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SECOND INTERNATIONAL MEETING

The second project transnational meeting occurred on November 5th and 6th 2020, at a time when the global pandemic situation prevented the EUREKA consortium to meet in Athens, as it was originally planned.
Our four countries being submitted to partial to complete sanitary lockdown, we chose to meet online in order to carry out our objectives.

THE OUTPUTS

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In this meeting, we addressed many topics and each partner presented their respective work.Alpes de Lumière (ADL) introduced the EUREKA platform, one of our main outputs, which was at that time under construction, and explained all the features that it would have. The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN) introduced their work on the Handbook for Good Practices, another of our main outputs, which will embrace all aspects of the project and sum up our results in the form of a guidebook reusable by other stakeholders to reproduce our pedagogical innovation after its experimentation. The Association for the Conservation of Antalya Orchids and Biodiversity (CAOB) presented an adjusted Dissemination Action Plan in the light of constraints we were facing, related to CoVid. They also presented their work around the evaluation of the quality of our collective work.

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But the main subject of discussion was the presentation by Istituto EcoAmbientale (IEA) and ADL, followed by the evaluation by CAOB, of the final version of one of our main outputs: the GAP Analysis Report. Based on three different methods of data gathering, this Report is the project’s first step. It is supposed to help us understand what are the gaps in knowledge regarding the main topics of our project (Early School Leaving and the Unemployment of the 15-24, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability) and to identify the available levees for us to tackle these issues. The first methodology, directed to the students of all four schools participating in the project, ie the future participants in our subsequent pedagogical experiment, was a test. It was the core of our « GAP » analysis and, while it allowed us to better understand the students’ perception of the social phenomena we aim at tackling, it was mainly an opportunity to reveal the difficulties we will need to work on if we want the pedagogical experiment to go as smoothly as possible. It was interesting to learn that, even if much progress could be done, most students are aware of and have adopted some of the good practices related to bettering the environmental sustainability and thus might have a sensibility to the environmental issues which will be dealt with during the pedagogical experiment. Concerning Early School Leaving and the « Not Employed, not engaged in Education or Training » (NEET) phenomenon, we learned that most tested students are well aware of these phenomena, but that they tend to attribute them to wrong causes. But the real gap in knowledge was observed around the Climate Change set of questions with only 52.6% of correct answers. To the consortium it means two things: first that we will need to emphasise to the teachers in charge of conducting the pedagogical experiment the necessity to properly re-introduce or remind their students of some of the basic notions related to climate change ; second that it might be the key set of questions to re-administer the students after the experiment in order to assess if the gap was filled or not.

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The second data gathering session was directed to the parents of the students. It took the form of a survey destined to gather the parents’ perceptions of the issues dealt with by the EUREKA consortium and their general level of awareness. One of the main objectives of this survey series was to allow the parents, who represent the students’ social environment to get involved by being aware of their respective perceptions, which were all in all rather homogeneous. The consortium decided to edit an abridged version of the Report, which will be used to this end since it will be distributed to the parents through the students.The third approach was directed to the teachers in the form of an in-depth face-to-face questionnaire. Two teachers were interviewed per school with the objective to gather unpredicted information likely to widen the range of the analysis and to feed the production of the Handbook of Good Practices. The questions covered all the topics of the EUREKA project and the interviewees were allowed to develop their answers. This series of interviews allowed us to reach three main conclusions. First, that the social environments of the four schools are very different from one another, whether it be in terms of their ESL rates, their cultural and sociological backgrounds, the pedagogical practices of the teachers involved or their approaches to societal challenges and to science in general. This diversity of context was a reminder for us that we had to take it into account when preparing the « Training of the Trainers » (C1 activity) and the final evaluation of the classroom experiments. The second conclusion was that the teachers involved see the parents’ implication as a precondition for the reduction of the ESL, which means that the consortium must integrate the parents to the experiment through a proper dissemination towards them, even before the experiments begin (this confirms our strategy to disseminate the results of the surveys to the parents through the students) but also after the experiment is undergone, through the multiplier events, so that they properly understand what their children did in the classrooms and how it can have affected them in their school and post-school trajectory. Finally, the third conclusion was that, for both learners and teachers, the use of digital tools in class was a cherished practice, which confirms the relevance of the kind of pedagogical innovation we are aiming at, which relies heavily on the use and the analysis of digital data. The last element of discussion in our meeting was the organisation of the « Training of the trainers » activity, which was supposed to happen in 2020 but had to be delayed because of CoVid. The readjustment of our agenda included a « Plan A », in which the training activity was scheduled for the second week of March 2021 in Rome, allowing the experiment to begin in all classes right after that. A « Plan B » was nonetheless imagined, in which CoVid regulations would impeach us to go to Rome. In such a case, the training activity would have to take place online, through a live seminar and a web seminar, which would be done around January and February. 

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