Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou

Keynote Abstract:

Open Schools for Open Societies

Open Schools for Open Societies (OSOS) initiative has demonstrated an extremely successful journey in the diffusion of innovation and Open School Culture in school settings. An Open School Culture requires schools, in cooperation with other stakeholders, to become agents of community well-being. In this framework, families are encouraged to become real partners in school life and activities; professionals from enterprises and civil and wider society are actively be involved in bringing real-life projects in the classroom. These projects developed by school that forms successful networks with a taste for responsible innovation. The OSOS School Hubs created communities of practice to implement their innovative projects, involving numerous schools that progressively adopt the open school culture. 100 OSOS School Hubs have managed to set in motion a network of 1162 schools in 15 EU countries. As proved by the OSOS results the young students that participated to OSOS projects have improved their STEM skills. This has been achieved by: a) simulating in the classroom, the work of the scientist, researcher and entrepreneur, b) promoting a better understanding of: “how science works”; “how knowledge and technology is developed”; “how these impact society”, c) enhancing students’ STEM related career aspirations and d) implementing and promoting project-based and inquiry-based science teaching and learning. Altogether, participation in OSOS supported students very well in science motivation, intrinsic motivation and state emotions. All motivation sub-scales correlated significantly with all state emotions sub-scales (well-being, interest, boredom; positive significant correlations with well-being and interest as well as negative ones with boredom). Similarly, significant correlations appeared of the intrinsic motivation sub-scales with the emotion ones. High science motivation scores showed students interested and feeling good during the OSOS project. Thus, the OSOS initiative is a promising way to support important STEM competencies and seemingly brings motivation, interest or competence back to science classrooms successfully. OSOS needs dissemination in order to multiply such positive efforts into all European classrooms.

Short CV of the Speaker:

Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou has worked at CERN, at the National Center for Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS” in Athens and in the Physics Laboratory of Athens University. He holds a PhD in High Energy Neutrino Astrophysics and a PhD in Science Education. He is the Head of R&D Department of Ellinogermaniki Agogi, one of the biggest educational institutions in Greece, where has been active in the co-ordination and development of research projects on implementation of advanced technologies (e.g. mobile applications, wearable computers, VR and AR applications, robotics) in science education and training. Since 2001 he is the Director of the Ellinogermaniki Agogi Center for Teachers Training. His main research field is the design, application, and evaluation of virtual and digital media environments that could bridge the gap between formal and informal science learning. He has been involved in a long series of EU joint research and technology funded projects. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences (since 2003), member of the board of ECSITE (since 2004) and has served as Expert Evaluator to the European Commission FP5 & FP6 Programmes. He has also act as a consultant to the development of the FP7’s Science in Society Work programme. He is author of numerous articles and publications on the use of ICT in science education. He is also author of the Science Textbooks that are used in all primary Greek schools since 2003.