Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MASCIL Report Summary

Project ID: 320693
Funded under: FP7-SIS
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - MASCIL (Mathematics and science for life)

Executive Summary:
Executive Summary
The mascil project’s ultimate aim is to increase young Europeans knowledge of and interest in STEM subjects and attract more students to careers in science and technology. To accomplish this, greater emphasis in classrooms must be placed on innovative teaching approaches suitable to helping young people acquire sound knowledge in STEM subjects, as well as competences and skills crucial to their lives beyond school and take on responsible roles in a technology-based society. IBL (inquiry-based learning) is an effective way to support building such student competences in STEM lessons. Mascil therefore aimed to advance a widespread use of IBL in mathematics and science in primary and secondary schools and additionally, directly connect IBL with the world of work (WoW). This aspect – connecting IBL to world-related contexts and using real-life situations – is a major mascil innovation.
To achieve aims, mascil chose a multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach involving: (1) production of concrete classroom materials; (2) design of professional development (PD) materials and implementation of PD courses for teachers and multipliers; (3) evaluation of our activities and analysis of (policy) contexts followed up through subsequent work with policy makers; (4) professional marketing and massive dissemination of our ideas and “products”, including their free-of-charge publication making them openly accessible on a global scale; and (6) investment into closing existing gaps in local and international networks in STEM education, in particular between actors in research, policy and practice.
During the four-year project lifetime, 17 university-based teams of STEM researchers (mascil Consortium members) collaborated with 24 renowned experts linked to the project through its European Advisory Board, as well as with 30 practice-oriented STEM PD Centres and 11 Ministries of Education (which became deeply connected to the mascil project through its effective dissemination and networking activities). These institutions leading the mascil community are continuing to collaborate, for example in the new projects STEM PD Net, IncluSME and MaSDiV, as well as in the new International Centre for STEM Education. Further, this collaboration ensures scale-up of mascil work, achievements, and significant results of high impact reached during project lifetime, such as:
• An open, high-quality, trialled and practice-tested collection of IBL-WoW classroom materials, incl. re-design guidelines for “traditional” materials
• An open, high-quality, trialled and practice-tested PD toolkit for IBL-WoW teaching (for pre- and in-service teachers) for face-to-face and online/blended learning settings, incl. user guidelines for teacher trainers
• A range of reports incl. impact assessments based on rigorous evaluation, good-practice examples and reflections on effective implementation of PD and dissemination activities to promote innovative teaching approaches
• A community of thousands of teachers, educators, researchers, policy makers and other key stakeholders in STEM education who directly profited from and worked with mascil
• High-impact international and national networking, including two international conferences that linked STEM education research, policy and practice, policy workshops and establishment of the first European network of STEM PD Centres.

Project Context and Objectives:
A summary description of project context and objectives
Education today needs to go beyond helping students increase their knowledge of various subjects. Within classrooms, greater emphasis must be placed on helping young people achieve competences and skills crucial to their lives beyond school, for example being able to work both autonomously as well as in teams and take on responsible roles in a knowledge-driven and technology-based society. IBL is an effective way to support building such student competences in mathematics and science lessons. Mascil aimed to advance a widespread use of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in mathematics and science in primary and secondary schools and additionally to directly connect IBL with the world of work (WoW), by clearly linking maths and science to work-related contexts and using real-life situations. This aspect – connecting IBL to the world of work – is a major innovation of the mascil project, so as to make students’ learning experiences more meaningful for their personal – and future professional – lives.
The central and overall aim of the mascil project is to increase young Europeans´ knowledge and interest for Science & Technology (S & T) and attract more of them to S & T careers. To accomplish this, young people must be better equipped with the skills and knowledge required to become the innovators and ‘science active’ citizens of the future. One path towards achieving these goals is to increase teachers’ skills in regards to inquiry-based science teaching and learning.
In order to effectively approach our aims, this overall objective is accompanied by 10 more detailed objectives, as described in Annex I (DoW), which are closely related to the 10 mascil work packages:
• WP1: Management
• WP2: Educational systems and policy context
• WP3: Classroom materials for inquiry-based science teaching in rich vocational contexts
• WP4: Teacher-training materials (pre- and in-service)
• WP5: E-learning materials for teacher training
• WP6: Professional marketing concept and materials
• WP7: Dissemination activities
• WP8: Implementation
• WP9: Promoting European Teachers networks
• WP10: Evaluation
1. Bridging the gap between the science education research community, science teachers and local actors (including providers of informal education)
The first objective was to bridge the gap between the science education research community, science teachers and local actors. As our project followed a systemic approach and the participatory intervention model, we therefore involved these target groups from the outset. Following this socio-economic approach, our research-based teacher training (pre- and in-service) contributed to accomplish this objective. Furthermore, institutionalised networks (National Advisory Boards on the national levels and European Advisory Board on the international level) have been set up within the project. In these networks we brought together representatives of the science and mathematics education research community, science and mathematics’ teachers, industry and local actors (NABs). The advisory boards developed ideas for project’s activities, gave feedback to actions already carried out and also promoted project, its activities and IBL pedagogy in their networks. The EAB panel contributed to the European dimension of the project by identifying European commonalities and differences.
This objective was mainly accomplished within work packages 1 (related to creating and managing structures) and 8 (the implementation), whereby all work packages profited from and contributed to the accomplishment of this foundational goal.
2. Analysing educational systems and policy context
The second aim was to formally and carefully analyse the educational system and policy context in all mascil countries and thereby identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to the implementation of inquiry-based science and math teaching (IBL) from a context perspective. In doing so, the cultural aspects of learning were taken into account and the complex relationships between general education, vocational education and labour market requirements were uncovered. The work activity here was to identify how schools can be opened to the world of work (WoW), which informed the project’s further implementation.
Also, our focus was on creating cooperation and synergies among research, policy and practice fields. For this purpose, policy briefing papers were written and (inter)national workshops with policy makers were initiated.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 2, thus a contributor to the other work packages.
3. Selecting and developing classroom materials for IBL
A third objective was to select and design high-quality classroom materials that develop mathematical, scientific and interdisciplinary inquiry in rich vocational contexts for primary and secondary school students. In addition, guidelines for teachers on how to design such tasks on their own were developed. Furthermore, the materials were used for broad dissemination of IBL with a world of work (WoW) context in - and outside the mascil teacher circle.
The mascil classroom materials supplement current school curricula and have proven efficacy and efficiency in the partner countries. The materials are also equally appropriate for use by both girls and boys, and thus contribute to reducing gender stereotypes.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 3.
4. Analysing, collecting and developing materials for face-to-face professional development
The fourth objective was to select, adapt and design materials needed for the professional development of in-service and pre-service teachers. Mascil could utilise its project partners’ experience (e.g. from PRIMAS project) in the development of such materials and their access to a large quantity of existing, adaptable materials from a wide range of projects.
In consideration of the objective to raise young peoples’ knowledge and interest for S & T careers, our professional development materials not only address IBL, but also include – as a particular innovation – aspects that highlight the role of mathematics and science in vocational areas (WoW aspects), and which attend to students’ motivation, and support gender equity.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 4.
5. Analysing and developing e-learning concept and materials for teachers’ professional development
The fifth objective was to develop materials for e-learning professional development courses. These materials were developed in close cooperation with the partners responsible for the face-to-face materials (WP4). The e-learning materials deal with the same issues as the WP4 ones, but have been devised for use in e-learning settings. Quality in this area was ensured by optimization processes as well as by the fact that the Consortium comprised partners who were established experts in this field.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 5.
6. Developing a marketing concept and marketing materials
Our systemic approach involved a multi-facetted dissemination strategy and communication with a range of target groups. The development of a professional marketing strategy was therefore the sixth objective. By means of this strategy we aimed to spread a more favourable picture of mathematics and science including their inquiring feature and usefulness as well as to incorporate IBL into rich vocational contexts. A successful marketing strategy (based on traditional elements such as a logo and on innovative elements such as Twitter) ensured that we reached teachers to participate in the mascil teacher training courses and further, to disseminate on a broader scale to teachers and key-actors from school authorities, teacher training centres, policy makers and the general public. Communication was tailored to the different target groups. Attention was also particularly paid to professional press work in order to gain the interest of media.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 6.
7. Dissemination of project and its contents (IBL and WoW) to a variety of target groups by carrying out dissemination activities
The seventh objective was to actively inform teachers and other target groups (e.g. school heads, teacher educators, professional development centres, public authorities) about IBL and its aims, about connections between school (IBL in maths and science education) and the world of work and what different target groups could do to support the uptake of these innovative ways of teaching. One of the aims, of course, was to encourage teachers to participate in the professional development activities, one of the core lines of work in the project. To this end and also to spread information on the project beyond partner countries, dissemination activities were carried out addressed to diverse target groups. The activities of all partners in this area were reported. The analysis of these reports was a measurable output and allowed for monitoring and informing adaptive responses to the context in which dissemination activities were implemented.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 7.
8. Implementing teacher training courses for both pre- and in-service teachers
The eighth objective was to carry out teacher training (professional development) activities for both pre- and in-service teachers in every partner country. Following the spiral model (which holds that teachers should ideally be involved in longer term professional development initiatives in which they are allowed to experience and analyse inquiry-based learning activities, implement them in their classroom and reflect on their experiences) and the pyramid model (multi-level and networked implementation of teacher training, e.g. using a multiplier approach), a common model for teacher training in mascil was developed. This model comprised e-learning, face-to-face learning or blended learning, and thus ensured having impact on the work of a large number of teachers.
Supported conceptually by the national context analysis and strategically by the corresponding NAB, each country selected the concrete model best suited for scaling-up professional development in maths and science education in its context to best achieve goals. Both in-service teacher training courses and pre-service teacher training courses – also following the spiral model – were implemented. Relating to the implementation of the professional development concept in each country, reflected reports (case studies) were written. These led to the compilation of a European guide for teacher professional development courses which gives clear and precise guidelines for future implementation models, as well as examples which have already proven efficiency.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 8.
9. Initiating, supporting and promoting teachers’ networks and teachers’ exchange on international level
The ninth objective was to initiate cooperation between teachers at a European level and promoting existing teachers’ networks. We provided a European online platform for registered users allowing teachers and teacher educators to contribute and to exchange their experiences within this platform. We promoted existing European teachers’ networks in our activities and on our website and contacted these, initiating an exchange of experiences. The mascil platform, its features and use encouraged the European exchange among teachers and teacher educators.
Furthermore, our project conferences (midterm and final conference) allowed face-to-face meetings between teachers and teacher educators and contributed to goal achievement. Virtual meetings and the online publication of the Problems of the Month on the teacher platform and project website were further, successful means to initiate and to foster an exchange across Europe.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 9.
10. Evaluating the European-wide implementation of inquiry-based learning with a focus on rich vocational aspects
The last objective was a well-designed two-fold evaluation of implementation of inquiry-based learning with a special focus on vocational aspects. On the one hand, the evaluation informed the implementation process so as to allow for adaptations in the partnership countries if and as needed (cf. participatory intervention model); on the other hand, the evaluation allowed an assessment of the project’s overall aim: the more widespread uptake of inquiry-based science teaching at schools within the partnership countries. Thus, we evaluated the project in two ways. During the project’s implementation process, we carried out a qualitative (so-called formative) evaluation including interviews with teachers and teacher educators, classroom observations and professional development observations. The second assessment means was conducting a quantitative (so-called summative) evaluation including pre- and post-questionnaires for teachers taking part in the professional development interventions. The results of analysis of both evaluation strands gave information about the project´s impact, the quality of implementation, and the overall condition of IBL and WoW by teaching in European countries.
This work was mainly accomplished within work package 10.

Project Results:
In the following a concise overview of the progress of the work in mascil is given. Afterwards, a detailed report on the main results/foreground within the ten mascil work packages is provided.

