Archive of European Projects

TINKERING: Contemporary Education for the Innovators of Tomorrow
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “Tinkering: Contemporary Education for the Innovators of tomorrow” emerges from the need for citizens able to respond to the contemporary global challenges by being competent in science and technology, self-confident and critical thinkers, socially-engaged, with innovative and entrepreneurial attitude. The project responds to these needs through a learner-centred approach aiming at education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and at the development of the twenty-first century skills and competences. To do this, it implements the innovative pedagogy of Tinkering at European level and builds on the cooperation among museums and other education institutions. ‘Tinkering’ is the term used to define an innovative pedagogy that reflects the current trends in education and the Maker culture. It promotes individuals’ active, hands-on engagement with science- and making-oriented activities as ways to relate with, and understand of, the surrounding world. It also promotes skills and competences that can be used in different contexts and become useful for a lifetime. The objectives of the project are to: - enrich skills and competences with specific reference to STEM - contribute to developing the 21st century (transversal) skills: creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship - promote a learner-centred pedagogical approach through Tinkering - improve the attractivity of, attainment in, and lifelong relationship with, science and technology for adults and students - implement the innovative pedagogy of Tinkering in school and out-of-school contexts at European level and create a Europe-wide community of practice of institutions working with this pedagogy - encourage cooperation and exchange of expertise and practice between formal and informal learning institutions and professionals. The main activities of the project are: • Development of Tinkering activities for adult learners and for schools • Development of pedagogical materials related to the Tinkering activities • Definition of a methodological framework for Tinkering as a founding element of the work • Organization of training events for adult and school educators, aimed at creating the conditions for the implementation of the pedagogy and the activities • Organisation of multiplier events for the wide implementation of the activities • Dissemination at local, national and European level • Management and monitoring of cooperation and operations. The project addresses school and adult learners as well as school and adult educators and plans to: - reach 12.500 between adults and school students with Tinkering educational activities - train about 180 between adult and school educators with Tinkering professional development. The project will be carried out through cooperation between formal and informal learning institutions, that is, museums, university and school. Partners will work on the basis of a plan of activities, tasks, goals and deadlines monitored by the coordinator and by specific task supervisors. The proposed activities will go through phases of development, pilot testing, evaluation and fine-tuning to become sustainable and transferable. Activities are assigned to one or more specific partners, but the results will be tested and implemented by the consortium as a whole. A series of multiplier events guarantee wider impact of the project. The results will be the following: a) A series of different Tinkering activities for adult learners and schools b) Sustainable and transferable pedagogical materials related to the Tinkering activities for adults and schools c) A methodological framework for Tinkering d) Training events for adult and school educators, including a training workshop by the Exploratorium e) Multiplier events for the wide implementation of the activities f) A website containing all resources and a series of dissemination publications on the project g) A European community of practice working with this pedagogy. In addition to the quantitative impact (12.700 individuals), the qualitative impact envisaged is the following: a) enriched educational practice in school and out-of-school environments b) improved attainment in, relationship with, and skills in, STEM for adults and students c) improvement of the facilitation role for educators involved at the level of consortium and wider professional community d) consideration of the innovative pedagogy of Tinkering at policy level for curriculum and lifelong education e) involvement and motivation of early school leavers f) reinforcement of skills relating to the job market g) sensibilization of directly-interested target groups and stakeholders at local, national and European level. The long term benefit will be the continuation and reinforcement of the innovative pedagogy of Tinkering within school and out-of-school contexts through the creation of a Europe-wide network of institutions working with it.
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