Creating stronger connections between scientific research and teachers’ communities was the main objective of the EU project PATHWAY. In collaboration with the UNESCO ASPnet schools of Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and Serbia and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), schools and teachers played a leading role in expanding students' experiences and their understanding of science.
With the purpose of promoting scientific culture and a better understanding the role of science and technology in schools and among young people in the South-East European (SEE) region and Europe, an online survey of ASPnet Schools was undertaken by the UNESCO Venice Office. Fifty three schools from 4 countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and Serbia) participated in the survey.
The response rate of all the schools (mainly from secondary and primary/elementary schools) was very high. The country that showed a major interest was Croatia with the highest number of filled forms. Half the schools chose one of the UNESCO ASPnet study topics for their school activities. The most popular topic among the schools was ‘Cultural Diversity, Peace and Human Rights’, although ‘Education for Sustainable Development and Cultural Heritage’ came immediately after.
The schools that responded to the survey also expressed interest in being part of the EU-Project PATHWAY and opening their schools to science and technology education. Bringing the students into close contact with science centers raise their interest and motivation to learn about science and be involved in scientific investigations. Hence, one of the ideas of PATHWAY was to connect schools with science centers and with scientific research in general, but also to focus on teachers' professional development in this field.
An objective of the project PATHWAY was to reinforce and strengthen networks and partnerships so they may play a significant role in promoting scientific culture in particular among young people. Students and teachers should be active in the process of creating and maintaining networks and partnerships.
The willingness of the UNESCO ASPnet Schools to collaborate offered a great potential for the further development and consolidation of the PATHWAY project.
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The Pathway to Inquiry Based Science Teaching (PATHWAY) has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013). The objective of the project was to set the pathway toward a standard-based approach to teaching science by inquiry.