17 Jun Slovenian story: first year of the project and formative assessment of transversal skills
In the 2019/2020 school year, 112 teachers from 18 elementary schools in Slovenia participated in the ATS STEM project (Assessment of Transversal Skills in STEM ). In the first year of the project, teachers were trained in the areas that are at the forefront of the project: formative assessment of transversal skills in STEM using digital tools. Members of the strategic team of National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia prepared a model of transversal skills (Figure 1 below) and a timetable for training teachers in the ATS STEM project.
In addition to monthly meetings with school project team leaders, we conducted two live trainings, for school project teams, 3 webinars on transversal skills and the use of digital tools, and a MOOC – online course entitled Developing and Monitoring Critical Thinking Skills, in which all school project team members participated.
Based on the concept of the project (Figure 2), which was created at the international level, we prepared a virtual training for teachers in Slovenia at the beginning of July, which was intended for planning STEM learning units.
As learners, the teachers tested themselves in the steps of solving the problem of drinking water and got acquainted with the mandatory elements of STEM-learning units, which will be planned in the school year 2020/2021, when the pilot research will take place. To help with the concept of the project and meaningful planning and solving sustainable problems in the STEM field, we have prepared a manual for teachers in the project Planning STEM learning units and a video guide. In addition to the starting points and didactic principles, the handbook presents eight key STEM competencies / skills that teachers must develop, monitor and evaluate through STEM learning units using digital tools. The evaluation of the digital tools that teachers will use to evaluate transversal skills in the pilot study will be based on evidence gained and pre-set criteria for digital tools such as: practicality, usability, functionality and flexibility.
Already in the first year, despite the epidemic and the three-month closure of schools, teachers managed to implement 42 STEM units in the second half of the year, using research learning (enquiry based learning) as a starting point and systematically developing another transversal skill.