all partners and         The heterogeneity                                        about our experience and our conviction that our
     partners’ situation. The second purpose of the                submitted to a pool of “external critical friends”                                                              activities effectively answer the needs of teachers,
     template was to guide the analytical focus of the             then finally edited. An executive summary of this      The merging meta-analysis of the individual LINKS        as testified by all our qualitative evaluation findings.
     visiting partners as critical friends.                        first output of the project was produced by La         systems of partners forms the basis for common           Besides this, numerous activities presented in the
                                                                   main à la pâte for the purpose of paper edition        visions, potential development guidelines but            course of this document have scientific evidence
     After the field visits and exchanges between partners         in all languages of the project (translations in       also the pointing out of regional and structural         supporting their impacts as they are conducted
     some key issues were identified as common to all              French, Italian, German and Finnish, done by           heterogeneity.                                           as parts of research projects.
     partners. Not all are developed with the same                 partners themselves). The full study is available
     extent in all countries, but all together they draw           online, in English.                                    Analysing data on the reported experiences, we             References:
                                                                                                                          looked at issues across various national contexts.
                                                                                                                          In doing so, we came across linguistic boundaries          Costa, A.L., Kallick, B. (1993).
                                                                                                                          and different scientific and application-oriented          Through the Lens of a Critical Friend.
                                                                                                                          cultures, we had to question the equivalence of            Educational Leadership. 51(2): 49–51.
                                                                                                                          concepts and terms, and we faced difficulties
                                                        LINKS STUDY
                                                                                                                          regarding the consistency of data because there            Dunne, Faith & Honts, Frank. (1998).
                                                       September 2016
                                                                                                                          are interferences due to differing contexts of             That Group Really Makes Me Think!
                                                                                                                          application. All these factors moderate the actual         Critical Friends Groups and the
                                                                                                                          comparability of findings. Nevertheless, working           Development of Reflective Practitio-
                                                                                                                          with the differing contexts, this study aims to            ners, Paper presented at the annual
                             The partners agree to visit each other to enhance their own knowledge                        make a case in point as it draws its knowledge             meeting of the American Educational
                               on CPD perspectives, approaches and activities, using the Critical                         and expertise from a variety of perspectives and           Research Association, San Diego, CA..
                                 Friends Model of Collegial Dialogue (Dunne and Honts, 1998)                              shared common grounds within a partnership in
                                                                                                                          the European Union.                                        Mayring, P. (2014). Qualitative content
                                                                                                                                                                                     analysis: theoretical foundation, basic
                                                                                                                          The compilation of effective practices                     procedures and software solution-
                                                                                                                                                                                     Klagenfurt. URN: http://nbn-resolving.
                                                     Report on network’s                                                  In this study we have made the choice of presenting        de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395173
                                                   expertise and innovative
                                                     approaches prior to
                                                                                                                          some key CPD practices that have been developed
                                                        friends’ visits                                                   over the years and have proven their relevance
                                                                                                                          and effectiveness. This does not mean that we
                                                                                                                          have had only successes. All these activities and
                                                                                                                          programmes are the results of long processes, still
                                                                                                                          ongoing, that were punctuated with many trials
                                                The five partners visit one –in                                           and progressive improvements.
                                            some cases two- partner networks,
                                         start a critical friends’ dialogue and write a                                   The place of research
                                         report after each visit, following a template
                                                designed by La main à la pâte                                             This study does not intend to be a research work.
                                                                                                                          It is neither a state of the art of CPD in Europe, nor
                                                                                                                          an evaluation report. Its aim is to provide readers
                                                                                                                          with a set of instruments on how reflective practice
                                                                                                                          within CPD was developed. These introduced
                                                                                                                          instruments do rely on qualitative evaluations,
                                                  La main à la pâte analyses
                                                                                                                          surveys and iterative processes of observation.
