LEARNING BUBBLES is an experimentation of collaboration between very different worlds: school, community urban gardens and the digital world. A proposal that seeks to combine the beauty of the natural environment, technological innovation and tradition to promote the well-being of its local communities.
The Covid-19 crisis made it necessary for teachers from all over Europe to acquire IT tools and methodologies in the shortest possible time, which they often had to put into practice without being able to access the temple of formal education, the school. For students, on the other hand, new conditions of difficulty in accessing the educational offer arose, which in some cases even risk to exclude them from the right to education. However, this impressive step forward in the use of technology in teaching has highlighted two very relevant aspects:
- the inability in many cases of families to be able to provide quality and individual technological equipment to (all) their children, as well as to be able to adapt their working time structure to support them
- the significant commitment of other civil society actors, who enter the life of young people on a daily basis, in assisting the school and its teachers in providing individualized educational support to those most in difficulty. A difficulty that is often neither visible nor certifiable, because it is determined by the changing conditions and contained at home
Learning Bubbles is an intervention project to support the secondary school and its most vulnerable students, which aims to respond in an innovative way to the needs that emerged during the pandemic, but considering it only one of the risk factors to be taken into account and to be addressed by bringing back the student at the center of an Educating Community that varies spaces, actors, approaches and timelines to guarantee access to quality education.
The learning context from the students' point of view is the intersection of formal and informal spaces, a dynamic hybrid learning environment in which synchronous activities meet in both virtual and face-to-face dimensions. Through a learning experience where formal and informal spaces intersect, virtual and face-to-face activities cross, students benefit of individual spaces to access distance learning activities offered by the school, having an adequate educational support on-site while immersed in the green environment of community gardens. These are places of proximity, naturally dedicated to socialization, participation and growth of individuals and where students can experiment, deepen and expand the contents proposed by teachers, making creative use of the digital applications supplied through the Learning Bubbles, searching for their own way of learning and strengthening their key competences.
Learning Bubbles proposes itself to:
- develop and test a methodological system aimed at re-establishing the conditions of equity in students' access to teaching, with a cooperative pedagogical approach between different educational actors and involving complementary and outdoor learning spaces such as urban community gardens
- develop an innovative ecosystem that facilitates the co-planning and co-creation of educational paths between schools and non-formal education organizations for more effective and efficient use of digital content, tools, and services specially adapted for personalized learning
- continue to provide a training offer generally aimed at everyone, but able, even in a blended learning mode, to support single pupils in difficulty or with special needs
The project aims to develop 3 INTELLECTUAL OUTPUTS and 1 TRAINING COURSE.
IO1. Operational guide that outlines the pedagogical framework of the intervention, also making available a training format for the actors involved in its implementation (teachers, educators, gardenisers).
IO2. Toolkit with immediately usable tools for communication and synergy at multiple levels in favour of students at risk of exclusion.
C1. International training course for teachers, educators and gardenisers during which the training format developed will be tested.
IO3. Research-action path in Italy, France and United Kingdom that will involve students, teachers, educators and gardenisers and on which the impact analysis will be made.
The international consortium includes REPLAY Network (Italy) and Pistes-Solidaires (France) - organisations dealing with non-formal education for youth and adult people, SOCIAL FARMS AND GARDENS (UK) - British network of community urban gardens, ISS PIAGET-DIAZ (IT), INSTITUT JEAN ERRECART (FR) and GLOVERSPIECE SCHOOL (UK) - schools, and the university UC LEUVEN-LIMBURG (BE) with its department of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
24 months, between 1st of March 2021 and the 28th of February 2023.