Within each partner country, the first project months were used to set up the National Advisory Boards (NABs), whose members were key to project implementation in the local settings. Furthermore, effective structures and procedures for the local project implementation were set up in each country at the beginning of 2013 (i.e. organizing teams, disseminating information about the project start etc.). The mascil Consortium quickly moved on to an intensive collaboration stage.
Since mascil began (1/1/2013), all beneficiaries have been meeting frequently to work towards project implementation. Consortium meetings took place on a regular basis of two times a year. The EAB (European Advisory Board, consisting of highly-ranked experts in maths and science education established in research, policy or practice fields), took part in all of these meetings. A professional facilitator evaluated all Consortium and EAB meetings and supervised the work progress during meetings.
The mascil Consortium formed strategic working groups related to specific tasks and/or closely linked work packages (WPs); virtual and face-to-face meetings of these strategic working groups supported the development of ownership across the whole Consortium, as well as an integrated way of taking things forward across singular WPs.
By May 2013, the international website with extensive information about the project, its aims and offerings went online and was regularly updated over all project years. Furthermore, a marketing concept (including marketing materials such as logo, flyers, poster templates, etc.) was developed and implemented to support maximised dissemination of our ideas and offers (WP6). To support a maximised uptake of our ideas and offers, resources were also devoted to an analysis of (policy) contexts, resulting in national working papers on policy contexts which informed the selection of professional development (PD) models and implementation strategies at a local level. Cross-national reports and policy briefing papers promoted our insights vis-à-vis policy makers at the international level. Furthermore, links among research, policy and practice fields were fostered through mascil so as to improve larger contexts for an implementation of inquiry-based learning with a world-of-work context. For this purpose national workshops were initiated in every mascil partner country to generate a dialogic process with educational stakeholders. The insights gained through these workshops were mapped onto the outcomes of the cross-national analysis of policy contexts, providing valuable new perspectives in terms of what can be done at national/international levels to motivate policy to support inquiry-based approaches in science and math education in a world of work context. The outcomes of the mapping process were documented in an international report and policy paper and informed the policy briefing for the Policy Seminar hosted at the mascil final conference.
In respect to the work on (classroom) materials, the leading team of WP3 analysed examples of IBL classroom practices and workplace contexts in learning materials. Work led to the creation of the first material collection. Throughout the project the mascil material collection was enlarged, improved and refined according to quality guidelines developed, and in relation to recommendations given by external reviewers. The final package of materials and guidelines, including information on the theoretical background of IBL and the WoW context, are published on the international website in a user-friendly searchable database. The mascil material collection was also adapted and translated into partner languages. To enhance dissemination and impact, in addition, the mascil book included mascil “good practice examples” as well as guidelines on how to redesign mascil tasks for individual use have been designed, printed and published (the book has also been made available in a number of partner languages). These open and easily-accessible collections will ensure the continued distribution and impact of our unique material collection.
To support a core activity of the mascil project – the professional development of teachers – WP4 developed a ‘toolkit’ for teacher professional development in the area of inquiry-based learning with a special focus on including world of work contexts. To support scaling-up of teacher professional development and also to better respond to the needs of different partner countries across the Consortium, the professional development modules were specifically adapted for e-learning and blended learning settings and made available as e-learning materials (WP5). Both face-to-face and ePD toolkits were optimized and refined throughout the project, e.g., in terms of user-friendliness and clarity for users (according to previous implementation experiences). The final PD toolkits for IBL teaching with a WoW context were published open-access on our website. Furthermore, a downloadable version was made available on the international website. Since the e-learning toolkit provides a unique innovation of mascil, it is available as a download package (together with user guidelines) to be used and adapted individually by PD providers worldwide.
Using the materials developed in WPs 3, 4 and 5 and the background knowledge obtained in WP2 (context analysis, policy work), in autumn 2014 the mascil Consortium started implementing teacher PD courses for both in-service and pre-service teachers at primary and secondary level. Implementation activities (WP8) profited from the previous reflection and high-quality materials developed, and proved highly successful. In terms of numbers, almost all mascil partners managed to recruit more teachers than they had initially planned. To document and analyse our implementation experiences with PD courses focussing on IBL teaching with a WoW context, a comprehensive report was published, highlighting a number of successfully examples of professional development models and strategies.

To promote European networks and exchanges among European teachers (WP9), mascil set up an online-platform. This platform offered a possibility for exchange and networking between teachers, teacher educators and multipliers on improving STEM education. The platform included a forum for teachers and a section with Problems of the Month, and was connected to the mascil e-learning professional development materials. The Problems of the Month tasks addressed inquiry and problem-solving in vocational context and aimed to encourage teachers and their students to work on the same task, exchanging possible solutions and ways of proceeding afterwards. 17 Problems of the Month were published from autumn 2014 until April 2016. Furthermore, to strengthen teachers’ collaboration on an international level, virtual conferences were organized. In total, 11 virtual meetings attended by participants from 10 mascil countries took place. During those meetings results to different Problems of the Month were presented and discussed. Virtual conferences were successful activities that both teachers and students appreciated highly. The report on the collection of Problems of the Month as well as the report on the promotion of European networks were delivered and are available on the mascil international website.
Regarding the evaluation of project implementation (WP10), appropriate quantitative and qualitative evaluation instruments were developed to evaluate the project´s impact. The large status-quo survey on IBL and the consideration of the WoW in schools across Europe resulted in a report giving insight into the current uptake of ‘inquiry-based learning and the WoW’. Quantitative and qualitative data collection to evaluate project implementation was conducted by all mascil countries. All thirteen partners submitted their national case studies based on the mascil data evaluation concept in course of the formative evaluation. The summative evaluation strand was based on 1420 pre questionnaires and 1042 post questionnaires. The findings of both studies and their supplementation are documented in the ‘Report about the formative and the summative evaluation of the project’. The qualitative and the quantitative studies show that mascil met its aim to support mathematics and science teachers in implementing inquiry-based science teaching informed by workplace practice in their day-to-day teaching. In addition, the studies give evidence for the high-quality of the mascil professional development activities.
Numerous dissemination activities were carried out in partner countries (WP7). Relevant target groups included teachers, teacher trainers, policy makers, parents, students and the media. Over 4 years, the mascil Consortium has conducted more than 425 dissemination actions at local and international level including workshops, policy seminars, presentations and talks at conferences, etc. The project has also received very good media coverage, and various publications (scientific and non-scientific) appeared about mascil (around 160 publications, including press and online media, etc.). To reflect experiences and make them accessible to others, every partner drafted a case study. This process assisted in identifying weaknesses and strengths so as to assure a high quality of dissemination. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of the national case studies was conducted with results being reported in the International Comparative Report on the Dissemination Activities.
In the European arena, mascil has placed a focus on networking between actors and stakeholders in the field of STEM education. A major achievement was the organisation of two research-based international conferences (WP1) specifically targeting policy and practice, which attracted each around 200 attendees from 30 countries. A lifetime achievement of mascil in relation to dissemination and impact was the formal establishment of a network of European STEM Professional Development centres that were first brought together at mascil’s mid-term conference. Our dissemination activities, following the context analysis conducted earlier in the project, also placed a focus on policy networks. As a result of our different activities (NAB meetings, EAB meetings, policy workshops, dissemination activities), mascil considerably strengthened research-policy relations in the different European countries. After four years, we have managed to establish sound working relations to 11 Ministries of Education in Europe. Mascil achieved all milestones and submitted its major outcomes in the form of deliverables to the Commission in due time.


Work package 1: Management
The project office was in charge of overall management of the Consortium. It was headed by the Coordinator and ran by the project manager and a team at the Coordinating Institution. The project office was the central hub for the coordination and implementation of the project. It served as the contact point for the project partners, for the EAB, for the EU Commission as well as for all cooperating entities and interested parties at (inter)national levels. The principal task of the project office was the management and international coordination of mascil, which in particular included the following responsibilities: international management; communication for the project; liaison and networking in the field of (science) education; monitoring of project implementation as well as Consortium-internal technical and finance control; management of all matters related to carrying out the mascil grant agreement. The mascil project office was run by professional management staff, which was a great strength of the project. The management team not only secured fulfilling WP1’s objectives and goals, but also effectively supported the goal achievement of all WPs and the Consortium as a whole. In the following, main aspects are reported: (a) project planning and status, project monitoring (incl. finances), (b) coordination and management of meetings and quality assurance, (c) international collaboration and networking, including mascil conferences and the work with the advisory boards.
Project planning and status, project monitoring (incl. finances)
Mascil was progressing according to schedule: Within all reporting periods (months 1-48), all milestones have been successfully achieved and all deliverables were submitted through the electronic system in time. The submission of deliverables and reaching the milestones was supervised by the WP1 team.
Another task carried out by the project office was budget management. Important information regarding the financial management of the EU contribution was forwarded to all mascil partners at the beginning of the project and after Amendment no. 1. During RP I, II and III the management team regularly collected financial reports from all beneficiaries, which included detailed data on each beneficiary’s budget and use of resources. In this way, the management team maintained an overview of budget allocations within the project.
As expected, the first reporting reporting period (month 1-18) was less cost-intensive than the subsequent reporting periods (months 19-36; months 37-48) when the project had reached its full implementation phases. All details on the funds used were reported in ECAS.
A main vehicle to ensure that mascil was progressing according to schedule was the close monitoring of progress by Management through interim reporting, as well as informal and regular (email) contact with the work package leaders and the local partner teams. Consortium mailing lists and an internal platform were also used to facilitate communication. To guarantee the highest possible quality of our work, Management put much emphasis on facilitating close cooperation between the individual work packages. Therefore, strategic working groups were established and the work package leaders were encouraged to closely collaborate. Thus, the work of the work packages was systematically linked and a coherent development of the whole project was ensured.
Furthermore, within the second reporting period (month 24) the mascil project went through an external project review process (cf. special clause 5 in the mascil grant agreement) which was prepared, coordinated and followed-up upon by the WP1 team together with all WP leaders. Recommendations were summarized by the independent reviewers in the technical review report and implemented by the whole mascil Consortium.

Coordination and management of meetings and quality assurance
The face-to-face work meetings of the Consortium were another success factor. In collaboration with the local host and the WP leaders, the management team prepared all project meetings. All meetings were arranged in close cooperation with the Consortium. A written guide for the organisation of Consortium meetings was developed by Management to secure smooth planning and implementation. The meeting schedules were determined in view of the Consortium’s suggestions, so as to guarantee a maximum impact on fostering the project implementation as well as a maximum support to mascil partners. Furthermore, each meeting was supported by an external facilitator. Evaluation questionnaires were distributed to all participants by the end of each project meeting. The results of this evaluation were provided by the external facilitator in the form of a written report. Evaluation reports were used as basic tool for preparing further meetings to ensure maximal work efficiency.
In total, eight Consortium meetings took place. In the main, meetings lasted three intensive working days. Depending on needs, different working means and modes were adopted (e.g. workshops, working groups, group discussions). During the Consortium meetings, the Management Board (WP leaders) and Governance Board (one member per partner institution) meetings also took place. The Consortium meetings were also held concurrently with the EAB meetings. Following each Consortium meeting, minutes with written summaries of discussions, lists of major outcomes and agreements, as well as next steps/deadlines/responsibilities were prepared by the WP1 team and followed up upon together with WP leaders by the whole Consortium. The Consortium meetings provided central means for reflection, for re-integration of local issues, for the formation of common frameworks and perspectives, etc. and thus for overall progress. In that sense, the Consortium meetings were a means of quality assurance in and by themselves.

International collaboration and networking, including the mascil conferences and the work with the advisory boards
Management in collaboration with all mascil partners was also in charge of managing the international-level networking and cooperation. The management team has established and maintained international-level relationships with a range of key stakeholders, institutions and projects. The project office, together with some of the WP leaders, for example has maintained close contacts with European Schoolnet where Scientix (the European platform for science education), an important partner project for mascil, is managed. Mascil and Scientix secured participation in each other’s conferences and meetings (e.g., in late 2014, autumn 2015 and autumn 2016). Mascil has also built and maintained close contacts to other (EU) projects in maths and science education, the DG Research and Innovation, DG Education and Culture and Eurydice. Furthermore, Management has invested substantial resources into linking the research-based project to relevant institutions from policy and practice: mascil set up a network of European STEM Professional Development Centres (the first of its kind linking European centres in this field) and has worked to enlarge this network to around 30 member institutions by the end of the project. Through systematic activity mascil has also established regular working relations to around 11 Ministries of Education from across Europe. . Thus, the collaboration with various (European) projects and institutions and the networking at international level was successfully facilitated by the WP1 team during the project lifetime. Mascil’s powerful international network is showcased by an international mailing list which by 2017 has reached almost 2000 recipients in Europe and beyond. Contacts range from policy makers, researchers, influential multipliers to practitioners, all sharing a common interest: disseminating innovative pedagogies in maths and science education.

