Currently, Sustainability is a hot topic in all European and non-European countries. Experience and research results have confirmed that students, teachers and citizens do not have a sufficiently developed awareness of climate change, nor of how to save resources, how to reduce energy consumption, how to make decisions about sustainable food, how to build critical thinking and civic competences in communities. This means that although we know about these problems, we do not deal with them enough and education should start already in primary schools. The situation is the same in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
To alleviate this difference, from November 1, 2022, the Ján Palárik Elementary School in Majcichov, in partnership with other partners, began implementing the international project Innovative STEPS – Innovative SusTainability Education for Prosperous Schools. The project mainly focuses on supporting teachers of lower secondary education in the field of Sustainability.
The goal of our project is to equip teachers with knowledge and skills on how to teach SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION in lessons using innovative educational approaches, to develop the competences of teachers and students in various sectors related to sustainability, to enrich inter-subject (interdisciplinary) education at the lower secondary level, to learn reflect on oneself, manage information effectively, remain resilient, cope with uncertainty and complexity, support one’s physical and emotional well-being, build civic competence and critical thinking.
The target group of the Innovative STEPS project is mainly teachers of lower secondary education. The project is also aimed at school leaders and other teaching professions in Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, at pupils aged 10-15.
What are the planned outputs of the project?
- a set of materials for students
- a set of materials for teachers – a methodological guide for teaching the topic of Sustainability
- practical teaching workshops for teachers and institutions that deal with teacher education – an educational program for teachers
- an online platform as a freely accessible interactive tool for teachers
Who are the project partners?
- Primary school of Ján Palárik Majcichov
- 7. Pilsen Elementary School
- Raabe Bulgaria
- 68 Secondary school Acad. Nikola Obreshkova, Sofia
- EXPOL PEDAGOGIKA s.r.o.
- Slovak Obesitological Association (SOA)
- Faculty of Education of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (ZČU)
New partners joined the project. In the Innovative Steps project, there was an inevitable change – the replacement of one project partner from Bulgaria. Elementary school Bulgarsko shkolo left the project and was replaced by the school 68. secondary school akad. Nikolaj Obreškov in Sofia from February 1, 2022. We look forward to further cooperation!
1st virtual meeting of project partners
On November 23, 2022, the 1st international meeting of partners of the Innovative STEPS project took place online. The coordinator and organizer of the partner meeting was ZŠ J. Palárika in Majcichov (SK). Representatives of all partners of the Innovative STEPS project from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria took part in the meeting. The content of the meeting was the introduction of individual partners, presentation of the project and familiarization with the project documentation and financing rules, starting work on the 1st intellectual output (draft structure and content).
2nd transnational meeting of project partners
The all-day meeting took place on December 14 and 15, 2022 at Expol Pedagogika in Bratislava. The participants were representatives of all partners. The aim of the meeting was to launch the implementation phase, discuss Work Package 2, general discussion and brainstorming on content and topics, design of structure and content for the creation of an innovative cross-curricular resource for students at lower secondary level – ISCED 2), defining the responsibilities of all partners for the next period (competency matrix), design of a set of materials for students and teachers, monitoring of steps from the very beginning, determination of work teams, functioning of Google Drive, communication setup.
The main content topics that we will work on in teams are in 2 areas. Healthy nutrition: a balanced diet, eating out, drinking, fruits and vegetables, a portion of healthy food, risks of inappropriate eating, movement, energy, food hygiene, dangerous substances in food.
Environmental education: my environment, environmental changes, ecosystem, food chains, environmental problems, school surroundings, environmental law, natural resources, cycle of substances in nature, research in nature – how can I protect the environment, business from the point of view of ecology, role of the state in nature protection.
What have we done in the project so far?
At the end of 2022, partners in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria created teams. On the basis of a joint discussion, the university in the Czech Republic, the Society of Obesity in Slovakia and the publishing house Expol – Raabe prepared a draft (format, structure and thematic areas) of the first intellectual output of the WP2 concept – activities for students. Since March 2023, the partners have been working on the development of workbooks for students, on the topic of Sustainability, under the working title – Healthy Nutrition and Enviro.
What do we plan next in the project?
In the following period, we are preparing for the 3rd international meeting, which will be held online via the ZOOM platform. At the meeting, university partners will present to all partners the first version of the created workbooks for WP 2 students. The pilot plan in primary schools will be discussed. The partners will agree on the development of the 2nd intellectual output of WP3 – practical teaching workshops and methodology for teachers. During the spring of 2023, partner schools in individual countries will test and evaluate methodological materials in practice. Based on their suggestions and comments, we will prepare the final version of the 1st intellectual output.
Where can you find us?
You can find more information about the Innovative Steps project and what is currently happening on our official website and on our Facebook profile: