In our contemporary society of global uncertainties and social acceleration (Rosa, 2013), our imagination of the future becomes problematic and source of anxiety. Instead of a promise, it is often perceived as a threat (Benasayag & Schmid, 2006). Many young people feel marginalised or excluded from economic and social life by the crises, and in many countries, especially those with high youth unemployment rates, young people perceive their country’s education and training system as not well adapted to the world of work (European Parliament Flash Eurobarometer (EP EB395, 2014). In such a context, the young generation have difficulty in projecting themselves into the future, and in developing their potential as responsible and active persons, citizens and future professionals (Sjøberg & Schreiner, 2010).
The goal of the I SEE project is to design innovative approaches and teaching modules to foster students’ capacities to imagine the future and aspire to STEM careers. The goal is not only to develop professional skills but also to foster students’ identities as capable persons and citizens in a global, fragile and changing world.
To this end, we have recognized specific skills that should be developed through science education in school and out-of-school contexts. We call them future-scaffolding skills and they include: strategic thinking and planning, risk taking, thinking beyond the realm of possibilities, managing uncertainty, creative thinking, modelling and argumentation.
Such skills render science learning relevant – personally, socially, professionally and scientifically – and enhance students’ capacity to aspire, envisage themselves as agents of change, and push their imagination towards future careers in STEM.
Promoting future-scaffolding skills deserves special attention in present-day multicultural Europe. Since culture influences how we conceive of the future, the approaches to teaching these future-scaffolding skills are built on principles of diversity and inclusive education in which each student has a unique identity and different abilities, knowledge and experience to contribute.
In order to realize future-scaffolding skills in STEM education, the I SEE partnership develops innovative teaching-learning modules and guidelines for teachers, research reports and policy recommendations. Examples of students’ creative work outputs will be available too.
O1. I SEE start-up module (to be piloted in the Summer school) (June 2017);
O2. Three I SEE modules trialed in at least two different countries and two different cultural contexts (September 2017-July 2019);
O3. A guide to develop further I SEE modules (September 2017-July 2019);
O4. Case studies to evaluate the potential of the I SEE modules to enhance students’ capacity to aspire to and to imagine their future through inclusive activities in science education (April 2017- July 2019);
O5. Recommendations for crossing the barriers between schools and society (September 2018-July 2019).
Teaching & learning activities
1. Summer school for 24 secondary school students (16-19 year old) (June 2017) where a draft module will be implemented and tested;
2. Workshops for 6 teachers and 8 researchers of the I SEE partners. The workshop will be realised at the same time of the summer school (June 2017) and during the workshop teachers and researchers will follow and analyse the implementation.
Benasayag, M. & Schmit, G. (2005). Les passions tristes, Poche.
European Parliament Flash Eurobarometer (EP EB395) (2014).
Rosa H. (2013). Beschleunigung und Entfremdung – Entwurf einer kritischen Theorie spätmoderner Zeitlichkeit, Suhrkamp (Eng. Transl: Acceleration and Alienation – Towards a Critical Theory of Late-Modern Temporality, 2015).
Sjøberg & Schreiner (2010) http://roseproject.no/network/countries/norway/eng/nor-Sjoberg-Schreiner-overview-2010.pdf