The LINKS project (Learning from Innovation and Networking in STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics) aims at improving inquiry-based STEM teaching through the continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers and their educators, both at primary and secondary levels.
Partners involved in LINKS, organised through educational and national networks, consider CPD as the most effective leverage to enhance the achievements of pupils in STEM.
However, to make the most of CPD benefits, it is crucial to design and implement policies and programmes that target effectively the needs of teachers.
This addresses the following issues:
- What type of knowledge and skills should be developed among teachers and educators?
- What sort of innovations should be brought to CPD in terms of content, methods, tools, especially in the context of digitalisation?
- Who should contribute to CPD apart from traditional CPD providers?
- What should be the role of employers and of the scientific community?
Furthermore, partners take up another key challenge, which is the commitment of decision-makers in the support of proposed CPD strategy.
To raise a strong and long-lasting interest for the innovations and features developed by partners, a pre-condition is the reinforcement of their capacity to provide evidence of the positive impact of their CPD activities on teaching practices and learning outcomes.
A network of nine partners
The project is supported by a partnership composed of nine institutions involved in STEM CPD, this includes teachers and their educators in Austria, Finland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. They belong (and some of them coordinate) to national networks which in total represent 120 local CPD providers.
The LINKS project is coordinated by the Foundation La main à la pâte(France) and supported by the French National Agency of the Erasmus + Programme.