                                                these reports and suggests a
                                                    structure for the Study                                               Thus, this report gives first-hand elements about
                                                                                                                          the practical experience of 5 national networks
                                                                                                                          that have been developing STEM CPD activities
                                                                                                                          for many years in their respective countries and

                                                     The Study is written in
                                                 a transnational, collaborative
                                               process. Critical feedback from
                                               experts is included in its revision

                                                   Final version: May 2018

12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13
     The description of the main
     features of the 5 systems

14                                 15
AUSTRIA                                                                                                                  IMST includes three strands:                                NaturErlebnisPark–Science Education Center
                                                                                                                                                                                          has longstanding experience in the fields of
                                                                                                                              The thematic programmes focuses on CBL and                  development and research of educational settings
     IMST/NEP                                                                                                                 IBL to stimulate innovative projects in STEM. Each          for science education. The institution acts as a
                                                                                                                              programme supports about 20 school projects                 place for out-of-school learning. It offers a broad
     Within the LINKS project, the two
                                                                                                                              a year, which were selected by an annual call               range of didactic activities to support science
     institutions IMST (“Innovations
                                                                                                                              (application process: application, reviewing, jury).        teaching at all levels of education from kindergarten
     Make Schools Top”) and NEP
                                                                                                                              After the projects were granted, the teachers               up to secondary school as well as for out-of-school
     (“NaturErlebnisPark Science
                                                                                                                              are supported by the TP-Teams. The support is               groups. The institution is part of the National
     Education Centre”) represent
                                                                                                                              focused on accompanying teachers and school                 Science Center Network and focusses on the
     Austria. These two are characte-
                                                                                                                              teams in their working process to enable good               cooperation between formal and informal learning
     ristic for the complex and dynamic
                                                                                                                              practice of the projects initiated by the teachers          as well as the training of explainers and teachers.
     A u s t r i a n ST E A M - L e a r n i n g
     community network as they are
                                                                                                                                                                                          Objectives and activities
     two examples for the several                                                                                             The IMST Network-Programme supports regional
     national and regional networks for                                                                                       networks in all nine Austrian provinces, and three          In our work, we focus on the personality building
     science education and science                                                                                            thematic networks which operate at national level.          function and the social importance of science
     communication. In Austria,                                                                                               Within the IMST thematic programmes, teachers               education and science communication. In a world
                                                                      Fig. 4: IMST activities within Austria.
     STEAM networks connect themselves loosely                                                                                put into practice innovative instructional projects         shaped by science and technology, scientific
     through independent organisations with the main                The initiative was taken in 1998 by the Alpen-Adria-      and receive support in terms of content, organisa-          literacy is an essential precondition for reasoned
     purpose of enhancing network thinking as well                  University Klagenfurt to set up STEM as a                 tion and finance bottom-up. The goals of the                decisions and for participation in social discourse.
     as network activities. Usually, single institutions            cooperative structure between schools, school             networks are threefold: Raising the attractiveness          We consider science education as a synthesis of
     are involved in several of these networks at the               administration, universities/teacher training             and quality of lessons in mathematics, biology and          imparting ways of thinking and acting, conceptual
     same time while engaging in different cooperation              colleges and businesses. From the beginning,              ecology, chemistry, physics, information technology,        knowledge, values and attitudes as well as basic
     programmes. These networks usually do not form a               the initiative received support from one or two           geography, descriptive geometry and related                 competencies. Scientific methodologies represent a
     hierarchic relationship with each other; engagement            ministries. Initially, the initiative was limited to      subjects, as well as promoting cross-curriculum             prototype of an efficient, rationality-based problem
     and participation are based on the respective                  secondary education. However, gradually,                  initiatives and school development in grammar,              solving strategy and contribute to face social
     institution’s own volition. Often, participation takes         kindergarten and primary education (and the               vocational and secondary modern schools, primary            relevant challenges in a reflected way.