Mascil conferences
In WP1, the organisation and implementation of the midterm and final conferences were crucial project milestones - with a resounding success. The management team took on the responsibility for conceptualisation, scheduling and possible collaborations for hosting the conferences. The management team elaborated and finalized the conceptual idea of the conference (a research-practitioner conferences on the topic of how to scale up professional development in maths and science education) and initiated collaboration with DZLM (German Center for Mathematics Teacher Education) who were invited as co-hosts of the conferences.
Quality and relevance of the conferences’ presentations and events was ensured by issuing a globally distributed Call for Contributions and the establishment of program committees representing a diversity of researchers and representatives of other stakeholder groups, and taking over the selection of proposals for the different formats and events. A website was established for every mascil conference, providing all details of the varied program. All information will continue to be available at the website and can be visited at:
To maximise the impact of mascil conferences, a professional marketing plan was developed in order to support the international communication of the conference. When promoting the mascil conferences at an international level, more than 170 networks, professional development centres, institutions and projects were contacted.
The complete planning of the conferences with all special sessions and events was coordinated by the WP1 team at the Coordinating Institution. Consortium and EAB members were involved in the responsible task forces to plan the details of conferences (e.g., Conference Board, Scientific Review Board, Conceptual Boards for special sessions at the final conference such as Materials Market, Policy Seminar, Track Chairs at the midterm conference, etc.). The whole Consortium was engaged to promote the conferences through national and local networks.
As a result of the extensive preparation and international communication of the conferences, about 170 participants from 21 countries attended the midterm conference from 15-16 December 2014 at the University Duisburg Essen, Germany and almost 200 participants (researchers, practitioners, policy makers) from 30 countries attended the mascil final conference from 07 - 09 November 2016 at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany.
Both the midterm and the final mascil conference turned out to be very successful.
The midterm conference entitled “Educating the Educators” proved to be highly topical, meaning that the platform provided by the organisers served to foster discussion and exchange about approaches and current challenges to improving the education of educators in maths and sciences – and thus, improve education in these subjects and schools. Also, professional development centres in maths and science education from across Europe were specifically invited to join the mascil midterm conference, including a special session for this group. This meeting of PD centres initiated a long-term collaboration and contributed to establishing a Network of STEM Professional Development Centres. The key insights from the different tracks as well as conference outcomes and core strategies needed for a ‘scaled-up’ teacher professional development were published open-access in the conference proceedings available on the conference website.
In respect to final conference which was also focused on the highly topical issues of how to scale-up teacher professional development in STEM education (Educating the Educators II), next to high-level keynote speakers (e.g. Alan Schoenfeld, professor of Education and Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley; Olaf Köller, professor of educational research at the University of Kiel, Germany; Michiel Doorman, researcher and teacher trainer at the Freudenthal Institute of Utrecht University), the conference concept boasted a diversity of innovative formats and events such as academic presentations by researchers and practitioners, a Materials Market, an Early Career Researcher's Day as well as a company visit to reflect innovation in STEM education in the industrial context, a Policy Seminar and a meeting of the Network of European STEM Professional Development Centres which was established as part of mascil’s activities.
Conferences’ conclusions and a report on the mascil midterm and final conferences (D1.4) have been published and distributed internationally through our website.
The large turnout and participants’ enthusiasm and engagement showed clearly that the conferences’ topic is indeed of high interest and relevance in Europe. An evaluation among final conference participants, implemented and monitored by the management team, confirmed this interpretation. A specific merit of the conferences is therefore that they have extended the benefits participants usually take home from visiting a conference. Namely, it has ensured the building of bridges and networks in the research-policy-practice triangle of STEM education and, along with the world-of-work focus of mascil, to the field of industry. Therefore, perhaps the most important achievement is that the conference series has established itself as an appreciated European and international platform for a diversity of stakeholders in STEM education to meet, exchange and find opportunities for collaboration. This role of the conference has created the necessary drive that will be taken forward after the mascil project’s end in 2016 within the activities and current projects of the newly established International Centre for STEM Education at the University of Education (the Coordinating Institution).
Therefore, the conference Educating the Educators III is already planned for 2019. A lasting impact of mascil’s activities as regards its mid-term and final conferences to broadly disseminate project results and link relevant stakeholders for such dissemination is therefore ensured beyond the project’s duration. This is an achievement the management team and the whole mascil Consortium are truly proud of.

Mascil panels
Mascil established advising panels working with the project Consortium – the NABs (National Advisory Board) and the EAB (European Advisory Board). While the NABs were locally coordinated, the EAB was managed at the international level (by WP1). Furthermore, the implementation and outcomes of local NAB meetings were monitored by the WP1 team at the Coordinating Institution. The NABs met with the local academic teams about every six to nine months. All EAB Meetings were held concurrently with those of the Consortium.
The value of these panels was not limited to the advice, consultancy, expert opinions and the like given to the Consortium. The panel members also received input, information and knowledge generated through the international interaction and they, in turn, took this knowledge to their own local settings (i.e. NAB meetings) and used it to inform their own work, that of their colleagues and project implementation. The panels also took on an extensive role that went beyond providing advice to the project. It can best be described as actively supporting project implementation by using (inter)national contacts. EAB members were highly pro-active, giving their support to the Consortium and bringing their expertise to the project (including tasks such as leading discussions, contributions to the final conference). Such fruitful collaboration was possible owing to the continuously extraordinary management work: Providing EAB members with very well prepared briefing prior to each project meeting, careful supervision during each meeting as well as ongoing support between meetings resulted with establishing a sense of ownership for the project by EAB members and increasing readiness to co-work with the Consortium towards achieving the common project goals. This ownership among NAB and EAB members with respect to the mascil project was certainly a major success and achievement and definitely a factor that ensured a wide impact of the project and in particular its sustainability.

Work package 2: Educational systems and policy context
At the beginning of the project the in-depth analysis of the educational systems and the policy contexts in each participating country was carried out. It aimed to investigate the contextual and regulatory conditions in which teachers work and are called upon to implement inquiry-based approaches (or not). The common framework for this task was developed by WP2 in close collaboration with WP1, WP8 and WP10. The results of this analysis did not only include the national reports – as required in the DoW – but extended to include the outcomes of the mapping and analysis of the thematic orientation of the National Reports in terms of levels, that is:
a) a first set of conclusions relating to the changes required to support the inquiry-based learning approaches in vocational contexts and issues pertaining to strategic aims and priorities for education (promoting equity, students’ achievement and entrepreneurship) in each country;
b) a first set of recommendations relating to the changes required to support the inquiry-based learning approaches in vocational contexts in each country.
Following this, the cross-national analysis was conducted by the WP2 team and reported in D2.2 Cross-National Report and Policy Paper. This document synthesised the information provided in national working papers, identified differences and commonalities among the participant countries and provided recommendations to inform the development of future policy in national and European settings.
The scope of the comparative overview was twofold: on the one hand, it attempted to develop a thorough understanding of current policy intentions and actual practice in science, mathematics and technology education; on the other hand, it aimed to inform the development of future policy in national and European settings, by identifying factors that impede effective policy implementation.
The outcomes of this multidimensional cross-country analysis were concerned with strategic EU priorities in education (promotion of equity, tackling of low achievement, promotion of entrepreneurship) and also linked closely to the main areas of the current educational policy discourse (promotion of inquiry-based teaching approaches, opening schools to the world of work, and ensuring high quality teaching). WP2’s identification of opportunities and remaining challenges, as well as the formation of recommendations for policy makers in terms of support of a more widespread uptake of IBL in vocational contexts are of importance to educational stakeholders.
To foster synergies among research, policy and practice fields, we initiated the establishment of a dialogic process with educational stakeholders via the implementation of national workshops in 12 countries of the Consortium. WP2 provided partners with guidelines for planning and implementation of national policy workshops in order to facilitate their work and monitored the process of implementation. During the workshops, more than 250 participants (policy makers, policy mediators and policy implementers) investigated their own policy context in detail and depth and considered how the strategic aims of policy priorities could not only be achieved but also negotiated for further educational improvement. The insights gained through the workshops were documented in national policy papers and mapped onto the outcomes of the cross-national analysis of policy contexts providing valuable new perspectives in terms of what can be done at national/international levels to motivate policy makers to support inquiry-based approaches in science and maths education in a world of work context.
The outputs of this task were of importance both to the mascil Consortium and to policy audiences for achieving this aim: On the one hand, outputs facilitated the Consortium to actively involve policy makers in the project’s endeavour, by informing on the factors that impede upon effective policy implementation and by proposing recommendations for policy engagement in the project’s endeavours. On the other hand, they informed the development of future policy in national and European settings, by articulating recommendations for policy makers and policy making under the scope of supporting a more widespread uptake of inquiry-based learning in vocational contexts. In addition, the work conducted and outcomes achieved by means of an analytical perspective between context and policy intentions allowed the identification of critical factors affecting the process of mediating policy to support the uptake of IBL practices. The identification of challenging factors is of importance to educational stakeholders, so as to facilitate action taking under the scope of providing opportunities for achieving policy intended educational goals. Important outcomes of the work relating to policy issues in mascil were not only communicated to broader audiences in the form of detailed reports – as required in the DoW. Based on these reports, as well as on feedback from the midterm project review in Brussels, we developed briefing papers on “take away messages for policy” both for EU and national settings. The documents are available on a special site on the international ( and national websites of mascil, enhancing the accessibility and visibility of the work´s key outcomes, and facilitating further dissemination activities for the Consortium.
In course of the mascil final conference “Educating the Educators II” hosted in Freiburg, Germany, 7-9 December 2016, a Policy Seminar took place. The Policy Seminar was promoted in EU networks and associations that directly or indirectly engage on science policy (EU Stem Coalition, EPNoSL network, parents and teachers’ associations, as well as national agencies). In order to obtain concrete country challenges/next-steps-needed for scaling up STEM teacher professional development and improve STEM education, a survey among Consortium, EAB members and the PD Centre Network members was conducted. Based on the analysis of the results of the survey the document “mascil statement in preparation to the Policy Seminar” was created, which was circulated and extensively discussed during the Policy Seminar. National and European policy makers were invited to the Policy Seminar to collaborate with STEM educators, researchers and practitioners, in particular representatives from teacher associations and the fledging PD Centre network.
The main aims of the Policy Seminar were to:
• Present the latest research on teacher professional development and its scale-up: Effective models, key principles and discussion on implementation, shortcomings and challenges in the European context.
• Discuss recent trends and innovations in Europe: The work and experiences of newly established STEM PD Centres; scope and focus of the European PD Centre network initiated by project mascil and ways to further strengthen the voice of practice at all levels.
• Propose action to overcome challenges to scaling up STEM teacher professional development by drafting “next steps in Europe” – on the basis of mutual exchange between policy makers, researchers and practitioners.
The Policy Seminar was a big success; participants left the seminar with concrete ideas on improving STEM teacher education and professional development at the local or European level.

