New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Young scientist to save the earth - Schools Plastic Free Movement

Stefano Cobello, Polo Europeo della Conoscenza - Istituto Comprensivo Bosco Chiesanuova (Italy)

Elena Milli, Polo Europeo della Conoscenza - Istituto Comprensivo di Bosco Chiesanuova (Italy)


Schools play a fundamental role in the challenge of curbing the environmental crisis. Children are the future on whom decisions and actions that promote positive actions and solutions for the environment will fall. Teachers and educators have the duty to promote knowledge, to foster attitudes and values so that these children of today not only become problem solvers, but also problem seekers and solution creators (Davis, 1998). "Schools Plastic Free Movement" is a European project supporting policy reform for social inclusion coordinated by the Polo Europeo della Conoscenza (National Network of Educational Institutions for Pedagogical Research and Innovation in Europe) and co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme (621506-EPP-1-2020-1-IT-EPPKA3-IPI-SOC-IN The project promotes an inclusive pedagogical strategy for students aged 5 to 13 years old that involves them in teamwork for the research and creation of eco-friendly objects that can permanently replace plastic objects in everyday life. The model proposed by SPEM puts students as protagonists of their learning process and at the centre of the educational activity, encourages them to see science as an important tool for protecting the planet from pollution and promotes scientific careers as a tangible act to save the earth. The pedagogical framework of the project has been developed starting from the proposal of Greca and Ortega-Sánchez (2021) on STEAM didactic methodologies for citizenship education, in which critical thinking skills, reflection on scientific processes and integration of social and ethical processes are required, in addition to reducing the gender gap. The Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE), engineering design, design thinking and Socio-Scientific Inquiry-Based learning have been chosen among the viable active methodologies in the framework of integrated STEAM education, as they provide the most opportunities for inclusion of students with difficulties, migrant background or higher potential. Teachers trained on SPEM pedagogical method will facilitate the creation of a proximal development environment in which pupils will increase their competence to learn-to-learn and metacognitive skills, thanks to the support of the peer group. Furthermore, the project aims at creating a real movement of schools and associations, starting from the grassroots to promote behavioural change toward environmental protection.


Keywords: Inclusive STEAM education, socio scientific inquiry-based learning, environmental awareness, scientific careers, teaching strategies

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