Polska pomoc


Make the link. Science challenging poverty

“Formula for Development…” project focuses on Polish schools – both middle and high schools, which are as different as people who are parts of them. In order to improve the project’s effectiveness, it was addressed not only to teachers of science classes, but also to people who have a significant influence on what is happening at schools: methodological consultants, employees of Teacher Training Centres and other academic institutions.

Many topics from the core curriculum of biology, chemistry, or physics include direct or indirect references to global issues – nutritional security, energy sovereignty, adaptation to climate changes, the issue of access to clean and drinking water. However, school programmes are focused on passing on abstract knowledge without guidelines on its practical use (especially when it comes to using it far away from Poland). As a result, the youth only learns theories without understanding the social importance conveyed by physical equations and methane combustion reaction. This way teachers lose their chance to help teenagers understand the contemporary world during their classes.

The reason for this situation lies not only in teachers’ attitude, but also in materials at their disposal, and the accepted style of teaching particular topics. If educational materials, textbooks, or educational centres don’t provide teachers with inspiration to teach science classes by making strong reference to contemporary reality, attempts to alter this area will be temporary only. Therefore, we see the need to work not only in cooperation with teachers, but also with people who create the system. Thanks to the submitted materials and training conducted, teachers’ awareness as to their role as educators in the process of shaping responsible citizens will increase. Cooperation with institutions “around the school” will create good climate when it comes to enriching science classes with global perspective.

The fact that young people can look for solutions for given development problems during “Formula for Development…” classes will broaden their understanding of global phenomena. They will also have a better understanding of how limited access to basic livelihood assets (e.g. lack of access to electricity and clean or drinking water) limits realisation of other rights (e.g. access to education, self-determination and self-development). Moreover, participating in these classes will increase their sense of having an impact on the environment, and will make them more aware of the fact that as humanity, we are able to respond to contemporary challenges using academic achievements produced during subsequent technological revolutions.

The aforementioned expertise is based on long-term cooperation of the project’s author with schools and its evaluation as part of global education projects that the Centre of Civic Education (CEO) has been carrying out since 2006. It is also based on the research “Global education in Polish schools” and “How to implement global perspective into teaching science classes” that were executed by the CEO in cooperation with the MFA in 2013. What we observe in schools is also a reflection of a wider trend in the Polish society – people’s feeling that they can make a change at national and local level declines (79% people believe they have no possibility to influence public affairs – CBOS, September 2013), and so does the support for Poland’s involvement in development cooperation (84% support for cooperation in 2008 versus 68% support in 2013 – TNS Poland for the MFA, December 2013) – these signs can be interpreted as discouragement, hopelessness, lack of understating of what is happening around us. It is harder and harder to understand the contemporary world, therefore it becomes extremely urgent to react at the sources so that school can remain a place that helps understand the surrounding reality.

Make the link. Science challenging poverty

“Formula for Development…” project is addressed to science teachers and other people and institutions that have an impact on the way the core curriculum is implemented at schools (among others methodological consultants, and NGO workers involved in education). Its aim is to promote teaching science classes taking into account the global perspective. By addressing this objective, the project contributes to raising awareness of global interdependence and development challenges for Southern countries among 13-18 year old students.

Educational materials for teaching science classes (educational games, films) are prepared as part of the project. All materials are adapted to the core curriculum, and tested in schools before being published. Materials are available online for free on the project’s website http://globalna.ceo.org.pl. Teachers interested in the project are provided with workshops, during which they learn essentials of global education and train how to use the materials portraying the countries of the South and independently utilise educational resources. They also receive support in the form of mentoring e-course. Once the project is completed, the e-course will be reshaped into a version that does not require additional support.

In order to popularise the results, the project’s author will, among others, publish a brochure presenting good practices in implementing global education projects for young people. Training for methodological consultants from the centres interested in promoting those topics among teachers will be organised in cooperation with teachers’ training institutions. There will also be meetings with other educational institutions that define a way in which global education is implemented in schools, thus building systemic support for GE implementation into science classes. Thanks to the project, young people will experience how science classes are connected with everyday life and how one can use technology and knowledge in favour of development and decent life.

Make the link. Science challenging poverty

The aim of the project was to create a database of educational materials and to publish them. A part was published online on the project’s website (30 documents; various educational materials regarding “Formula for Development” project were in total downloaded 2,741 times and viewed 16,912 times), the rest was printed in the form of two publications (1,300 copies) distributed among teachers, methodological consultants and advisers. Additionally, training for teachers was conducted: stationary (attended by 70 people) and online (72 people). Another 239 people are interested in taking part in the e-course, which was published on the website and will be available for everyone once the project is completed.

As parts of the training, teachers and employees of teacher training institutions created didactic plans (72) to use them later in their local environment (60 accounts of activities). People taking advantage of the support offered in the project declare that partaking in these activities prepared them to include a global perspective into teaching science classes and created motivation to use new knowledge and skills in practice.