Work package 3: Classroom materials for inquiry-based science teaching in rich vocational contexts
A major innovation of mascil is to connect IBL in school with the world of work, making science more meaningful for young European students and motivating their interest in careers in S & T. The main aim of the mascil Work Package 3 ‘classroom materials’ was to present guidelines and an online collection of teaching materials that encourage and support teachers to design their own classroom materials connecting IBL and the WoW in mathematics and science education. In view of this aim, as a first step, we identified, analysed and reviewed already existing classroom materials that develop mathematical, scientific and interdisciplinary inquiry in rich vocational contexts (for primary and secondary school pupils). Two aspects/dimensions of materials were crucial for choosing tasks for our collection – relation to IBL and connection to the work of work (WoW). Through these materials, students experience and understand the usefulness of skills and knowledge learned at school, because they experience purpose and utility, this in turn leading to a greater interest as well as motivation for mathematics and science.
We looked for the best examples of suitable classroom activities from Europe and beyond. After six project months, the first collection of materials was available. All partners contributed examples from their own work and from their collaborations with research centres and universities from around the world.
At the same time a first version of guidelines for teachers (from general and vocational education) on how to develop IBL-oriented classroom materials in rich vocational contexts was written. These guidelines offered a common framework and methodology to develop inquiry-based classroom materials connected with vocationally situated rich contexts and developing key mathematical and scientific competencies.
The mascil framework consists of six categories ( see attachment ).
The cloud ‘World of Work' presents the most innovative aspect of mascil tasks. It is described by four dimensions: context, role, activity and product.
The first version of materials and guidelines was piloted in partner countries with selected teachers who gave feedback. The package was also reviewed by 4 external reviewers, representing a research-based perspective, a teacher perspective and teacher trainer perspectives in maths and sciences. The material collection was enlarged and optimized. Based on the feedback given, a final package of classroom materials including redesign guidelines was developed. These guidelines on how to develop tasks for inquiry in rich vocational contexts will also ensure sustainability, as it encourages teachers from partner countries and beyond to develop their own tasks. The European collection of tasks was adapted to national needs and translated into each partner language.
The WP3 mascil deliverables (Final versions of the initial package of classroom materials and guidelines, D3.1; and the Final package of materials and guidelines, D3.2) document our research into collecting and analysing IBL classroom materials which connect to the WoW, and explain how we used this analysis to judge the usefulness of existing classroom materials for the mascil project. The reports include the collection of materials and guidelines for teachers on designing and using this type of activities.
The final collection of classroom materials available on the mascil website (via a searchable database ensuring user-friendliness for teachers) reflects the plurality of tasks and contexts. Therefore, there is a core collection of mascil tasks (20 tasks) available in each partner language as well as diverse tasks in partner languages, which fit the mascil quality criteria laid down in the mascil guidelines. For each mascil task published in English, the website outlines whether versions in other languages are also available.
The quality criteria are available on the mascil website. Additionally, easy-to-read information on IBL and the WoW was published prominently on the website and can be found next to each task. The connection to the WoW and IBL, inseparably belonging to each mascil task, is the unique selling point of the mascil material collection.
The core collection of mascil tasks has also been made available through the Scientix website to enable an even broader dissemination of the materials. And finally every partner does have a local website where examples of the mascil classroom materials are available in the local language.
In order to further increase the dissemination impact, it was decided to publish a mascil book with an example collection of mascil tasks, where ‘good practices’ of IBL classroom materials that connect to the world of work (WoW) are presented. The book describes the tasks and their use in daily educational practice to show how teachers can enrich their practices. The mascil book aims to support teachers in including applications of science and mathematics into day-to-day teaching, in particular the applications with connections to the world of work, thus demonstrating these subjects’ relevance to students’ future professions. It shows examples of classroom materials, outlines their connections to the world of work and gives inspiring insights into real classroom experiences across 13 European countries. The book additionally includes mascil guidelines to facilitate teachers´ redesign and adapting of tasks to their local context. The mascil book is available on the mascil website as a downloadable PDF. It can also be obtained in a number of partner languages.

Work package 4: Teacher training materials (pre- and in-service)
During the first phase of the project, the concept for the professional development materials was designed (in consultation with WPs 3 and 5), informed by an understanding of contexts across the Consortium (WP2) and the emerging models of implementation (WP8). This collaborative approach was facilitated by a number of meetings of key personnel. Analysis of existing training materials was carried out. Alongside adaption of these materials, the development of new materials bespoke to the mascil project approach to teaching, learning and professional development was undertaken.
Work was being carried out in the design of a toolkit to facilitate face-to-face professional development, professional development in e-learning and blended learning settings and additionally to support professional learning communities ranging from those being self-directed with minimal facilitation through to those with direct training. Work commenced on populating important aspects of the toolkit in relation to key domains: (1) ways of working, (2) inquiry and inquiry pedagogies and (3) world of work.
The toolkit addresses questions that teachers are likely to raise about their practice in relation to inquiry pedagogies and connecting mathematics and science to the world of work. Questions are clustered into key issues within these three domains, mentioned above. Relating to the inquiry and IBL pedagogies these are: the inquiry classroom, IBL in mathematics and IBL in science. With respect to the world of work these are: mathematics and science in the world of work, and connecting classroom learning to the world of work. A further domain ways of working addresses questions that relate to both practical aspects of organising and running teacher groups as professional learning communities and to how teachers might collaborate in cycles of inquiry into their classroom practice.
The final structure of toolkit is as follows:
1. Domains: overarching themes relating to (1) ways of working – as a PD group and in classrooms, (2) inquiry and inquiry pedagogies and (3) world of work.
2. Issues: provides an overview of teachers’ key areas of concern in each domain.
3. Professional questions: provides questions that teachers may raise.
4. Tools: stimulus materials/activities that teachers as a PD community can use to facilitate their thinking and classroom explorations.

Versions of the professional development toolkit were developed and published to support in-service teachers and pre-service trainee teachers improve their practice in relation to inquiry pedagogies and connecting learning with the world of work.
Consortium meetings were important to ensure integration of the work of various WPs, in particular to provide for coherence between online (WP4) and e-learning (WP5) versions of the toolkits for professional learning and the classroom materials collected and disseminated by WP3. A review by 4 external experts formed part of the toolkit development process.
Online and text-based English-language (international) versions of toolkits for professional learning (in-service and pre-service) were finalised and are delivered open-access to teachers and teacher trainers worldwide through our website. The online European version of the toolkit for in-service and pre-service teachers can be accessed on the project´s main platform in the ‘professional development’ section.
Furthermore, the translation of the toolkits to fully cater for the different languages and national contexts of partners across the Consortium was initiated and completed. It was clear that two forms of translation are required – one relating to language, the other relating to context. The diverse national contexts across the Consortium, and indeed the different systems, structures and policy priorities and contexts in which partners work were accounted for in their adaptation of the toolkits. The national toolkits were made accessible from each national website. Consequently, although there is an international (English-language) version of each toolkit, this is a “European” model which was expanded upon, adapted and modified to have most utility and purpose in each of the countries of the Consortium.
In preparation for the final stages of the project, the international version of the toolkit was updated to eliminate small errors that were identified. The feedback from the mid-term review confirmed a high quality and sound methodology of the toolkits. It suggested that three aspects of the toolkit should be attended to: (i) a clearer overview of the toolkit structure, (ii) a downloadable text version of the toolkit and (iii) a complete list of tools should be available. These issues were addressed successfully.
The requirements of the feedback from the mid-term review were implemented. A clearer overview of the toolkit structure was achieved by developing a grid that showed the outline of the whole toolkit giving domains, professional questions and tools. This was hyper-linked to the appropriate page of the toolkit and was accessible at the overview of the toolkit on the web-version. A downloadable text version of the toolkit is available on the mascil website, and a complete list of tools is available at the top page of each toolkit.
Efforts were made to ensure the toolkits´ visibility on the website, prominently acknowledging the major role they play in the work of the project. Therefore the toolkits have received a prominent place (in the middle of the start page), maximising the dissemination value. The final versions of the English language (international) version of the PD toolkit have also been integrated into the main project website at and The final national adopted versions of the toolkit can be accessed from the national websites. The final deliverables for the work package (D4.3 Final collection of modules for pre-service teacher training and D4.4 Final collection of modules for in-service teacher training) were delivered to their deadlines.

The final versions of the toolkits for in-service and pre-service teachers of mathematics and science are innovative in a number of important aspects. In particular, the attention was drawn to:
• Their focus on promoting connection of learning to the world of work as well as the promotion of inquiry learning
• Their high level of accessibility on a bespoke website as well as in downloadable print format
• Their focus on professional questions and their design to be used in a range of different ways through from training courses to supporting professional learning communities
• The wide range of connections made to high level of resources from other European collaborative projects as well as other highly respected curriculum and professional development initiatives in Europe.

Work package 5: E-learning materials for teacher training
At the beginning of the project, leaders of work packages 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8 were working closely together in order to ensure the maximum coherence within classroom materials (WP 3), teacher training materials (WP 4), e-learning materials for teacher training (WP 5) and the implementation of teacher training actions (WP 8). This work has led us to the development of an initial framework for teacher training, which was flexible enough to be adapted to face-to-face interventions, e-learning actions and blended ones as well as to a coherent model of teachers’ professional learning that guided the later implementation (communities of learning).
Once this framework was developed, the next step was writing the supporting materials for the professional development of teachers. In a further step, these materials were adapted and re-written so as to be used in e-learning settings. As a consequence, an initial package of materials for the professional development of teachers in e-learning settings was released in month 18 (deliverable D.5.1 A toolkit for the e-Professional Development of teachers across Europe).
In the whole process, an important aspect was the setting up of an e-learning platform that hosted our materials and the e-learning courses. In order to maximise benefits and to minimise costs, this work has been conducted in close collaboration with WP9 who also needed an international platform. As a consequence, a Moodle platform was installed, the initial configuration was carried out, and the platform set up to host both the PD materials (e-learning, WP5) and the teacher communication tools (WP9).
Further on, the work focused on the further development of the materials. Following experts’ feedback, materials were improved in terms of content and layout. Instructions for multipliers were reviewed and improved. This resulted in a first master version of the ePD toolkit. The versions were copied to the national area of partners, and the translation process started. Besides, a ‘Guideline for translation’ document was written and delivered to the Consortium. As the translation process was progressing, support to those partners that implemented PD courses based on the ePD toolkit was offered. This support included:
o Creating a separate copy of the ePD toolkit for each professional development group.
o Granting multiplier(s) and teachers access to the platform and said copy of the toolkit, including the corresponding rights.
o Solving technical issues that appeared when using the platform.

Considerable time was devoted to the improvement of the mascil platform, also following recommendations received from the midterm project review and comments from partners. This led to a greatly optimised version of the platform and the ePD toolkit, resulting in a better design and a simplified structure. This optimisation was also informed by the experiences we were collecting from platform users within the Consortium. In the area of the ‘International Teacher Communication’ a specific section for the publication of the Problems of the Month as well as forums where teachers could discuss about how they were using the Problems of the Month were added. The optimising processes have resulted in a more appealing e-learning platform and more user-friendly professional development materials. Besides, an introductory text to the platform, addressed to teachers and multipliers, was written. The text was included in the new version of the mascil international website.
In the final year of the project, the final optimisation of the e-learning materials was conducted. The main result achieved, and mascil WP5 main contribution to the science and mathematics education community, is the publication of the high quality professional learning materials addressing the IBL pedagogy and connection to the world of work (WoW) to support online and blended learning professional learning communities.
Sustainability was an important issue. It was clear that a mascil Moodle platform was needed during the project lifetime in order to test our e-learning materials and to run e-learning and b-learning courses. But after the project has finished, and thinking into the future, mascil e-learning materials could not be tied to a project Moodle: On the one hand, because it would be difficult to sustain this platform in the future; on the other hand, because most of the e-learning professional development providers prefer using their own platforms.
Therefore, we created a new version of the e-learning materials that kept the philosophy and design of our ePD toolkit, but can be imported in any Moodle platform. The ePD has been converted into a single Moodle course any PD provider can download from the mascil website free of charge. Then, they can import the sections they want to use into their own Moodle, personalise/adapt the contents and run the course. Instructions have been included. Besides, a short video clip has been produced explaining how to download and install mascil packages into a Moodle platform.
The e-learning toolkit supporting IBL teaching with a world-of-work context was indicated by our European Advisory Board as something extraordinary in European teacher training. Making the package availble for further use by PD facilitators, course instructors and multipliers worldwide free-of-charge is a major achievement of mascil.