     place during a certain time-period due to common               professional development of their teachers) and           schools and kindergarten, Professional development
     projects.                                                      pre-service teacher training were involved. The           of teachers while involving as many schools as              STEM-CPD is organised in different ways:
                                                                    IMST initiative is coordinated by the Institut für        possible. The IMST Gender_Diversity Network
     In this sense, IMST contributes to the LINKS                                                                                                                                         -- CPD activities for pre-service teachers are
                                                                    Unterrichts und Schulentwicklung/IUS (Institute           supports the development of gender and diversity
     partnership with perspectives of a nation-wide                                                                                                                                          embedded in the regular curriculum of teacher
                                                                    of Instructional and School Development) at the           sensitivity in the quality of teaching. Teachers who
     network structure, NEP adds its experiences of                                                                                                                                          training at the University College of Teacher
                                                                    Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt.                        gained these competences make better use of
     what it is like to work as an independent organiza-                                                                                                                                     Education Styria (Primary school and lower
                                                                                                                              potentials and resources of their students and are
     tion that engages in different STEAM networks.                 The activities of IMST target teachers at all levels                                                                     secondary school teachers) and the Karl
                                                                                                                              enabled to better understand individualities.
     IMST and NEP often collaborate with each other                 of education, schools and members of the school                                                                          Franzens University Graz (Grammar school
     but neither is part of the other.                              management teams, pupils, prospective teachers            Thus, gender mainstreaming and gender sensitivity              teachers)
                                                                    who are also involved in IMST initiatives, universities   are principles that aim at broadening educational           -- CPD for in-service teachers of all educational
     IMST – Alpen-Adria_University                                  and teacher training colleges, regional education         opportunities, life plans and opportunities for all            levels is organised within the framework of the
     Klagenfurt1                                                    leaders, businesses and civil organisations, NGOs,        individuals. The network itself offers workshops,              advanced training programme of the University
                                                                    research institutes and science centres, actors           teaching materials, counselling and networking                 College of Teacher Education Styria or the
     Main features                                                  in informal and non-formal education and other            activities.                                                    STEM professionalisation activities of the
                                                                    education projects at national, European and                                                                             Austrian Science Centre Network
     IMST is a nation-wide support system and network                                                                         The main results so far
                                                                    international level.                                                                                                  -- Long-term CPD activities usually are included
     to provide quality based innovations in STEM and
                                                                                                                              Since its establishment, the IMST network has                  in special programmes founded by the Austrian
     German education. For this purpose, teachers                   The IMST headquarters are based at Klagenfurt
                                                                                                                              successfully helped to establish a systemic                    Government.
     and teacher educators implement innovative                     University.
     school projects and exchange their experiences                                                                           approach within educational systems (see the                Generally, the CPD activities are (a series of)
     through networks. IMST not only aims at affecting              Objectives and activities                                 vast list of publications the impact of this initiative).   face-to face workshops, preferably combined with
     the individual instruction, but also the school                                                                          It sees itself as a learning community and thus is          an action research process of self-assessment
     development and the structures of the educational              The overall goal of IMST is to contribute to establish    very open to further development in a changing              focusing on pedagogical contents like Inquiry
     system itself. Colleges of teacher education and               a culture of innovative quality development to            educational landscape.                                      based learning as a structured process of gaining
     universities as well as schools (see e.g., Krainer             foster the STEM education at Austrian schools.
                                                                                                                                                                                          knowledge, problem based learning, Puppet
     & Zehetmeier, 2013).                                           This means to improve instruction in Mathematics,
                                                                    Science, IT, German and related subjects, to              NaturErlebnisPark Science Education                         Science, scientific competencies, development of
                                                                    raise the attractiveness of STEM fields of study          Center                                                      interest, contextual learning, dealing with diversity
                                                                                                                                                                                          and participatory research with children.
                                                                    through promoting cross-curricular initiatives and
                                                                    school development and through the professional           Main features
         The following description is a condensed version of Yves                                                                                                                         The scientific contents refer to the curricula and to
         Bernard’s “Description of STEM Knowledge Networks          development of teachers.                                  NEP is an independent association, partly financed          the local context and cover the fields of biology,
         in Europe” (                                                                  by the City of Graz. The institution is involved in         chemistry, physics, geography and technics, often
         detail/description-of-stem-knowledge-networks-in-                                                                    several networks and acts as a long-term partner            provided in an interdisciplinary synopsis.
         europe,Download 14.11.2016). We recommend reading the                                                                of the IMST network.
         longer version.

