The idea of the project was inspired by «The School Adopts a Monument» initially launched in Naples (1994) with the aim of promoting the monuments of the city and to raise inhabitants' awareness of issues related to the protection of their cultural heritage.
ArchaeoSchool differs in that its main objective is not to promote archaeological sites per se but rather show how archaeological sites can contribute to the present and future life of citizens. This project looks to the classroom of the future: by its focus on innovative teaching, use of technology, active learning and the collaborative skills required for the XXIst century.
The innovative dimension which ArchaeoSchool will bring to this cooperation may be summarized as follows:
- The multidimensional and interdisciplinary (instead of multidisciplinary) study of the archaeological sites
- Pupils will be supported to appreciate the linguistic heritage in their everyday life and to realize that all partner school pupils are sharing this same opportunity. In this perspective all pupils will have a deeper contact with the contemporary and ancient form of their language and also with the language of the school partners.
- Archaeological sites will be studied as a paradigm for the development of 21th century skills and the development of lifelong learning skills relating to continued learning , the world of work, citizenship)
- Learners will be actively engaged in knowledge discovery instead of being mere recipients of information
- The innovative and differentiated communication and cooperation between participants using the EdMondo and Knowledge Forum
- The use of KB and ESD activities offer innovating methodology techniques for inclusion, equity and active participation of pupils
- Shared learning partnerships involving teachers and pupils.
Meetings before submitting the project proposal. First inside the oldest Library in Italy,at Florence National Central Library. Secondly at Prof. Themelis Office in Athens, some meters away from Acropolis.
Partners have worked in many complementary projects and ArchaeoSchool brings an added-value to this earlier work in the following areas:
1. Humanistic and scientific study of archaeological sites
For the past 10 years, under a national project named “Antica Messene”, Liceo Fracastoro and Agli Angeli from Verona in cooperation with the UNIV Ca’Foscari of Venice has introduced students to the study of the archaeological site of ancient Messene using a multidisciplinary approach. They have visited the site every year in order to undertake intensive research related to disciplines such as humanities, language and culture, natural resources, art and design.
2. Knowledge Building (KB) theory
CDL coordinates the Knowledge Building International Project (KBIP) where school pupils take part in knowledge building with their classroom peers and international peers. Pupils advance their understanding of their research topics beyond their initial understanding, with the aim of producing more pertinent knowledge about their research topic. Pupils take responsibility for their research and learning (including generating questions, discussing ideas, evaluating information and monitoring their progress), while the teacher acts as a guide and facilitator for the learning process. CDL has developed “Knowledge Forum”, an online collaborative software (open source platform) used for Knowledge Building class activities. This Knowledge Forum (KF5beta) is an electronic group workspace designed to support the process of KB. KF helps the creation, sharing and use of knowledge within and across classes and organizations. Pupils, teachers, academic experts and business leaders recognize that the ability to transform individual ideas into collective knowledge is the key to success in the future.
3. EdMondo Virtual Culture Heritage tool for Education community
This tool, developed by INDIRE -Italian National Institute for Educational Research and Innovation-, enables the creation of a “school-friendly” virtual world based on open source technologies in which pupils will simulate the revival of the archaeological sites day life activities. It has been adopted for designing and prototyping physics simulations as well as Maths, learning games, reconstructing real environments from the present or the past in some important educational initiatives, such as “DIDATEC” project led by the Italian Ministry of Education, and the pan-European iTEC project. It is based on practices involving teachers and pupils from different schools, working on a shared task in a shared digital space. Currently, it hosts more than 2000 teachers and students.
4. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Since 2011, ancient Messene has become a field of research for Environmental Education Center in Kalamata. The ancient city is studied from economic, environmental and social aspects (the 3 pillars of Sustainability) along with their cross-sectoral interest . The results of this research are presented to schools via experiential activities in situ in order to compare them to the modern way of living and to take decisions as active future citizens.