Work package 6: Professional marketing concept and materials
In the course of developing a marketing strategy tailored to the needs of the different target groups of interest like teacher educators, teachers, students, parents, stakeholders and the media, means to reach these different target groups were identified and the following tools were set up: a clear message supported by a key visual, a logo, a logo manual explaining how to use the individual logo files for online and printing matters, an international website, a twitter account, an RSS-Feed and a newsletter, including a layout template for further newsletters. Furthermore, the international website was programmed and completed with important information about the project, its objectives and its results. National websites were published by the project partners. Additionally, templates for international project flyers, a template for PowerPoint presentations and academic posters as well as templates for deliverables and task sheets with the intention to foster a corporate identity were designed.
In developing a marketing concept, different school systems, curricula, conditions, different mentalities and languages had to be acknowledged. A flexible bottom-up-concept was worked up which supports the intentions of the various countries instead of a general top-down-marketing concept. Since the first target group mascil addressed were teachers, a flyer layout and text especially addressed to teachers, promoting the professional development offers of mascil were created. A project poster based on the contents as well as the appealing graphical preparation of the “Do-it-yourself-flyer” was designed to inform a broad audience (e.g. target groups like researchers, policy makers, schools, industry) about the work, offers and aims of the mascil project. A template of the poster was provided to all project partners for adaption (e.g. language, logos). Further marketing materials (e.g. icons, posters) were developed on partners’ requests.
The development of a marketing strategy to promote the mascil midterm and final conferences was of utmost importance to reach a wide audience to inform about the mascil outcomes and achievements over the project´s lifetime. Among other things, this marketing strategy included setting up a special conference website (, establishing a joint design to link the conferences to each other and of course to the whole project (including the design of conference icons), designing different flyers and a corporate design (e.g. a conference book and folder). A further important step was to provide text for conference announcements and press releases. These have not only been sent out to international media but were also provided to the partner countries for their national advertisement of the conferences.
An important step was the distribution of the call for proposals by means of a multi-level-marketing plan. Multi-level-marketing means that we spread the call to numerous addressees and these addresses in turn used their networks to distribute the call. With more than 140 addressees for the midterm call and 340 addressees or the final conference of different target groups, we could reach a large number of institutions, projects, networks and centres. The tremendous success of the distribution of calls for proposals could also be measured by the number (around 60) submissions for presentation at both conferences.
The Twitter account was intensively used as a part of mascil communication strategy to inform the broader audience about project’s work and relevant mascil events as well as to promote the Problems of the Month. For the final conference the twitter hashtag #ETEII was set up (hashtag name referring to the title of the conference `Educating the Educators II conference´).
In order to monitor the marketing strategy, statistical data was collected (e.g. visits on the website, number of persons registered for the newsletter) on a regular basis to check whether a correction of strategies might be needed. At the end of the first reporting period, 1788 visits were counted on the international website; at the end of the second period, 3587; and at the end of the third, 7202. It is important to note that this number of visits does not include the visit on the material database (WP3), the toolkits (WP4) and the E-Learning platform (WP5), as these are part of the website in terms of user experience and uniform look, but hosted on different servers. The rise of this number proofs the efficiency of the website strategy and the great interest in the project and international website in general.
Over the project duration, the mascil international website was further developed and refined. The website was regularly updated and new articles were written to make the European dimensions of the project´s work visible. The e-Learning platform for teachers and professional development toolkits for pre- and in-service teachers were integrated into the international mascil website directly through iframes or links, so that users can reach all mascil professional development materials via one website. Following the reviewers’ recommendation from the midterm review, the menu on the international website was restructured to create areas addressed for different target groups. Therefore, independent menus named teachers, students and policy were implemented for the respective target groups, leading users to interesting outcomes. All work on the mascil website aimed to attract diverse target groups, to make the website more transparent and attractive and above all to inform the general public about the mascil outcomes. For further impact, the website also will be available online after the project´s lifetime so that no project information will get lost.

Work package 7: Dissemination activities
The significant progress that has been made towards the overall aims during the 48 months of the project lifetime in respect to increase young students’ knowledge as well as their interest in science, technology and engineering, and encourage more students to pursue respective careers, proves the high quality of mascil as a dissemination project.
One of the aims of mascil was to actively inform teachers and other target groups (e.g. school heads, teacher educators, professional development centres, public authorities) about IBL, its aims and usefulness, about connections between school (IBL in maths and science education) and the world of work and what different target groups can do to support the uptake of these innovative ways of teaching. In frame of dissemination activities teachers should be encouraged to participate in the professional development activities, one of the core lines of work in the project, thus increasing the impact of the project.
The impact of mascil at (inter)national level was possible due to a very intensive and successful networking work of the whole Consortium. Establishing and maintaining contacts to important actors in STEM education was a first and crucial step to ensure the successful dissemination and impact of all other project activities. The partners dealt with this task from the beginning of the project and achieved extraordinary results at their local levels (e.g. cooperation with the ministries in respect to the PD courses (ESP); cooperation with the whole commune and all schools in this area (NO) etc.).
All partner countries reported on the networking dissemination activities carried out. Building on this information, national reports were prepared. These reports were merged into a cross-national report in order to identify weaknesses and strengths of networking activities, and to make adaptations when necessary, thus assuring the best possible quality when implementing dissemination actions, especially those that took place in the second half of the project lifetime.
The intensive dissemination phase fell within the third and fourth project years. Especially in those years but actually over the whole lifetime of the project, the mascil partners carried out a huge number of dissemination activities. It is noticeable that the mascil dissemination strategy and work plan included both qualitative and quantitative targets. From the beginning it was intended to reach both large numbers of people in all target groups and a large number of dissemination activities. At the same time, it was intended to carry out all required quality measures and to follow guidelines, so as to maximise the qualitative aspects of our dissemination activities. To achieve that, frequent exchange of knowledge and ideas between partners took place in all project meetings and through online communication. Based on that, a significant number of joined dissemination events were carried out, including scientific research papers.
Consequently, a very large number of dissemination events were conducted in the partner countries over all reporting periods. Events include, among other actions, invited talks to teacher conferences, workshops for teachers and parents, round table discussions, policy seminars, research publications in academic journals and international research conferences, entries in teacher and university magazines, talks on the radio, and information days for students and parents. During these dissemination events, various target groups have been reached, including high level stakeholders (e.g. by participating in mascil policy seminars), teachers, inspectors and heads of school, parents, students, teacher educators (e.g. especially through the mascil conferences “Educating the Educators”) science and mathematics researchers and professionals from industry (e.g. being invited to participate in the mascil conferences or to cooperate in scope for mascil professional development).
Every partner country prepared and submitted a national case study on dissemination, taking into account the dissemination activities carried out in the country. The national case studies included a critical analysis of the implementation, and outlined important contextual factors and obstacles as well as supporting factors. This helped with identifying weaknesses and strengths and providing corrections, if needed, as to assure a high quality of dissemination.
Based on the reports on dissemination activities provided by every partner country, an international comparative report on the dissemination activities was created. The report gives information about a framework for the high level dissemination strategy developed by mascil, and provides an in-depth analysis of effectiveness of dissemination activities carried out within mascil project. The report includes detailed information about:
• the contextual factors and rationale of the dissemination actions
• the implementation challenges and how the mascil Consortium worked towards overcoming them
• good examples of dissemination activities
• the effectiveness of dissemination actions
The international report also included a number of conclusions and recommendations useful for conceptualizing, preparing and conducting dissemination activities. It indicated essential conditions for successful dissemination, and gives ideas for sustainability. Therefore, the report offers big potential in respect to exploitation and can be adapted by different target groups aiming to conduct successful dissemination activities.
The mascil dissemination strategy was based on two pillars – high-intensity contacts with a potential high direct impact on classroom teaching (e.g. PD courses) as well as lower-intensity contact that support the long-term diffusion of new ideas in STEM education. These lower-intensity contacts gradually became high-intensity contacts (e.g. initial contact with the project in first year, receiving newsletters over 2 years, attending final conference and Material Market in 3rd year). As the project’s outcomes show (e.g., follow-up projects, stable official network founded), the strategy has proven successful in working towards our ambitious goals.
Summed up, a number of significant results were achieved, indicating a strong potential for further impact on the targeted groups and beyond, on a wider community and societal level. The results achieved can be summarized in the following:
• More than 425 dissemination events in all partner countries within 4 years of project’s lifetime, including invited talks to teacher conferences, workshops for teachers and parents, round table discussions, entries in teacher and university magazines, and information days for students and parents.
• More than 35835 contacts through face-to-face dissemination activities.
• Even more people (aprox. 55 000) reached via virtual dissemination canals (distribution of mascil flyers and the mascil newsletter).
• In total, more than 60 media related events in all partner countries, including newsletters, entries in newspapers and other local media, and invited talks to regional radio.
• More than 140 presentations in national and international research conferences.
• Implementing of mascil mid-conference and mascil final conference (see WP1 for a detailed analysis), both very successful.
• Establishing of the European STEM Professional Development Centres Network.

Work package 8: Implementation
The implementation of the project concerning the education of multipliers, teachers and students offered significant results. The integration of IBL and WoW in teaching and professional development was a new approach in mathematics and science education. The results show that the resources designed and the PD and teaching strategies developed can be exemplary in mathematics and science education. This rich learning environment can improve students’ appreciation of mathematics and science. Moreover, the collaboration of mathematics and science teachers in many countries was a new experience that allowed students to see science, mathematics and technology in a unified way.
A number of tasks in respect to implementation were conducted at the beginning of the project lifetime. These were: identifying key issues of implementation - scaling up, systemic character, spiral model, integrating world of work (WoW), promoting inquiry-based learning (IBL) - linking work package 8 with other work packages; developing and revising a framework for helping the partners to report on the structure of their planning for implementation and collecting the country national reports.
We structured our framework around the central features of the implementation such as:
• its longitudinal character where teachers participate in cycles of planning-implementing-reflecting;
• its objective to integrate IBL and WoW in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science;
• its systemic character in terms of involving different institutional and social contexts where context-specific interventions are planned and learning communities are established;
• its scaling-up approach which aims to engage a large number of teachers in professional development and/or TE.
The national reports were completed according to the above mentioned framework which facilitates developing a comparative report describing the different implementation approaches for designing and implementing professional development across the participating countries (D8.1). This comparative report constituted one step in the direction of conducting a comparative analysis on implementation among and across countries, taking into account their different educational and social contexts.
The mascil teams took important steps in organising the teacher education groups for their subsequent professional development activities by means of meetings with multipliers and particular groups of teachers. National Advisory Boards in every country facilitated these steps. The implementation of teacher training for in-service and pre-service teachers was successfully carried out in each participating country, following a multiplicity of PD models, offering PD courses to large number of teachers (about 7268 teachers of which 3311 are pre-service teachers and 3957 are in-service teachers) using both direct and indirect ways of training (both face-to-face and e-learning); using different kinds of resources (e.g. toolkits, mascil tasks, authentic workplace artifacts) and providing innovative classroom experiences in different types of schools and classrooms (general and vocational education, primary and secondary levels).
Partners reported on their implementation activities finalizing their case studies on implementation based on a framework developed, optimized and provided to all partners by the work package leader. The collected information was analysed to examine the impact of scaling-up on the participants (e.g., teachers and multipliers), taking into account the specificities of national contexts and the forms of PD activities and scaling-up strategies (e.g., face-to-face/e-learning, PD courses/learning communities, dissemination approaches such as the national site, teacher conferences, media and publications).
The information collected from the national case studies was the basis for developing the final international report on implementation (D8.2) It resulted in working out the effective strategies adopted by mascil partners when implementing IBL in the classroom, which were: enhancing the exploratory character of the designed tasks through optimization problems, problems allowing multiple solution strategies and creative thinking; engaging students in working with rich resources including concrete materials and/or digital tools; designing and managing the integration of inquiry approaches in the classroom through appropriate questioning or discussion; and working with teachers familiar with IBL and open teaching approaches before mascil. The effective strategies adopted by mascil partners when implementing connections with the WoW in the classroom activities were: inviting professionals into the classroom; engaging students in original workplace practices; and facilitating students’ expression of creative ideas through designing and/or constructing concrete objects useful in everyday life.
Through the international report, the richness of the PD activities and large scale implementation in mascil countries was an important achievement of mascil. In particular, almost all mascil partners managed to recruit more teachers than they had initially planned (2379 teachers were planned to participate while actually 7268 teachers participated in the PD activities). 509 mascil teachers were from the vocational education although the workplace connection had been more expected in these schools. Some countries adopted a short-term spiral model while others managed to support teachers in experiencing the mascil innovation in their classrooms through repeated cycles of designing, implementing and reflecting. In terms of the main goals of mascil to support teachers to incorporate IBL and WoW into their teaching, the findings provide evidence that these goals were reached by almost all teachers. The results also show the variety of ways that IBL and WoW were used. The international report (D8.2) illustrates a number of valuable professional development and teaching practices, giving evidence that a large number of classroom tasks (over a thousand) were implemented in the classroom during the implementation phase. The results from the implementation contributed to the further development of mascil materials, enriched by examples from the implementation, as teachers had transformed the mascil tasks in different ways fit into their planning and teaching.