16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                17
The main results so far                              Regarding activities of the LUMA Finland network,                                                                     of ‘paths’ consisting of 80 hours of professional
                                                          there is a national binding strategy that guides the                                                                  development, some of them are recognised by
     NaturErlebnisPark Science Education Center           activities implemented in the centres. However, this                                                                  an official certification. These paths include both
     offers five workshops per semester, each for 25      document affords an adequate amount of freedom                                                                        face-to-face sessions and distance-learning
     participants. Long-term CPD projects last one or     so that all centres can have their own focuses.                                                                       activities (blended professional development).
     two years and are available for 6 schools.
                                                          The most important activities are related to                                                                          The major innovation of the network relies on the
                                                          collaboration with schools and other learning                                                                         close involvement of the scientific community
     FINLAND                                              communities, formally, non-formally, and informally,                                                                  in professional development activities for teachers
                                                          at various levels. These activities include but                                                                       and their educators. The network has both
     LUMA is an abbreviation standing for natural         are not limited to organising annual science                                                                          capitalised on the existing ASTEP programme
     sciences (LUonnontieteet) and mathematics            fair contests (StarT festival) for local schools,                                                                     (involving scientists and scientific students in
     (MAtematiikka), and generally it is translated       developing and distributing new materials for                                                                         support activities provided to primary teachers),
     as STEM. LUMA Centre Finland is an umbrella          schools in cooperation with teachers, organising                                                                      and developed new forms of cooperation.
     organization for LUMA Centres in Finnish universi-   school visits for LUMA Centres and their science        Aquitaine                                                     Researchers, engineers, technicians, coming
     ties and university campuses. Currently, there       classrooms, educating teachers, and lending             Alpes-Dauphiné                                                from the university and other public research
     are LUMA Centres in all 13 Finnish scientific and    equipment for schools. Another important form           Alsace                                                        institutions or the industry, co-create and co-lead
     technological universities as seen in Figure 1.      of activity is conducting research related to the       Auvergne                                                      professional development actions, promoting a
     The network is led by the national board of LUMA     themes introduced above; most of the employees in                                                                     living science that encompasses digital sciences,
     Centre Finland which has representatives from        LUMA projects are PhD students or post-doctorate                                                                      cognitive sciences, engineering sciences… as
     all member universities. Each LUMA Centre has                                                                Centre – Val de Loire
                                                          with a teacher educational background. LUMA                                                                           well as a deeper comprehension of the nature
     various numbers of employees (nation-wide:                                                                   Lorraine
                                                          Centre Finland also collaborates internationally with                                                                 of science, the skills and the openness to other
     approximately 90) who are responsible for the        various quarters. Besides this LINKS project, there     Midi-Pyrénées                                                 disciplines required, especially when addressing
     coordination of activities, conducting research      are also mutual agreements with other countries,        Nord-Pas-de-Calais                                            complex issues such as sustainable development.
     and developing materials, etc.                       such as China.                                          National Centre

                                                          Annually, LUMA activities reach approximately                                                                         The main results so far
                                                          4000 teachers, thousands of pupils and students,                   Fig.3: Geographical locations of the Houses for
                                                                                                                                                                                -- 9 Houses and their 21 satellite centres covering
                                                          and some thousands of other people, such as                        science in France.
