Event 3 - Bulgaria

The aim of the multiplier event E3 was to communicate and negotiate with policy, policy mediators and practitioners outcomes from activity 1.1 and Intellectual outcome O1, i.e. “Policy envisions and requirements for STEM teachers competence development in Greece, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Spain”, focused on the Bulgarian situation. The expected outcome was the identification of systemic opportunities and challenges to implement training activities for STEM teachers’ competence development in Bulgaria.

The event took place on 29th of June 2017 (from 10am to 4 pm) at Sofia University, with the participation of 43 people from the following target groups: Policy makers (representatives from Ministry of Education, Regional Management Centers of Education, National Center of Information support, professors responsible for teachers’ training curricula from main universities in Bulgaria, and head teachers, responsible for local school policy in STEM teaching; Practitioners (STEM teachers from general and vocational schools); Broad Society members (parents, representatives of private educational centers).

The event followed an EASW methodology which allows for interaction between stakeholders and aim for consensus building rather than instructional approach. In the course of the event participants were asked to reflect on and discuss outcomes from project activity 1.1 (national key-messages document presented in IO1); worked in homogeneous group to identify systemic opportunities and challenges to implement training activities for STEM teachers’ competence development; and worked in heterogeneous group for negotiating conflict aspects and proposing recommendations on how to take advantage opportunities and how to deal with challenges.

The main issues elaborated during the event were relevant to the opportunities and challenges that the new regulatory framework in the country provide for efficient and effective STEM teachers’ trainings. Main outcomes from the ELITe project perspectives relate to the thematic, methodology and forms of STEM teachers’ trainings (which will provide input to subsequent project activities relating to the development & implementation of the ELITe’s approach for competence development). In relation to the thematic of teacher training courses, participants recommended that the focus should be on: STEM subject matter/new science achievements; interdisciplinary topics; innovative teaching methods; inclusive education; work with parents and society; assessment and evaluation. In relation to the methodology and forms of delivery of training courses participants recommended: Blended learning opportunities; online courses as a current support and as an archive for long term use; balance between learning at work place (school) and out-of school courses.

The event evaluation results provide evidence that the event was dynamic, interactive and rich in outcomes. The friendly atmosphere and intensive groups working become a base for long-term stakeholders’ network development. The outcomes are very useful in terms of the ELITe e-scenarios development but also they can influence the quality of teachers’ trainings at national level. The main weak point is that the event took place at the last day of the school year when most of the teachers are engaged with year school reporting and some of invited ones could not be able to participate or should left earlier. Despite the situation, there were more participants on the event, than it was expected. 

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