The basic idea of DESCI project is that the school becomes Living Lab for the territory/local community, that means that the school becomes “incubator” of innovation and creativity, a co-working space where the students develop deliveries (products or services) of social utility, under the mentorship of research bodies, associations and companies. The school opens its doors to the territory/communities and becomes a hub for innovation connected at the European level.
The DESCI approach to the Alternate Training is presented and clarified throughout 3 different toolkits adn other external resources:
- 1 toolkit for teachers
- 1 toolkit for students
- 1 toolkit for the evaluation of the skills acquired at the enterprise/during practice
The three toolkits are meant as Manuals/Guidelines for the presentation of methodologies, operational tools and suggestions aimed to support students, tutors and teachers, during the alternate training experience.
- A “Comparative analysis of European upper secondary schools and alternating training systems”
- a DESCI check list (that outlines the minimum requirements of a DESCI Alternating Training)
- a document on “Skills and competences for creativity and innovation”, that focalizes the skills and competence that we can define “for creativity and innovation”, based on scientific literature, previous European Project and recommendation
The production of “video tutorials” is also envisaged, to facilitate the learning and comprehension of the covered topics.
The three educational toolkits are developed by means of a participatory approach starting from Consortium partners experiences and competences. The variety of partners previously described, enables the consideration of the different expertises and points of view of the different organizations involved (education, research, business, associations).
Then, the tentative toolkits undergo an articulate process of testing, improvement and validation.
The ongoing process of knowledge creation and dissemination
The participatory approach is implemented also towards the stakeholder community. Each year DESCI provides national Open Campus, in which all relevant stakeholders are involved (representatives of national local and regional authorities, school authorities, teachers, research institutions, science associations, NGOs, vocational training centres, experts in pedagogy and didactics, business representatives) to actively improve DESCI toolkits with concrete outputs that represent a synthesis of what our communities needs in order to carry out state-of-the-art. The aim is to foster the participation of the stakeholder community from the early stages of the project.
During each Open Campus, world café sessions are organized in order to explore, in a process of co-creation of knowledge, the ongoing results of the project and to promote an active participation in the DESCI system. In the World Cafes the process provides an open forum for discussion in order to understand and learn from multiple points of view. Participants have conversation in response to defined questions, taking the ideas from one group and adding to them, developing insights through multiple conversations with a diverse number of people, and expanding the collective knowledge of the group.
The toolkits are going to be field-tested in the schools partners of the project. Throughout the school year, Alternating Training paths will be implemented, testing the toolkit developed. At the end of the first year of testing, the effectiveness and usability of the toolkits will be assessed, and improvements to the toolkit , both coming from world cafés reports and from the field-test ,will be implemented. During the following year, the tool kit will be re-tested, to produce a final version shared, always involving a variety of actors.
Finally, the whole project – activities, outputs and outcomes – is evaluated by an internal evaluator -Polibienestar, University of Valencia.
The evaluation includes the testing phase and of the world café outputs. At the end of the toolkit testing, the evaluation will be able to:
- validate the general structure of the system;
- suggest the changes useful to resolve critical issues; and
validate the tools that have worked.