Work package 9: Promoting European Teachers’ Networks
One of the main achievements reached within WP9 has been the establishment of the teacher communication platform (M9.1). In terms of cooperation with other Consortium partners, the collaboration with the e-learning team (WP5) has produced a suitable configuration of the platform (with Moodle); the effective collaboration with WP3 led to the creation of a common template for task development and evaluation, as well as to the development of a common template for the Problems of the Month, and cooperative communication with WP4 has achieved the inclusion of the Problems of the Month in the teacher education toolkit.
Suitable Problems of the Month were collected, analysed, amended and redistributed by the work package team. The Problems of the Month fulfilled the requirements of IBL and World of work dimensions, while at the same time being applicable in all partner countries and adaptable to different age groups of learners. In summary, a collection of 17 Problems of the Month was successfully produced and published in collaboration with all Consortium partners. They were translated into national languages and promoted in all participating countries. They were published once a month, except during summer when teachers and students are on holidays, on all national websites as well as on the international website (, and in the classroom materials database (
The Problems of the Month have been implemented in all mascil countries, in PD-activities and in classroom teaching. Though the extent of the implementation is country dependent, the set of mascil Problems of the Month has reached a wide audience across Europe, having engaged teachers and students in working on common tasks and activities. The fact that we know that more than 80% of the task collection have been implemented also show that problems or situations described are indeed of a nature that is relevant across countries and cultures. The task collection also provides teachers and students with important knowledge about the international nature of science, mathematics and society. In most mascil partner countries, the Problems of the Month contributed to teacher communication at several levels, including initiating/generating discussions; sharing experiences, e.g. adaptation to level, class, results/student outcome, implementation, modification and adaptation; creating new networks; strengthen existing networks; participation in conferences, seminars or competitions.
To provide further opportunities for discussions and communication about the different aspects of the project (e.g. mathematics and science WoW tasks; Problems of the Month; e-learning; the toolkit), virtual conferences were organised. Students in different countries, together with their teachers, were working on the same inquiry task (connected with vocational areas and/or industry). They could exchange their approaches to the problem, possible solutions, and discuss about the situation presented in the problem.
Based on their own participation in conferences, observations of conferences, or communication with participating teachers, the Consortium members considered several aspects as positive outcomes of the virtual conferences: Virtual conferences were a valuable experience for the students. This type of activities motivated them to express their opinion, they were actively engaged and desired to keep the communication. A lot of students enjoyed experiencing their English. The tasks that they worked on became valuable because another class dealt with them too. Students had the possibility to learn about differences in culture by participating in interesting discussions. In addition, virtual conferences elicited many of the 21st century skills and competences, as well as competences relevant for future working life.
From the view of participants, they considered this type of meetings extremely important for both teachers and students. They mentioned, for example, the relevance for their further life and further education, highlighting both the collaboration and the knowledge aspect. For students, the meetings were a chance to share their ideas and learn a lot (subject-oriented, topic-oriented, language skills, collaboration skills, communication skills, cultural aspects). The linguistic aspect - using English while learning science and maths - was highlighted as well. Some teachers mentioned that one activity specifically increased the motivation of the students (energy consumption task); they liked the practical application and real context of the task. Some teachers also experienced that parents got more involved in this task than they normally do. Most students learned more about themselves, about how they live, their own homes; they became reflective. The very strong added value in respect to virtual conferences seems to be that they raise students’ level of confidence and motivation.
For participating teachers, the virtual conferences were a great opportunity to exchange and to initiate international collaboration. Two participating teachers established a partnership based on their first mascil virtual conference (Spain and The Netherlands), opening up for future collaboration. The teachers have already met in Germany and are planning physical exchange of students within the next school year.
Mascil not only connected teachers internationally, but has also established close connections to teacher associations, networks and organisations. During the project’s lifetime the mascil team strengthened and promoted teachers’ networks. WP9 has drafted a list of national and international teacher networks. The list has been used for teacher communication and for invitations to the midterm conference and final conference. The complete and updated list has been published on the international mascil website, and the national lists have been published on the national websites. During the midterm conference, a PD centre’s meeting was offered for the first time. This was a success, and centre meetings have later been organised in parallel to the Consortium meetings. These centre meetings have been important for connecting mascil to the European and national teacher networks.
Beyond that, mascil has worked closely together with Scientix, the largest teacher community in STEM in Europe: Materials from mascil are being published on Scientix for teachers to find them easily, and mascil has been awarded by Scientix several times.

Work package 10: Evaluation
The aim of the evaluation was to provide profound knowledge of mascil’s impact on implementing inquiry-based learning with focus on rich vocational aspects (both summative and formative). At the beginning of the project a baseline study was conducted. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the status-quo of teaching and learning with a focus on inquiry-based learning (IBL) and the implementation of the world of work (WoW) in the thirteen countries involved in the project. The results of the baseline study informed designing and adapting the continuous professional development programmes and helped to identify country-specific needs.
For the purpose of this baseline study a teacher questionnaire was designed. Among other things, items from the OECD studies TALIS and PISA and from the PRIMAS questionnaires were adapted. Four-point Likert-type items were used whenever suitable. These items do not allow to opt for a neutral response. Based on the PISA study, the applied categories of the four-point scales reflect frequencies or agreement. The questionnaire was translated and distributed among teachers by the members of the Consortium. 1132 teachers filled out the questionnaire. Significant differences between the countries were evident.
The results of our status quo study clearly showed that neither IBL nor WoW had penetrated daily teaching practice. On the other hand, teachers all over Europe were ready to implement IBL and to make references to WoW. Every effort had to account for national differences and also for subject-related differences. Thus, the mascil project aimed to support teachers when integrating IBL and WoW into daily teaching practice, and furthermore aimed to contribute to educational improvement across Europe.
These results served as a basis for designing the formative evaluation and the summative evaluation of the professional development courses.
The main outcomes of the quantitative status-quo study were published as “take away messages” on the international mascil website to easily and effectively disseminate the results of this study in a concise form to relevant stakeholders. The results of the baseline study also (content wise and organisational) informed the preparation of a Policy Workshop on the final mascil conference.
In the next step, a framework for the formative evaluation of the implementation process was developed. According to partners´ specific settings and needs, the common qualitative evaluation concept was slightly adapted. These adaptations were documented in national reports on the national data evaluation framework. In order to provide insight, particularly into the implementation processes as well as into impact and effectiveness of the implementation actions during the lifetime of the project, and the professional development process and factors that either support or hinder the widespread uptake of inquiry-based learning and making connections to the world of work, the qualitative data collected was analysed in-process.
In order to make the case studies comparable, we committed to a common research question. A definition of cases that should be covered within every partner country was constituted as well:
• common research question: In relation to the implementation of IBL and WoW, what impact has our overall PD concept on participants? What are the reasons for this impact?
• common definition of cases: One professional development course in each country should form the framing from which all cases should be drawn. Within each framing we will collect data from the multiplier and several teachers.
In addition, methods of gathering of qualitative data were elaborated. Data collection for the case studies involved interviews with teachers and multipliers, PD observations and classroom observations, short teacher questionnaires as well as portfolios of evidence from the teachers and the multipliers. All thirteen partners submitted their national case studies based on the mascil data evaluation concept. In total, thirteen multipliers and 37 maths and science teachers contributed their experiences and engagement to the mascil case studies.
Also, the summative pre-post study was implemented successfully in all mascil countries. The instruments for qualitative data analyse was designed based on the status quo study. In summary, we received 1420 pre questionnaires and 1042 post questionnaires.
Both quantitative and qualitative data was analysed to get further information about teachers’ beliefs on IBL and the WoW context, teachers´ own teaching experiences and the impact of the PD courses. The interpretations and conclusions of the pre-post study checked against the interpretations and conclusions of our multiple case study show that mascil has made an essential contribution to a widespread use of IBL and the WoW context through the mascil CPD courses.
The studies gave valuable insight into the teaching situation with respect to the implementation of IBL and the WoW context in the different countries of the Consortium. The multiple case study and the pre-post study show that neither IBL nor the WoW context is currently a daily teaching practice. The extent of the implementation of IBL and the WoW context also significantly depends on the cultural background (country), the subject concerned and the age group taught: For example, science teachers incorporate IBL and the WoW context more frequently than mathematics teachers. Also, the connection between IBL and the WoW context seems to be more inherent to thinking in science teaching. Overall, IBL is more widespread than the regards for WoW contexts. This underlines the innovative character of our project and the relevance of having provided high-quality materials teachers can use to include IBL pedagogies into their teaching that link to the world of work.
Our research showed that teachers have a positive attitude about IBL and the WoW context. Teachers are convinced that IBL has the potential to overcome learning problems, to motivate students and to contribute to so-called 21st century skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration. The attitude significantly depends on the cultural background (country) and the age group, but not on the subject. Teachers also have a more positive attitude towards IBL than towards the WoW context. In our multiple case study, it has become evident that teachers have limited experience with the WoW context which might be a reason to explain their more hesitant positive attitude.
Our research shows that policy (curriculum) including assessments, time issues and missing materials are seen by teachers as hindrances to implement IBL and the WoW context. Classroom management is not seen as hindrance per se.
Finally, the evaluation studies show that the professional development courses within mascil were held successfully. Our professional development courses supported mathematics and science teachers in implementing inquiry-based science teaching that is informed by workplace practice in their day-to-day teaching. After the professional development intervention, teachers used IBL and the WoW context significantly more frequently. Teaching practice became more relevant, student-oriented, hands-on and investigative and more WoW oriented. Teachers display an even more positive attitude towards IBL and the WoW context. Policy, including assessment, is still seen as a hindrance, but not as strong as before the professional development intervention. After the training, teachers did not see missing material any longer as a hindrance to implement IBL and the WoW context. Our material collection proved to be very useful for the teachers. Teachers felt competent to asses other teaching materials than the textbook, and to redesign tasks. This affirms that the project mascil met its goal to closely link practice and theory. The model for professional development based on phases of analysis, implementation and reflection has proven to be successful.
The interferences of the pre-post study checked against the interferences of our multiple case study show that mascil made an essential contribution to a widespread use of IBL and the WoW context through the mascil professional development courses. Especially the mascil material has proven to be very useful.