                                                                                                                                                                                   their regions, plus 1 national centre
                                                          collaborators, parents, etc. People of LUMA Centre           While the regional Houses target mainly teachers         -- 1,500 face-to-face PD sessions, all coupled
                                                          Finland publish approximately 40 articles each               – from primary and lower secondary levels, the              with a collaborative platform and monitored
                                                          year in both international and national journals.            National Centre’s focus is on teacher educators             through pre and post questionnaires, for the
                                                          Besides, there are some PhD dissertations and                and the production of resources. Moreover the               benefit of 30,000 teachers and educators
                                                          numerous bachelor’s and master’s theses done                 National Centre acts as the coordinator, ensuring        -- 3,000 students involved in scientific support
                                                          each year under LUMA activities.                             the respect of the general frame, the quality of the        for the benefit of primary teachers and their
                                                                                                                       activities and the building –and possibly scaling           classes
                                                          FRANCE                                                       up, of the network on the basis of the exchange
                                                                                                                       of best practices and experience (capitalisation).
                                                                                                                                                                                -- 50% of scientists associated as contributors
                                                                                                                                                                                   and trainers in the professional development
                                                          The national network of the Maisons pour                                                                                 sessions
                                                                                                                       At local level, the network has developed the
                                                          la science au service des professeurs is a                                                                            -- 2 MOOCs followed by 3,000 teachers
                                                                                                                       inclusion of pre-existing structures, known as La
                                                          large scale multi-stakeholders experiment for the            main à la pâte pilot centres that are now, in regions    -- Resources available on the Foundation website
                                                          professional development of teachers in science.             where a House has been settled, associated in the           visited by 350,000 users per month
                                                                                                                       regional network as well as the new satellite centres.
                                                          Main features
                                                                                                                       The network is funded mainly by the Programme            ITALY
                                                          The network was launched in 2012, for an initial             Investissements d’Avenir and by the hosting
                                                          duration of 7 years.                                         universities, with some additional support from the      The ANISN (Associazione Nazionale Insegnanti
       Fig.1. Geographical locations of LUMA Centres                                                                   employers and the Ministry of national education.        di Scienze Naturali) CPD network consists of
       in Finland.                                        9 houses have been created within regional science                                                                    10 IBSE centres. It represents the evolution of
                                                                                                                       50 full-time equivalent staff are mobilised as well as
                                                          universities. They are governed in partnership with                                                                   the SID programme, which was triggered by the
     The funding for the network comes mostly from                                                                     a budget of 26 M€ corresponding to an anticipated
                                                          the Rectorats (regional boards of the Ministry of                                                                     experience developed by ANISN in the European
     the Ministry of Education and Culture and member                                                                  average cost of 685 € per beneficiary.
                                                          Education) and the Foundation La main à la pâte.                                                                      project Fibonacci. The continuous cooperation
     universities with additional funding coming from     Besides, the Foundation hosts the National Centre                                                                     since 2009 with the Foundation La main à la
     other sources, such as companies, trusts, and        of the network.                                              Objectives and activities                                pâte as well as with other European reference
     the European Union (Erasmus+). With respect                                                                                                                                centres for CPD on IBSE and partnership in five
                                                                                                                       The mission of this network articulated from the
     to the partners, LUMA Centre Finland works in                                                                                                                              EU projects has been pivotal for the development
                                                                                                                       national to the local level, is to provide large-scale
     cooperation with the departments of science                                                                                                                                of the network and its systemic strategies. The
                                                                                                                       professional development in the 9 targeted
     and education in universities, schools and                                                                                                                                 cooperation with the Accademia dei Lincei in the
                                                                                                                       regions, with an objective of accessibility across
     teachers, pupils of various ages, municipalities                                                                                                                           framework of the SID programme, has represented
                                                                                                                       the territory.
     and companies.                                                                                                                                                             a fruitful synergic enrichment and has empowered
                                                                                                                       The network also aims at developing in-depth             the scaling up of the network.
                                                                                                                       professional development activities in the form

18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    19
ANISN is a non-profit Italian Association devoted        centres feeding the availability of a growing amount    - connected actions at international, national             -- nineteen STEM Ambassador Hubs across the
     to improve CPD of Science teachers since forty           of resources at National level. Trainees receive free   and local level. External and internal evaluation             UK linking individuals and STEM employers
     years with thousands members organised in 26             of charge theoretical and experimental materials        supports the main evidences with data. Key elements           with schools, colleges, youth and community
     local sections ( It is recognized by the   (kit boxes) and support (also in presence for novice    are at the core of the impact and effectiveness               groups supporting young people in STEM.
