Lay of the Land – PHERECLOS final conference

Our Open Schooling in STEAM education Horizon 2020 project, PHERECLOS is ending soon, and the final conference, the Lay of the Land held in Bucharest, Romania on 8-9 September 2022 provided a great opportunity to explore the benefits of Open Schooling for children and society. Parents International has been leading the advocacy work, so for us the event was a forum to share what we have done during the project, the outcomes that are for future use by anybody interested in advocacy at school, municipal, national or international/EU level for Open Schooling, and to celebrate 3 years of excellent collaboration with our partners and the fantastic support received from the coordinator, KinderUni Wien.

The conference’s aim was to explore the concept of Open Schooling, discussing its advantages and how it can be incorporated into everyday school life. The aim was to identify the potential benefits of this approach so that more schools can adopt it and make a positive impact on their communities.

The PHERECLOS Consortium believes that Open Schooling as an educational approach has the potential to transform the way we think about and deliver education. The “Lay of the Land” conference offered participants everything you need to get started with Open Schooling, including inspiring speeches from pioneers in the field, practical workshops, and networking opportunities. It was a chance to learn from case studies of Open Schooling and to develop your own ideas for how this innovative approach can be used in your educational setting.

This was the first opportunity to leaf through beautiful hard copies of the project’s Opus Magnum, the PHERECLOS White Book that can support any educator or policy maker in their Open Schooling journey (including the set of Policy Recommendations we have developed for various policy levels), especially if used together with the Advocacy Toolkit for Educators and the Teacher Training Innovation Toolkit.

During the project, parental engagement was not easy, and we supported partners in it. This also gave an opportunity to discuss the topic with a larger group of interested participants, mostly not project partners in a moderated open space workshop.

As most people will always remember where they had been on 9/11, we will surely not forget that the end of PHERECLOS coincided with the end of a 70-year era as we had learnt about the death of Queen Elizabeth II during the gala dinner.

The PHERECLOS journey has been interesting and successful, with lots of difficulties, especially the ones caused by restrictions. Regardless of these obstacles, the project was highly successful, and we had reason to celebrate. It was also a bittersweet event as partners wish to collaborate in the future, continue and further develop the work done, but we are not yet sure how. We are happy to be part of this great team, and will surely work with many of them.

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