Potential Impact:
The potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far) and the main dissemination activities and exploitation of results
Mascil aimed to effect change across Europe in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science by advancing a widespread use of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in these subjects. Additionally, a major project innovation was that mascil connected IBL with the world of work (WoW). By linking maths and science to work-related contexts and using real-life situations, students’ learning experiences become more meaningful for their personal, and future professional lives. The long-term goal is to equip young people with the skills and competences crucial to their lives beyond school. To achieve this, mascil’s path was to: increase teachers’ skills in inquiry-based science teaching and learning; raise awareness of key stakeholders in science and maths education (i.e. from educational policy, PD practice) by informing them about IBL pedagogy and the crucial connection between IBL and WoW; and bridge the gap between these groups by stimulating dialogue and initiating collaboration. We achieved maximum impact in project lifetime with our systemic approach involving a multi-facetted dissemination strategy and research-based PD activities. The following presents project’s real and potential impact, main dissemination activities and result exploitation under consideration of mascil main strands on a national and cross-national basis.
Networking activities – crucial step to achieving maximum impact
Mascil’s huge impact at (inter)national level was possible due to the entire Consortium’s intensive and successful networking. Establishing and maintaining contacts to important STEM education stakeholders in the individual mascil partner countries and internationally was a crucial step to ensuring the impact of all other project activities. Internationally, mascil established two vital networks to support widespread uptake of IBL pedagogy and WoW context: the European Network of Professional Development Centres consisting of 30 PD providers in Europe and a general STEM education stakeholder network of research, policy and practice. Both resulted from the main mascil dissemination events: the international conferences Educating the Educators I & II.
Mascil hosted its midterm conference (Educating the Educators I) from 15 – 16 December 2014 at the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. More than 170 participants (policy-makers, practitioners and researchers) from 21 countries participated. Highlights included four tracks, renowned speakers and inspiring talks from both research and practice-based perspectives on how to scale-up teacher professional development in maths and science education.
The conference was highly topical and served to foster discussion and exchange about approaches and current challenges to improving the education of educators in maths and sciences – and thus, improve education in these subjects at schools. A final panel and plenary discussion brought key insights from the different tracks together, looked to the future and defined core strategies needed for ‘scaled-up’ teacher PD. One of the most important conclusions was that there is an urgent need for practitioners, researchers and policy makers to increase collaboration and communication and step up coordinated efforts. Developing a strong network of European teacher training centres and strengthening the voice of the practice side was therefore an important approach. The midterm conference was also a project milestone. One of its innovative features was: A special meeting of European STEM professional development centres which was the first opportunity for such institutions to meet at a European level and begin mutual exchange and collaboration. A major result was: establishing a European Network of STEM PD Centers, which has been meeting since on a regular basis. This collaboration means successful, long-term mascil impact and enables wide-reaching dissemination of project materials and concepts.
This conference also made first crucial contributions to achieving scaled-up PD for European maths and science teachers by discussing different means of scaling up. Moreover, participants voiced the need to delve even deeper into the conference key issues, and mascil met this request within the framework of the project’s final conference in Freiburg, Germany (Educating the Educators II, 7-9 November 2016). Almost 200 researchers, practitioners and policy makers from 31 countries all around the world participated. Besides high-level, keynote speakers, the conference concept boasted a diversity of innovative formats and events that extended the approach of ‘classical’ research conferences. These included: research–practice sessions; Market of Materials; Early Career Researcher's Day; company visit to reflect innovation in STEM education in industry; Policy Seminar; and meeting of the Network of European STEM Professional Development Centres. A specific merit of the highly appreciated conference was that it ensured the building of bridges and networks in the research-policy-practice triangle of STEM education and, together with mascil’s WoW context, to industry. Perhaps the most important achievement is that the conference series has established itself as a welcome European and international platform for a diversity of stakeholders in STEM education to meet, exchange and find opportunities for collaboration. Educating the Educators III is already in the works and will be held in 2019.
Summing up, the mascil conferences made huge impact on bridging the gap between diverse stakeholder groups involved in increasing students’ skills and competences required in the current and future labour market. They also informed a wide audience about IBL and connections to WoW, and supported development of innovative approaches to improving STEM teacher training.
Linking the project to existing, sustainable networks and disseminating mascil results through them turned out to be a very successful strategy to achieve long-term impact. Mascil efforts led to cooperation with the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), the most important science education network in Europe. ESERA disseminated mascil’s concept and details at several of its conferences. Further, mascil could win its president - a member of the working group that drafted the 2015 report on science education in Europe Science for responsible Citizenship - as a member of project’s European Advisory Board (EAB). Another success was the introduction of the project to the International Community of Teachers of Mathematical Modelling and Applications (ICTMA). Furthermore, mascil was presented at the Experts Meeting in Education Networking (EMINENT), an annual event organised by European Schoolnet which brings together experts in education, ministry representatives and other stakeholders to discuss the latest trends in education and technology.
The mascil impact has been and will be maximised through close collaboration with Scientix, which accepted our invitation to hold workshops at mascil conferences and these were very well-received by participants. Mascil has used Scientix offers in order to further strengthen the dissemination of mascil foreground and the core collection of mascil classroom materials is also available through the Scientix material database.

Creating of sustainable structures – ensuring impact in the future
We have already reported on the establishment of the European STEM professional development centres and the conference series “Educating the educators” which form sustainable structures. We also brought together the science and mathematics education research community, science and mathematics’ teachers, industry and local actors, by setting up national and international advisory structures. National Advisory Boards (NABs) were established in every mascil country. The NABs gave advice to partners on a national level, developed ideas for dissemination activities and also acted as the link between a partner country’s teachers and their schools. Following the participatory intervention model, the NABs developed a sense of ownership for implementing IBL pedagogies and supported changes towards these locally.
A better sharing of experience among practitioners across Europe was realised with the help of the EAB. This international panel supported the NABs in identifying the European commonalities and differences.
Throughout project lifetime, mascil developed sustainable structures in partner countries and internationally which are strong indicators of even more significant impact in future. The International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE) established in autumn 2016 at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany, has grown from the mascil network and will ensure the further exploitation of mascil results (e.g. diverse classroom and PD materials, reports, toolkits) on a regular basis. About 15 European institutions from the field of STEM education who have been cooperating on projects’ basis decided to unite resources to promote innovative teaching and learning methods in STEM education. In the framework of this centre, concrete initiatives disseminating the IBL-WoW focus in STEM education are already planned (i.e. Educating the Educators III conference).
On national levels, ICSE partners will form national hubs aiming to; build further cooperation structures with policy, research, practice and industry; take PD opportunities; create curricula; and develop and disseminate IBL/WoW materials. We detail country-specific, sustainable solutions further below.

Dissemination activities
The Consortium used diverse tools and methods to provide a wide audience with information about the project, IBL and the world of word context in its multi-level, multi-stakeholder strategy. Mascil dissemination actions also aimed to encourage teachers to attend mascil PD courses.
Our dissemination strategy and work plan had both qualitative and quantitative targets. From the beginning, we intended to reach a large number of people in all our target groups. At the same time, it was important to carry out all required quality measures and to follow guidelines, so as to maximise the qualitative aspects of our dissemination actions and ensure maximum impact. Events included: giving talks at and conducting national and international conferences; workshops for teachers and parents; round table discussions; policy workshops; research publications in academic journals and at international research conferences; publications in teacher and university journals and magazines; distributing flyers and information days for students and parents. A marketing concept supported project’s dissemination strategy to inform media, create high quality marketing materials and the website appearance.
Mascil’s four-year dissemination has already had huge impact. Partners conducted over 425 dissemination actions within project lifetime and documented more than 31835 face-to-face contacts through activities like workshops and conference presentations. We reached even more people (about 55 000) through virtual dissemination channels. This clearly evidences the broader interest in mascil, its products, and the effectiveness of mascil dissemination strategies.
Additionally, mascil published four editions of its international newsletter and the mailing list grew significantly and currently has about 2000 recipients.
The non-numeric evidence of mascil impact is even more impressive than the figures above. Appreciation of mascil work and outcomes on the local level has been clearly visible. Mascil partners were invited to attend work groups informing curricula development (UK). Mascil tasks have been included in PD materials for pre-service teachers recommended by policy (NL). Our PD courses were authorised by regional educational institution (ES, CZ), and mascil’s work has led to cooperation with business and industry (DE, TR). The international appreciation of mascil results, high quality products and innovative approaches became visible not only through the great interest in mascil international events, but also in a range of requests from all over the world to the mascil coordinating team. Mascil approaches and results were taken into account by creating IBL-oriented curricula in Ghana. Ghana’s research team used mascil guidelines for designing IBL tasks with WoW context to create innovative PD materials. Researchers in the USA and Asia have used our high quality evaluation instruments. Additionally, a scientific paper about mascil as ‘an excellent project and framework to develop inquiry-based mathematics teaching and learning connected with workplaces’ was published in Japanese. Within Europe, areas not involved in mascil activities have begun regularly using mascil products, i.e. for running PD courses in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
It is obvious that the extent of (potential) impact varies among, for example, people who completed mascil PD and those who have ‘only’ been informed about our offers, concept, etc. Our strategy was based on both of these pillars – high-intensity contacts with a potential strong, direct impact on classroom teaching (e.g. PD courses) and lower-intensity contact supporting the long-term diffusion of new ideas in STEM education. These lower-intensity contacts can gradually become high-intensity ones.
Successful implementation – direct impact on pre- and in-service teachers, their teaching practice and beliefs.
We built sustainability and impact into our multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach and enhanced these with PD that comprised both face-to-face and e-learning components aiming to support the scaling-up of teacher professional development. In project lifetime, 7268 teachers attended mascil PD courses and partners managed to recruit significantly more teachers than they had initially planned (2379 vs. 7268). This greatly contributed to an increased mascil impact. To guarantee the most appropriate implementation and far-reaching impact, mascil also analysed infrastructures and characteristics of the environment relevant for the local implementations. Based on the analysis results, the national mascil teams set up support structures for local implementation and selected appropriate teacher PD models. These work-intensive procedures proved to be worthwhile. Supported by experienced multipliers and teacher trainers, mascil PD proved to be very effective and impactful, as shown by the quantitative and qualitative evaluation. Evaluation results show clearly that after the PD intervention, teachers have used IBL and the WoW context significantly more frequently. Teaching practice has become more relevant, student-centred, hands-on, investigative and more WoW-oriented. Teachers also developed a more positive attitude towards IBL and the WoW context. They still see policy contexts such as assessment practices as a hindrance, but less so than before the PD. After it, they also no longer saw missing materials as a hindrance to implementing IBL and the WoW context. Thus, our materials collection proved to be very useful for teachers. Post-intervention, teachers also felt competent assessing other materials and redesigning existing tasks for IBL-based, WoW context teaching.
The mascil PD courses contributed immensely to increasing participating teachers’ competences and changing their practice and beliefs about IBL and connections to the world of work. Moreover, some teachers have become true adherents of IBL pedagogy and are working to spread it among their colleagues. The mascil evaluation results evidence that mascil has made an essential contribution to a widespread use of IBL and the WoW context through its PD courses.
Sustainable and exploitable products
Mascil published and ensured a wide dissemination of high quality, sustainable and exploitable materials which will maximise the impact of results beyond project lifetime. We designed classroom materials that develop mathematical, scientific and interdisciplinary inquiry in rich vocational contexts for primary and secondary school students. The mascil materials include both IBL and the WoW context, which is a unique and innovative materials’ feature. The mascil online material collection was very popular throughout project lifetime, with some tasks from the core collection accessed more than 1700 times. Also the national materials collections have had excellent acceptance in their local contexts, e.g. the German collection of ‘Smartphone tasks’ received more than 35 000 visits! These examples provide obvious evidence that mascil tasks have a very high quality and are in great demand by European teachers. Mascil also provided guidelines on how teachers can redesign tasks to meet IBL/WoW criteria. Additionally, the mascil materials collection is available on educational platforms for teachers (i.e. Scientix task repository, main materials platform for teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.) The mascil international website will be available for at least the next five years. For further maximised impact, mascil published a book about IBL and WoW and includes numerous examples of mascil tasks. Written in English, the book has been translated into a number of partner languages (e.g. Turkish, Czech, German, Spanish). The downloadable version of the mascil book is available on the international mascil website. We are convinced that these measures will ensure extensive use and exploitation of mascil classroom tasks beyond project lifetime. Planning is underway for a materials collection within the newly founded International Centre for STEM education, which will also include the mascil materials collection.
Next to classroom materials, we created materials for teacher PD: the research-based ‘toolkit’ for professional development in IBL pedagogies with WoW. To support PD scale-up and best respond to the needs of different partner countries, the toolkit is available in face-to-face and specially adapted e-learning versions and can be downloaded from the homepage. We also restructured the whole ePD toolkit into one material package that is available on the website free of charge. Therefore PD providers worldwide can download the parts they want to use, install them in their own Moodle and adapt the contents to their needs. To further facilitate the exploitation of the ePD toolkit, the website also contains detailed instruction for group facilitators. The e-learning materials respond to the current changes in PD structures, offering innovative tools adaptable to diverse context. Our EAB named the realisation of this package as “extraordinary” and a major project achievement is that the package is available to all PD providers. We are convinced that the downloadable version of mascil e-learning materials will contribute to further development of ePD courses addressing IBL and WoW.
Mascil also created a number of valuable reports, which have a significant potential for further exploitation. They provide information about the work performed within each mascil WP, the theoretical background and implemented approaches. Therefore, detailed information about mascil implementation and its models, virtual conferences, evaluation approach, dissemination strategies, work with policy and diverse mascil materials including Problems of the Month can be found in these reports. All mascil work areas were complemented with numerous country-specific examples and analysis of contextual factors. These features transform mascil reports into valuable sources of rare and useful knowledge. They can be used for implementing innovative methods of teaching and learning and to support teacher cooperation and communication. They also provide content for cross-country comparison studies, which teachers greatly appreciate.
All mascil foreground is published on the mascil website, guided by open-access policies and under Creative Commons share-alike licences. Making our tools and results widely and freely available guarantees the project´s best possible contribution to society and, in particular, to the goal of improving teaching and learning.

