[English version] Travel log: Step 1, Meeting at the heart of strategic partnerships Erasmus +

 

Click here for French version : https://dynamiques.hypotheses.org/1220

On March the  23rd and 24th, Mélodie Faury, director of MPLS Alsace and Elena Iuliani, responsible for communication and project sustainability, wet to Barcelona to meet the Catalan partners. On the table there was a common project « linking and bringing closer the worlds of teaching and research ». This trip had a double purpose. On one hand we wanted to keep track of these meetings, and in the other we wanted to give an human dimension to the project.

In Strasbourg we can find a strong link to Europe in many different ways. The history of the city and the European institutions carry an important symbolism that represents  freedom to exchange, solidarity and the spirit of undertaking new ideas across borders. in my opinion ,To work, at Strasbourg, at the center Europe, is to participate, in both a vast and fertile ecosystem.

The “Pôle Unique d’Ingénierie (PUI)” at Strasbourg University, offers training courses to help those in need to efficiently build European projects. These courses aim to give the participants all the needed skills, advising participants in all phases of a European project such as Erasmus +.

Given her experience as a director and the long-term r collaboration with Livio and Claire from “jours à venir”, Mélodie already had some partners in mind.  The relations with Livio and Claire proved to be particularly proficuous as they have an important experience in this type of innovative research networks that combine education and research in Europe

Our goals:

To share our experiences  about  the link between research and teaching in order to build a common project.

A list of six partners:

  • The Elhuyar Foundation, Usurbil, Gipuzkoa, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain: A group of teachers who interact with researchers in orther to initiate small research projects in class. https://www.elhuyar.eus/fr/site/projets/science-et-societe/enseignement-scientifique
  • Boswell Beta, Utrecht, Netherlands (still pending): develops Teachers’ training. Hendrik Asper, who runs this project, is very sensitive to teacher training and promotes their involvement in small research projects or Fablab – type approaches.
  • Isabel Ruiz Mallen, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, ​​Catalonia, Spain: Ethnologist specialized in changing students and teachers postures in the Nouveaux sponsors.
  • Suncan Stilinovik and Bojan Markicevic, Zagreb, Croatia: Develops teacher training and promotes their involvement in research approaches.
  • Outside Partners, Facilitators: “Jours à venir” Workshop: engadged to establish thoughtful and responsible research practices. Their values ​​are rooted in a shared experience of research, education and scientific communication throughout Europe

The next step was to choose the type of project that best suited this application. After many appointments with the PUI coach, and after attending a  training course on European administrative machinery, here we are. Ready to set up an Erasmus + strategic partnership.

What is a strategic partnership? Answer (almost) quick below. It was taken from (too many?) internet sources:

What is the objective?

Strategic partnerships are transnational projects aimed at developing and sharing innovative practices, as well as promoting cooperation, peer learning and the exchange of experience in the fields of education, training and youth.

In general, these partnerships aim to respond to horizontal or specific priorities in the following areas:

  • Higher Education;
  • Professional tutoring and training;
  • School education;
  • Adult education.

There are two types of strategic partnerships: those that support innovation and those that promote the exchange of good practices.

What does Erasmus + offer?

Strategic partnerships enable a wide range of public, private and non-governmental organizations to undertake a wide range of activities, including:

  • Strengthening inter-agency cooperation and networking;
  • Promote the development, testing and implementation of innovative practices;
  • Facilitate the recognition and validation of knowledge, skills and competencies acquired;
  • Encouraging cooperation between regional authorities in order to develop new systems in the fields of education, training and youth;
  • Supporting handicapped or special needs learners ,facilitating their transition to the job market;
  • Assisting education and tutoring professionals in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the learning process;
  • Promoting integration of new migrants and raising awareness to the refugee crisis in Europe;
  • Promote entrepreneurship and active citizenship among young people.

The size of the strategic partnerships and proposed activities may vary depending on the project objective, the organizations involved, the expected impact and other elements.

Depending on the scope and objectives of the project, opportunities for learning, training or studying  abroad can be offered to schoolchildren, students, learners and staff, as long as these transnational activities contribute to achieve the objective of the project.

How to participate?

Organisations wishing to apply must be established in a country included in the program.

Applications must be submitted by an organization established in a country participating in the program. In general, at least three organizations from several countries participating in the program must participate. Exceptionally, partnerships in the field of school and youth education may include only two organizations among the several countries participating in the program.The number of participating organizations is not limited. Organizations from partner countries may also apply, provided they add significant value to the project.

The higher education institutions of the participating countries must also subscribe to the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.

What else do you need to know?

The duration of strategic partnerships may vary depending on the area:

  • Higher education: between 24 and 36 months;
  • Adult education, school education and professional tutoring and training: between 12 and 36 months;
  • Youth: between 6 and 36 months.

Grants for these projects are limited to EUR 150 000 per year.

Coming back to our project:

As the framework was fixed, it was necessary to initiate concrete actions. We started by exchanging mails with partners to establish a agenda concerning all the  necessary trips. In this part of the process we found many constraints  due to each one emergencies.Well, this is part of the game. It is necessary count with all the delaying circumstances, the language barrier, the missed emails and any reticence. We all live in this same world, where the crisis of patience reigns, where one has to be operational rapidly, and in my opinion it is vital and necessary to know how to take the time to push the walls and deadlines in order to have the time and space to build projects that make sense.

Between us, no one is satisfied with botched work, especially when it concerns  human contact, this commodity more and more precious.

