Om het algehele doel van het ELITe project te bereiken werken de partners aan drie doelstellingen:
Landen van Europa verschillen substantieel in opvattingen over en benaderingen van docenteprofessionalisering. (EC, Education and Training, 2013). Centrale richtlijnen beschrijven docentencometenties zoals ze in nationale curricula zijn geintegreerd. Opleidingsinstituten en andere instituties behouden de autonomie in het uitwerken van docentcompetenties in detail en het vertalen van de competentiebeschrijvingen in opleidingsprogramma's. Het vertrekpunt van het ELITe project is de overtuiging dat de competentieontwikkeling van docenten gestimuleerd wordt door professionaliseringsactiviteiten op de werkvloer en dat daarbij inzichten in de karakteristieken van het nationale onderwijssysteem n de inbreng van meerdere groepen stakeholders noodzakelijk is.
Current prevailing approaches in initial and continuous training programs focus on subject knowledge, pedagogy and “practice“(classroom-based training) (EC, Education and Training, 2015). Such approaches, fail to recognize that teachers’ dispositions towards learning and teaching - and as a consequence their practice - are highly influenced by the way teachers have received training themselves. Knowledge and skills on/about teaching is developed by teachers themselves, as they use theory and research to reflect upon their practices in professional learning communities (Hagger &McIntyre, 2006). In addition, formal and traditional forms of in-service training such as courses, workshops and conferences currently prevail in most educational systems. However, many teachers either do not find suitable professional development or cannot attend due to conflicting work schedules (OECD, 2009). In the ELITe project we provide flexible professional development opportunities in which the training methodology has a prevailing role, embedded on the concept of “change as professional learning perspective”, which sees teachers as reflective practitioners, responsible for their own learning.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is currently defined as ‘creative education to foster the future needs of society (Sutcliffe, 2011). STEM educators – under the Research and Innovation (RRI) policy agenda- are expected to equip students as future citizens to understand socio-scientific issues, applying science knowledge, ethical values and inquiry skills to form evidence based opinions (EC, 2015). In addition there are expected to aspire science related careers to students and support students develop positive attitudes towards science. In the ELITe project, the thematic of the professional learning activities for STEM in-service teachers will reflect current policy orientations under the RRI agenda on the role of STEM education and help teachers to model key competences required (knowledge, skills and attitudes) in order to help students to acquire them.