     Ministry of Education as external body to hold CPD       teachers) of experienced teachers or trainers           of the ANISN CPD network of IBSE centres: a)
     courses. ANISN mission and commitment in many            during the implementation with students at school.      the bottom-up approach to the organisation of              The Network reaches directly into every UK
     activities, has represented the breeding ground in       The target teachers belong mainly to primary and        professional development courses; b) the clear             secondary school and FE college, and over 80%
     which the establishment and development of the           lower secondary schools, within the different           progress in the professional development from              of primary schools. Three thousand educators
     systemic network of IBSE centers has been rooted         centres, there is a variable ratio of teachers of       beginners to advanced; c) the participation of ANISN       benefit from residential CPD or other activities at
     and fostered. The key contribution of the internatio-    different school levels.                                in European projects, which resulted in capitalization     the National STEM Learning Centre each year, with
     nal cooperation combined with the adoption of                                                                    and cross-fertilization; d) the strong link with schools   another 20,000 engaging with local, high quality
     systemic strategies and the improvement of               Over the years, an average of 80% of attending          and school development projects; e) the commitment         STEM-specific CPD. More than 30,000 STEM
     effective networking at various level, has allowed       teachers have followed the CPD courses for at           of dozens of volunteers; f) the permanent evaluation       Ambassador volunteers, representing around
     to build the sufficient architecture to sustain the      least three years, thus improving consistently          by teachers who took a professional development            2,500 employers, take part in over 50,000 activities
     processes, but the value of the human interface,         their expertise in IBSE. A cohort of typically          course, as well as their students.                         with schools, colleges and other young people’s
     persons who have assisted and assist others in the       holds different tasks in their school or at local                                                                  groups annually.
     adoption and implementation of plans for change,         centre or at National level. Systemic actions are
     has represented and represents the necessary             guaranteed not only by the existence of National        UNITED-KINGDOM                                             The STEM Learning Network operates a wide
                                                                                                                                                                                 range of activities in STEM education. Their
     condition for the positive results achieved so far.      governance bodies, but also by different strategies
                                                              which act as connections’ strings on the common                                                                    major programmes cover CPD, resources, STEM
     To date the National network involves 10 Italian         structural and functional architecture, such as: an     STEM Learning                                              enrichment and STEM inspiration, and include:
     regions where centres for CPD courses on                 annual agreement of a shared updated guidelines         The National STEM Learning Network is the
                                                                                                                                                                                 Project ENTHUSE - providing opportunities and
     IBSE connected to local ANISN sections have              (with roles, responsibilities, general actions and      largest provider of STEM education and STEM
                                                                                                                                                                                 bursaries for teachers and technicians, schools
     been created progressively over ten years. The           models of multilevel training courses) signed by        careers support to schools, colleges and other
                                                                                                                                                                                 and colleges to benefit STEM subject-specific
     centres, hosted mainly at universities or (science)      all those locally responsible; National meetings        groups working with young people across the
                                                                                                                                                                                 CPD, through:
     museums, share the same governance model                 (or training courses) in person and at distance         UK. Supported by a partnership of Government,
     (1 or 2 responsible; 4 – 8 trainers; a panel of          for advanced teachers or trainers; cooperation          learned bodies, charitable trusts, employers
                                                                                                                                                                                 -- transformational residential CPD at the National
     scientific referees) and strategies to a long lasting    among members of different centres as working           and STEM professional bodies, the Network is
                                                                                                                                                                                    STEM Learning Centre in York
     involvement of local schools/teachers networks as        groups to develop new resources or to contribute        dedicated to raising young people’s engagement
                                                              in European projects; sharing of new resources                                                                     -- bespoke support for schools and groups of
     well as the local scientific community involved in                                                               and achievement in STEM subjects, and increasing
                                                              in local courses by National trainers.                                                                                schools
     joint working groups, in co-organising professional                                                              the numbers progressing in STEM studies and
     development courses or in holding seminars on                                                                    into STEM-related careers post-16.                         -- online CPD
     cutting edge scientific topics. The different centres    The lack of a unique partnership able to sustain                                                                   -- STEM Insight teacher placements with
