STE(A)M attempts to transform the traditional teacher-centered teaching into the teaching where the investigatory - exploratory learning and the collaborative actions of the students, who are involved in activities related to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, have a dominant role in the learning process. Our proposal concerns the inclusion of STEAM practices in the 'Educational Groups' at the Model and Experimental Schools. Model Experimental Schools are special public schools that share close ties with the Pedagogical Departments of the Universities. These Schools provide students of the teacher training faculties of the Universities with practical training in teaching methodology and in education in general. They are institutions where the educational, research and training projects of the Universities are carried out. They cater for all levels of education: nursery, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education. Model and Experimental Schools aim to develop students' knowledge and skills, cultivate their interests and inclinations, test and introduce new curriculum subjects to the school curriculum and new instructional practices. They also aim to meet the needs and demands of contemporary society and continue their tradition of excellence. In the Model and Experimental Schools operate the institution of ''Educational Groups'. ''Educational Groups' are groups of pupils that operate optional after the mandatory morning program in Experimental schools, in order to develop pupil’s knowledge and skills, cultivating interests and inclinations and the introduction in the school curriculum new subjects and teaching practices. Each one operates in the afternoon for two hours, one or two times per week. In the 'Educational Groups, educational projects are implemented in areas of knowledge such as mathematics, science, language, literature, visual arts, sport, etc. in order to create cores of creativity and excellence that utilize the special talents and interests of students.
Applicability and Audience
The inclusion of STEAM practices in the 'Educational Groups» of the Model and Experimental Schools is in line with their philosophy and goals and facilitates pupils to approach the knowledge interdisciplinary and experientially.
Model and Experimental Schools aim to cultivate and disseminate the idea and practices of excellence in the education system, to support experimentation and the pilot implementation of educational innovations. In particular, the aims of the Model Schools are the development of innovation actions aimed at student self-improvement, the pilot implementation of new curricula, teaching methods, new teaching materials, printed and digital teaching tools, textbooks and innovative teaching practices, oriented at educational excellence. Respectively, the aims of the Experimental Schools are in particular the development of research and creative activities, the pilot application and the experimentation in new curricula and teaching methods. In the Model and Experimental Schools operate the institution of ''Educational Groups’ in order to develop pupil’s knowledge and skills, cultivating interests and inclinations. The selection of pupils is done by tests of skills and interests from the pupils of the school and the neighboring schools. Educational Groups promote the multidisciplinary and cross thematic learning approach with experiential and active methods and techniques that stimulate critical thinking and creativity, contributing to the autonomy of pupils, developing their critical ability and encouraging behaviors governed by the values of solidarity and the respect of diversity. As STE(A)M education attempts to transform the traditional teacher-centered teaching into the teaching where the investigatory - exploratory learning, problem solving and the creative involvement of learners in discovering of knowledge plays a dominant role in the curriculum, the inclusion of STEAM practices in the Educational Groups contributes to the achievement of their goals, to the experimental implementation of educational actions in collaboration with the Universities and to the testing of new curricula and teaching methods.
Educational Work Coordinator collaborates with schools’ teachers in order to inform, raise awareness and train them for the STEAM practice.
Teachers interested in establishing an «Educational Group» has until the end of May of each school year to submit electronically their written proposals to the Scientific and Supervisory Board of the Model or Experimental School.
The Scientific and Supervisory Board of the Model or the Experimental School is responsible for approving and monitoring the implementation of the STEAM project.
The teacher in charge of each «Educational Group» is responsible for drawing up the curriculum, determining or production of the teaching materials and the completion of the procurement process, as well as to define the objectives and obligations of the pupils for the successful completion of the program.
The responsible teacher keeps a written record detailing the content of the meetings, group’ activities and the students' attendance.
Actions, results and reports of «Educational Groups» systematically published on the website of the school unit in order to disseminate and inform the school and the wider community.
The teachers of the school, the principal, the Educational Work Coordinator and Scientific and Supervisory Board of the Model or Experimental School are involved in the promotion of the practice.
The Educational Group teacher must submit a report on the implementation and evaluation process of the program, which will be submitted in two phases, the initial at the end of January and the final at the end of May.