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Intrface Europe


UNIPV structure involved: Department of Physics

UNIPV Team: Prof. Lidia Falomo

Project Duration: 24 months

Start Date: 01 Nov 2015                              End Date: 31 Oct 2017

Coordinator: Industrimuseet

Partner universities: Istituto Comprensivio Acerbi; LICEO CLASSICO UGO FOSCOLO sezione associata a ISTITUTO SUPERIORE TARAMELLI – FOSCOLO; Chester Beatty Library, Aarhus Katedralskole, UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PAVIA, St Oliver's Community College, AARHUS UNIVERSITET, Horsens Gymnasium

Budget: € 194.121

Budget Unipv: € 22.504,00

The background of the intrface europe project is intrface denmark, an association of 75 upper secondary schools and local museums in Denmark, who collaborate in partnerships to produce and carry out museum-based, school-related coursework for students. The leaders of intrface denmark initiated the present project with the ambition of combining the Danish experiences with similar experiences originating from the collaboration of two Pavia University museums with secondary schools in Pavia, Italy, and the Chester Beatty Library's work with St. Oliver's Community College in Drogheda and with other schools in the Republic of Ireland in order to develop and produce - for the first time ever - a European school-museum collaboration and coursework Methodology and Best-Practice Handbook. 18 teachers and museum professionals from these 3 countries have come together to realize the aims and ambitions of the intrface europe project, which will be followed by researchers from Pavia U. and Aarhus U. in Denmark. The Danish Industrial Museum is Lead Partner. The 1st main aim of the project is the development and formulation of a European methodology for securing structured, permanent, pedagogically and didactically sound, innovative and productive partnerships between museum professionals and secondary school teachers, who collaborate equally to develop and carry out museum-based coursework for the students, innovating and strengthening their collaborative, pedagogical and didactic practice, skills and competences in the process. Bringing schools and museums into productive contact with each other and meshing the formal learning environment of the school with the informal learning environment of the museum challenges both groups of professionals to re-think their usual practices, thereby giving them a fresh perspective on their daily work routines. Partnerships where the partners work together on concrete projects that are relevant to their professional lives and practice ensure an effective form of life-long learning. The 2nd main aim of the present project is the development and formulation of a European methodology for the development and implementation of such coursework. Coursework that involves using the museum as a knowledge and learning resource creates a new and innovative learning environment for students that calls for and enhances creative thinking, a variety of learning styles, an awareness and understanding of the multidisciplinarity of knowledge. Museums become accessible and relevant to students when their coursework takes place there, with museum staff and teachers working together to provide an immersive learning experience for them. Coursework like this also promotes learning within the 8 EU key competences. In order to develop sustainable and a useful European methodology and best-practice examples, it is necessary for the partners to use terminology and concepts that are universally recognizable. Therefore, Generic Learning Outcomes are used as a framework for the learning outcomes of the coursework and for the students’ evaluation of it. Theory about communities of practice and strategic communication are used to evaluate and qualify partnership collaboration. The first step for the partners is to gather information about school-museum collaboration and coursework in their own country according to agreed-upon search criteria. This information, combined with their own experience, is pooled and is the basis for the formulation of a draft methodology for coursework and collaboration. The national partnerships then test the viability of the draft methodology by collaborating according to its guidelines to plan and implement museum-based coursework for students from the partner schools. The partners then pool their test experiences to formulate the final intrface europe methodology and a best-practice handbook, also incorporating the follow-up research results regarding strategic communication. The next step is for each partner to find and establish at least two new partnerships and mentor their implementation of the European intrface methodology. This is one concrete form of dissemination of project results; dissemination will also happen via the project websites, through professional networks, reports and articles in relevant journals, by word-of-mouth via the mentorees and students and at the international conference which marks the end of the project. An impact of intrface europe partnerships' collaboration and coursework is learning experiences for young people that strengthen them within the 8 EU key competences. An impact of the project is the creation of a viable European secondary school and museum network with a common core interest (intrface europe) to develop and extend. A longer-term benefit would be increased European collaboration at university level working to establish museum-school research and curricula at universities and teacher training colleges.