     have different dimensions dependent upon the             most of the financial needs of the network of IBSE      STEM Learning enables teachers, technicians and               employers and universities
     time of their foundation and the contribution of         centres has forced, along the years, to a local         others working with young people to engage with            -- local support in Scotland, Wales and Northern
     synergic activities developed in the framework           and national multisource funding partnerships           STEM-subject specific, career-long continuous                 Ireland
     of European projects.                                    with scientific institutions, foundations, local        professional development (CPD). The Network
                                                              educational authorities. Funding at National level      provides free online resources for STEM teaching           Science Learning Partnerships – a network
                                                              to assure financial sustainability for system actions   and learning, based on the national curriculum.            of school-based organisations in England which
                                                              and to partially contribute to local actions, comes     In addition, STEM Learning supports the STEM               are led by practicing teachers and deliver locally
                                                              from Ministry of Education thanks to a project          Ambassadors programme, STEM Clubs and a                    accessible CPD for STEM subjects- for all
                                                              recently approved (i.e. School for Inquiry) and         wide range of other STEM enrichment activities             educational phases (early years to post-16).
                                                              from a Foundation. In the last two years, some          with proven impact on outcomes for young people.
                                                              CPD courses have introduced fees, trainees pay          Working with employers of all sizes who wish to            HEaTED – providing CPD, networking and
                                                              these from their personal bonus (500 euro) given        engage in STEM education, STEM Learning helps              professional support to those working as
                                                              by Ministry of Education to all the Italian teachers    them maximize the impact of their investment               technicians across FE and HE, including in STEM.
                                                              to improve their PD. Funding from European              on young people, teachers, schools and local
                                                                                                                                                                                 The National STEM Learning Centre – an
                                                              projects are vital to support economically the          communities.
                                                                                                                                                                                 inspirational venue in York that houses the UK’s
                                                              network and to promote cross-fertilization within
                                                                                                                      The Network comprises:                                     largest repository of resources for STEM education,
                                                              and among the centres as well as with other
                                                                                                                                                                                 state-of-the-art facilities for STEM-specific CPD,
                                                              European CPD institutions. Schools contribute to
                                                                                                                      -- the National STEM Learning Centre at York,              including residential experiences.
                                                              the dissemination process and indirectly also to
       Fig.2: Geographical locations of ANISN Centres                                                                    with state-of-the-art facilities for intensive
                                                              the financial sustainability of the centres, through                                                               Curriculum Resources - free of charge access
       in Italy.                                                                                                         teacher CPD and an extensive library and
                                                              their participation to the European PON (Piano                                                                     to over 11,000 collated and curated curriculum
                                                              Operativo Nazionale) for Italian regions, these            repository of resources;
     All the centres organise long term, in presence,                                                                                                                            resources from early years to post-16, accessible
     periodic and multilevel training courses (novice,        funding options allow the organisation of join          -- the website containing over
                                                                                                                                                                                 through the Network’s website,
     advanced and expert teachers; trainers) to improve       training courses (and events) at school level with         11,000 quality assured resources;
     the adoption of inquiry based teaching and learning      the support of trainers and teachers of the local       -- a network of forty five Science Learning                STEM Ambassadors – linking volunteers from a
     at school. The courses follow a common architec-         centre.                                                    Partnerships in England offering local access           wide range of STEM backgrounds and disciplines
     ture and mostly adopt the same resources, even if                                                                   to subject-specific support;                            with schools, colleges and informal educators
                                                              The success and impact of the network is sustained      -- our partners in Scotland, Wales and                     who work with young people. STEM volunteers
     each centre is, obviously, a rich hotbed of modified
                                                              by systemic, shared strategies fostered by cross           Northern Ireland;
     or new resources which are shared among the

20                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      21
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