The COSMOS teacher conference took place in Prague during the 15-16th November 2023. The conference aimed at bringing together primary and secondary school teachers from all partner countries (Belgium, UK, The Netherlands, Israel, Portugal, Sweden) to exchange experiences of their first year of participating in the COSMOS project and to engage in mutual learning deepening their understanding of key project concepts such as socioscientific inquiry-based learning, communities of learning and open schooling. The COSMOS project is working with 13 partners across 7 countries in developing an open schooling approach through science education that allows schools and communities to work together and benefit from each other whilst supporting students’ engagement in personally-relevant science inquiries and learning. Approximately 40 teachers from primary and secondary schools participated, along with university and societal partners from each country.
The UK team had a strong presence, with teachers from all four of our participating schools attending. Our team consisted of Faye Hill from Romsey Primary School, Steve Philips from Kanes Hill Primary, Emma Lee representing The Romsey School, and Gemma Hortop from Hounsdown Secondary, and was led by Dr Andri Christodoulou from Southampton Education School. We had two full and productive days that allowed us to meet with other teachers using the COSMOS approach in their national contexts, have some lively discussions about the importance of science education for everyday life, and learn about other countries’ educational systems and science education approaches.
We also devoted time to co-design our school implementations for Round 2 of the design-based research approach we adopt in this project. Steve Phillips, science lead from Kanes Hill Primary said: ““The conference provided us as teachers with plenty of time to share ideas and reflect on our own projects. I am excited to see children at our school become ‘agents of change’ through our science curriculum and looking forward to seeing the impact of this project on the wider community.”
The COSMOS project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No.101005982.