The 5 partner organizations in the GREENT project have just released an important document laying the framework for high school teachers across Europe who wish to introduce their students to the topic of sustainable entrepreneurship in a setting that combines face-to-face teaching with the usage of online technologies, giving students control over the pace and path they choose in order to attain the educational objectives. The GREENT blended learning methodology is inseparable from the GREENT syllabus which is due to be finalized in June 2016. In conjunction, those two documents are a first attempt at EU scale to introduce sustainable entrepreneurship into high schools, responding to the dynamic economic, social and environmental changes and challenges we are witnessing in the recent decades. The GREENT project introduces pilot educational content in green entrepreneurship with the ambition to provide schools and teachers with a tool to bring up the future generations of European entrepreneurs with a mindset of respect for nature and desire to generate business ideas that improve rather than damage the environment.
Aside from English, the methodology will be available in Bulgarian, Latvian, Greek, Norwegian and Romanian by the end of June 2016.
The GREENT blended learning methodology provides a review of existing blended learning models in order to identify an approach that could best serve the objectives of GREENT. Based on this review, the methodology proposes the self-blend model as the one that could serve the objectives of GREENT project in the most appropriate way. Popular in high schools, the self-blend model gives students the opportunity to take classes beyond what is already offered at their school. While these individuals will attend a traditional school environment, they also opt to supplement their learning through online courses offered remotely. In order for this method of blended learning to be successful, students must be highly self-motivated. This model provides an element of flexibility that could adjust to schools from different countries and with varying profiles that will participate in the GREENT training. It could also be compatible with the fact that the focus of GREENT, green entrepreneurship, is not taught in most of the participating countries as a distinct curriculum subject in secondary schools. In addition, the fact that the online work is done as homework does not create the need for infrastructure in the school.
The self-blend model is also linked to the pedagogical principles that are suggested, which incorporate elements of the inquiry-based approach: the pupil is placed at the center of the learning process and is encouraged to learn in an active, exploratory way that promotes critical thinking, while the teacher supports the process as facilitator and educational co-designer. The learning model is described as a cyclic process (see the figure above), and each phase is explained by providing indicative examples of green entrepreneurship topics and learning goals. The final section of the document presents the user roles (teachers, pupils and external experts of the field of green entrepreneurship) and the technical characteristics/ facilities that an online platform should provide in order to support the suggested learning model.
After completing work on the methodology and syllabus, the GREENT partners are going to focus on developing the full set of GREENT lessons and testing them with focus groups of teachers in Latvia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Norway before a pilot launch of the whole course in around 25 schools in the beginning of 2017.