Fostering Transversal Skills through Open Schooling with the CARE-KNOW-DO Framework for Sustainable Education

Okada, Alexandra; Panselinas, Giorgos; Bizoi, Mihai; Malagrida, Rosina and Torres, Patricia Lupion (2024). Fostering Transversal Skills through Open Schooling with the CARE-KNOW-DO Framework for Sustainable Education. Sustainability, 16(7), article no. 2794.



This cross-national study assesses the impact of open schooling—an educational approach that integrates schools, universities, and communities to address real-world problems—guided by the CARE-KNOW-DO framework. This framework helped to create educational resources addressing local and global socioscientific issues, fostering curriculum knowledge and skills in areas such as biodiversity, health, climate change, energy, and artificial intelligence. A mixed-methods approach in five countries gauged the learning perceptions of participants engaged in open schooling. First, an exploratory factor analysis was used to scrutinize the quantitative data from a multilanguage survey of 12,074 underserved students. Complementing this, a thematic analysis was used to interpret the qualitative data from 20 teachers’ self-reported practices. The students’ feedback identified six key transversal skills: self-initiative, problem-solving, emotional engagement, scientific citizenship, authentic learning, and future prospects. This enabled a comparative analysis of geographic, gender, and age variances. Notably, a significant proportion of students from countries such as Romania, the UK, Spain, Greece, and Brazil exhibited a positive perception of skill development. However, nonbinary students displayed consistently lower skill perceptions, suggesting a need for more inclusive and equitable support. Age trends showed greater global citizenship and authentic learning in secondary versus primary students but a decrease in confidence in problem-solving and self-initiative. Our thematic analysis indicated that teachers require tailored support and curricular adaptability to meet diverse student needs, highlighting time limitations and the need to maintain motivation, particularly to boost emotional engagement and outlook in the future. This study emphasizes the role of open schooling in cultivating transversal skills, as supported by 12 teaching competencies identified through thematic analysis. It advocates for pedagogical innovation that embeds real-life issues in education, thus enriching discussions on improving 21st-century educational practices and stressing the significance of real-world applicability and varied teaching methods.

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