So we decided to postpone, and take the time to meet our European partners and also to invite them. A visit in working context is worth a thousand emails. We combine efficiency, fluidity and pleasure in real encounters, far from being a luxury; it is a modality that we wanted to establish as the basis of the co-construction of the project.

Isabel Ruiz Mallen, our Spanish correspondent, was the first to welcome us. So, we took the road on March the 23rd.  First to Basel airport and then to Barcelona. In the whirlwind of emergencies, I try to prepare the meeting by writing a presentation document of the House for Science in English. To put oneself in the place of the person who receives the information, is capital.

The whirlwind of the emergency calmed down as I managed to anticipate some of the problems.. That did not prevent me from almost missing the train that brought us back to the airport and to join, sweaty, my director on the station dock, the cyclone of the emergency has resurfaced like a March windy tempest!

The sun shines and the public transport ballet ended up taking us to the hotel. We leave downtown Barcelona to UOC campus (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) where we meet in the afternoon. We go there on foot to enjoy a little of the city, which offers its architectural wonders on every street corner, passing by the famous Sagrada familia, real masterpiece of the artist Gaudi, who haunts the city of these delusions sublime.

The Rambla del Poblenou is not so simple to find, but we end up arriving. There is an exhilarating side not to know the person waiting. It becomes a game of « Who is it? » Finally, a smiling young woman walks up to us and starts « Elena? No? Melodie? « , she also played « Who is this? »!

After a small introduction we are guided to a building that filters its visitors as in a subway. Fortunately, Isabel has badges. Yet a barrier that only the human encounter can broke!

We arrive in an open-space as we see in the movies, large and a bit cold, but with big water bottles everywhere. The all-glass meeting rooms are small, aligned and very equipped. They are obviously coveted because Isabel explains that it is difficult for researchers to obtain fixed offices. The meeting is pleasant and informal. We present each our activities. Speaking in English requires a little warm-up time,but the exchange is clear and we can understand each other.

Isabel Ruiz-Mallén is an associate researcher at the Institute of Science and Environment (ICTA). She holds a PhD in Environmental Science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), where she also studied Environmental Sciences. She holds a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). Her-s postdoctoral research has contributed to understand cultural, socio-economic and institutional factors affecting the conservation of biological and cultural diversity in rural and indigenous communities, primarily in Latin American-lens ethnoecology. She co-authored more than thirty scientific papers on these subjects, and co-authored a book on community conservation published by Springer Ltd. Her research interests are about  how general public understands science., Science teaching  and outreach She is currently coordinating the H2020 PERFORM research project « Participatory Engagement in Scientific and Technological Research through Performance » at IN3-UOC (2015-2018) where she works with Ramón. Her approaches are very interesting for us because she works to find good criteria and good indicators to evaluate motivation in science, in class and through several modalities (science and theater in particular). A real interdisciplinary survey that involves different subjects and fields of study (teachers, students, etc.).

Un aperçu ici, avec un témoignage d’Isabel :

The PERFORM project in which it participates in the framework of an H2020 study aims to study the effects of the use of innovative pedagogical methods that rely on the performing arts to encourage young people’s motivation and involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, in selected high schools in France Spain and the United Kingdom. Thus PERFORM takes measures to bridge the gap between young people and science and to break the unidirectional model of the transmission of scientific knowledge. You will find here the link to the PERFORM website in pictures and videos: http://www.perform-research.eu/gallery/

Here you can find an overview, and a testimony of Isabel: In particular, her work has resulted in a publication within the framework of the PERFORM project, or it develops an innovative and participatory approach via an impact assessment research methodology. This approach aims to identify individuals, contexts and methodological factors that contribute to or detract from the impacts of the participatory learning process in which high school students will be engaged during the PERFORM project. Learning activities, science engagement and a set of exploratory workshops with students were conducted in some schools. A total of 93 evaluation Indicators related to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) were identified including values, cross-curricular competencies and the experimental and cognitive aspects of science, learning and engagement.

Find here the publication in question:

http://www.perform-research.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/D4.1-Methodological-Aspects-of-Science-Education-Assessment.pdfWe are rather pleased to see that Livio’s contacts are perfectly linked to our projects. Before leaving, we enjoy a little time from the WIFI  of UOC and Isabel advises us  to try the very typical  “tapas”. Head to the marina, taste the sea wind, admiring the dexterity of the kite surfers who defy wind and waves. In a small restaurant of variegated beach, still empty of its summer crowd, we find a table and worked over diner. . The fried little fish brawl the place with the notebooks and pens on the table but help work and ideas emerge. This bucolic work meeting is more than efficient.

Next morning we return to the UOC to meet Isabel and his laboratory director, Ramon. I strart the presentation of our activities by surfing the web site and some videos. My goal is to bring them as much as possible n to our daily activities with teachers, highlighting the proximity with of researchers. For that the videos are quite talkative. I am also pleased to introduce the team via the trombinoscope and to highlight the number and diversity of our tutors.

Obviously, we also presented « Embark in Antarctica », proud to see the eyes that sparkle at the simple description of this crazy project. Everything is possible to bring research and teaching closer together if we give ourselves the means, it is the underlying message.

Hasta luego!

Translation & rereading : Isabel Guedes


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  1. 9 juin 2017

    […]   Click here for English version : Travel log: Step 1, Meeting at the heart of strategic partnerships Erasmus + […]

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