Computational learning has taken a significant place in the educational framework of the last decade all over the OECD countries. 5 competencies can be nowadays considered as key assets in the framework of the 21st century: critical thinking as the possibility to develop independent analysis regarding learning and ideas, the capacity to cooperate towards a shared goal, the creativity process to reach higher level of innovation from the society, the capacity to solve problems, and computational thinking as the capability to model data and knowledge based on complex and logical algorithmic resources.
However, training of secondary schools’ teachers remains a high challenge regarding digital skills. Aside from the formal commitment of European schools to introduce programming to their students, the initial training of professors has not been developed accordingly to the needed level to enable coding practices in the classroom to be integrated in the curricula according to its full potential.
To tackle these challenges, 8 partners from 6 European countries, coordinated by the University of Aix-Marseille (France) are cooperating through the implementation of the Let’s STEAM project.
Development of a training of teachers computational thinking programme
Let’s STEAM is ambitioning to close the gap between the potential of digitally based educational pathways and the capabilities of the professors to exploit it based on a relevant curriculum dedicated to secondary schools’ teachers in the field of all STEAM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), including art and design. These trainings will introduce basics competencies about programming and use of IoT boards more specifically within the classroom. In addition, the courses will include major transversal training sessions related to creativity, interdisciplinary and computational thinking as a framework for the development of radically innovative pedagogical strategies. The project will target at least 90 teachers from all over Europe, through on-site and on-line training sessions opened to all STEAM professors interesting in this process.
Going further in the teachers and student’s motivation in STEAM education
Besides its goal of training of teachers, Let’s STEAM is willing to provide a real opportunity to go further in creativity-based learning pedagogy and to enable using programming and Internet of Things in a novel way, based on societal challenges and citizen science rather than through the only technical vision. Through Let’s STEAM, the objective will be to reconnect teachers and students with their capability to provide novel knowledge and results to the scientific and artistic community, and to motivate them in the use of computational competencies in a broader way.
The Let’s STEAM project is supported and co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus + Strategic Partnership programme, operated by the French Erasmus + Agency in Bordeaux. The project has a budget of 383 246 EUR and has started in September 2019 for 3 years until August 2022.