Highlighting mascil effects on a country-specific level
In the following, we present extraordinary country-specific achievements that ensure high impact at local/national level. These significant outcomes are extraordinary in terms of contextual criteria in the respective countries and because they provide an overview of mascil’s diverse results and wide variety of project’s present and future impact.
The Turkish mascil team established intensive cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Education, and with key stakeholders and organizations that are influential in the field of science education, e.g. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Feza Gursey Science Center. Our team member, Gultekin Cakmakci, was involved in the development of the new Turkish science curriculum, which emphasises IBL. Therefore, teachers and policy makers want to know more about effective IBL strategies, IBL-oriented PD courses and appropriate classroom materials. The mascil PD activities directly reached a large numbers of teachers. For example, more than 300 in-service teachers participated in the two-day mascil teacher workshops in Ankara, Nevsehir and Adana. Further, we initiated close cooperation with industry and involved it in the PD courses to raise teachers’ awareness on the importance of WoW context in the classroom. For example, workshop participants visited an R&D and manufacturing company of automobile technologies that had produced Turkey’s first electrical car ( The teachers learned first-hand from the engineers about the application of scientific and mathematical knowledge to the real world problems.
United Kingdom
In the UK, there has been large impact through the roles taken by staff from the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education in various areas of national policy and curriculum development in which IBL and problem-solving approaches are being promoted and implemented. For example, Wake and Dalby are members of advisory groups for the new core maths qualifications, Wake is involved in the development of assessment materials for core maths and Dalby is a member of Outer Circle the Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education Outer Circle. Wake’s work on national qualifications promotes connections to the world of work. This work ensures the influence of mascil at the national level. There are also some curriculum changes, such as that assessment at age 16 be supportive of the inquiry approaches (which the mascil UK team influenced to some extent).

In pre-service teacher education, the Dutch team conducted workshops with student teachers in Utrecht and a national meeting for student teachers. These workshops and a presentation at a teacher educator conference (ECENT) enabled us to embed mascil classroom materials and tools for pre-service teacher education in existing curricula. Through initiatives initiated within mascil, we were able to have the importance of IBL and WoW contexts as standard topics in the initial teacher education programme in our country. Whenever teachers and/or teacher trainers meet, the mascil acronym is an immediate reference to a way of working. The significance of this result was also apparent when representatives of our national institute for curriculum development regularly referred to mascil at one of their conferences (CIDREE-meeting on future directions for mathematics and science curricula in Europe).
A major impact of our work is a result of our collaboration with the SAFA schools. SAFA is a wide network of private schools, but funded with public resources (27 schools, circa 20 000 students). Mascil organised 10 intensive courses with the SAFA foundation. Almost all mathematics teachers from the 27 primary and secondary schools, plus some science and technology teachers attended these courses (nearly 250 teachers). After finishing the face-to-face PD courses, it became clear that teachers needed extended support and new opportunities to learn about IBL. Therefore, we offered an online course. After collaborating with SAFA in terms of PD, they are now working on their own, trying to extend implemented ideas further and renewing their syllabus by designing new mathematics and science units that include IBL activities. Furthermore, our close collaboration with the Regional and National Ministries of Education resulted in the implementation of several PD courses and workshops across the country.
A significant number of high-level policy makers (including the Minister of Education and Culture, the President of the Parliament Committee on Education, and the Head of the Educational Committee in Cyprus, Directors of the Pedagogical Institute, Directorates of Education at the Cyprus Ministry of Education) have been informed on mascil aims and objectives, and the benefits of the widespread use of IBL and connections to WoW in schools. This high level networking also resulted in disseminating to high impact people and attracting teachers to participate in PD courses. Around 350 teachers (in- and pre-service) participated in mascil PD courses, while more than 500 more were informed about mascil in various other dissemination activities. Cyprus PD courses were accredited by the Ministry of Education of Culture and delivered in collaboration with the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, the body responsible for the in-service training in Cyprus. The local research team will continue the successful work in delivering more PD courses, and in making the PD toolkit available to the Ministry of Education and Culture for designing future PD schemes.
We organised the mascil national policy workshop at the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Lithuania. 21 key actors and policy makers (e.g. representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania, including the Vice Minister Svetlana Kauzonienė , the Education Development Centre, the Centre of National Exams, and several higher institutions and universities), who clearly supported IBL and WoW, attended the national policy workshop. The participants agreed that it was necessary to work together and closely cooperate towards IBL in STEM education in the future. In project lifetime, we prepared 36 multipliers and organised 30 PD courses over two years in which over 400 teachers participated. These teachers created about 200 IBL/WoW tasks with background of the Lithuanian curricula within the PD courses. The translated toolkit was further used by teachers in schools to inform their colleagues.
Czech Republic
In relation to wider policy perspectives in Czech Republic, new curricular documents for primary and lower secondary education include the field of ‘People and the world of work’. The national curriculum prioritises IBL-based teaching and learning approaches in science and mathematics subjects, but provides no concrete explanation and comments in examples and expected competences. Therefore mascil contributed to narrowing the gap between curricula requirements and practice and improving the quality of PD offered in maths and science education. Additionally, the Ministry of Education accredited three mascil PD courses for maths and science teachers oriented on IBL and WoW. In short, the dissemination of mascil materials and implementation of the PD courses have contributed to a change culture in maths and science education.
In Austria, changes in the national teacher education system had led to a hostile atmosphere between universities and pedagogical colleges which made implementing joint teacher training activities a challenging task. We were able to establish a sustainable and fruitful link to pedagogical colleges, although this had appeared difficult at project begin. The multipliers from the pedagogical colleges showed interest in mascil ideas and the joint mascil PD courses were very successful. Additionally, the experiences from the different mascil PD courses were considered in the new curricula design. Special lectures offer the possibility to directly link to an IBL classroom. The incorporation of IBL in the new teacher education programme is a very promising prospective to change classroom practice in Austria for the next decades. We also established a sustainable link with our policy makers due to the Policy Seminar organised in the course of the mascil final conference. This link has grown into a strong working relationship. Thus, both sides are very interested in maintaining this relationship in order to implement mascil ideas and other educational innovations in the Austrian education system in future.
As a result of the activities in the framework of project mascil, public awareness about IBL ‘has been moving’ towards appreciating it. The Bulgarian mascil team was invited to give talks and organise workshops for different target groups. Several organizations got involved with IBL promotion and collaborated with our mascil team in order to implement IBL. The local branches of the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians repeatedly invited the mascil team to present IBL at their gatherings. RAABE Publishing House, the Bulgarian branch of the Ernst Klett Verlag invited mascil team members to lecture at its PD courses for Bulgarian teachers. In the course of these activities, more than 250 teachers became acquainted with the basics of IBL-based teaching. The Regional Centres of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences organised PD courses on IBL with mascil team members and multipliers as lecturers. We managed to establish stable cooperation with the telecommunication company VIVACOM, which supported our IBL oriented activities for students. “VIVA Mathematics with Computer” (VIVAMathComp) is an online competition where students solve maths problems arising from practice by exploring them with dynamic GEOGEBRA constructions. So far, four editions of this trial run have taken place attended by 1040 students!
The mascil project PD courses were quite unique in the Romanian system due their concept and content. By stimulating small professional groups focused on enhancing their teaching, we emphasised an important aspect of the teaching profession that is traditionally missing in our system. We involved the best multipliers from the previous project – PRIMAS – and initiated work with several small groups. Most likely, this is not a novelty in many of the European countries, but it is a huge development in Romania. Some small study groups created during mascil are still working independently on developing materials, reflecting about practices, etc. Members of such groups are involved in organising other PD courses based on the mascil foreground. The main value of mascil PD courses (and overall project activities) in Romania was that the scientific content had a very high quality and at the same time, incorporated results and methods from modern pedagogical and didactical research. For example, mascil teachers had the opportunity to experiment with IBL and WoW themselves both individually and in groups, as teachers and also as students. Mascil ideas and materials are now a reference for basic courses in teacher training at the Babeș-Bolyai University, so these will contribute to the initial training of future teacher generations in bachelor and master’s programmes.
We implemented 14 PD courses (13 face-to-face and 1 e-learning) in three different regions of Greece with teachers of different disciplines and educational levels. The implementation of tasks in real classroom settings, which was a part of the PD concept, further expanded our cooperation with the participating teachers and their school communities. Multipliers and researchers from the Greek mascil team visited schools and participating teachers to ensure the successful implementation. The high impact of the mascil PD activities is evidenced by: teachers participating in PD courses asked to continue their activities for the next school year independently of the programme, teachers who had not participated in the mascil PD activities asked to participate in the programme and a large number of teachers asked for information about the project (e.g. material, results). Thus, in respect to professional development interventions, mascil activities resulted in establishing groups/communities of teachers who are working together on task design and implementing IBL in their day-to-day teaching. Teachers themselves became agents of mascil philosophy in their schools and disseminated IBL by presenting their mascil PD experiences at national and international conferences, which resulted in a number of teachers’ publications based on mascil foreground. In the e-learning group, practicing teachers from different areas of Greece collaborated and implemented tasks in mascil philosophy into their classrooms. This was a unique experience in professional development in Greece.
We managed to establish a close cooperation with Melhus commune. All primary and lower secondary schools from this commune were engaged in mascil PD, with two or three teachers from each school being selected as multipliers who worked with colleagues across schools, which was a great achievement and the guarantee of impact. The mascil professional intervention was very successful. 180 in-service teachers, 40 pre-service teachers and 22 multipliers worked to implement IBL and WoW in their lessons. Results from the mascil evaluation show that teachers and multipliers have become enthusiastic about implementing IBL and the WoW context, and have proven capable in conducting lessons that are inquiry-based and with close connection to the world of work. Multipliers have also become highly engaged in spreading the pedagogy to their colleagues in their own schools, resulting in fruitful development of teachers’ professional knowledge in their community of practice. The school leader made agreements with head teachers for the further school year as well, with the purpose of meeting for own workshops after project lifetime. Schools that were not yet involved in mascil, have signalised that they would like to take part in these workshops.
In Germany, there is a great movement towards IBL and the connection to the world of work. In the new curriculum taken up this year in Baden-Württemberg, (which is the state we are located in), there are three main perspectives that have to be included into teaching in several subjects. One of them is the ‘orientation in the world of work’. The importance of this main perspective is especially mentioned in the curricula for mathematics and sciences. Apparently, mascil, but also other projects like PRIMAS 2010-2013, LEMA, etc. contributed to this success. Looking back, the crucial point of achieving these changes in the curricula was not only to develop high-quality, rich tasks and have excellent PD courses, but beyond that, have a network reaching to the policy and educators-level. From the beginning, we have not considered mascil as a stand-alone project but inherently linked it to developments in the region. With the instigation of the International STEM Education Centre in autumn 2016, it is ensured that mascil activities and materials will be further continued and disseminated and will have even more impact on STEM education.
Moreover, we managed to establish close cooperation with a company, which wants to support our work towards promotion of IBL and world of work context.

The activities that we carried out within mascil are significant examples of successful, wide dissemination of the mascil concepts and prove that mascil is not a ‘one-off event’ but now well-situated in the national and international framework. The extraordinary work performed by each mascil partner resulted in establishing stable networks and sustainable structures on local, national and international levels which ensure the maximum impact beyond project lifetime. Furthermore, the sustainable and exploitable products like classroom and professional development materials, reports and other documents will ensure further improvement of teachers’ skills in term of IBL and WoW, as well as further research on these issues. Bridging the gap between policy, research and practitice gives hope towards structured cooperation and swifter implementation of IBL pedagogy and the WoW context in our classrooms. The mascil Consortium achieved amazing success within the four years of its work. We are convinced that the impact of mascil has been huge and will continue to spread and increase in future.

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Katja Maaß, (Researcher and lecturer)
Tel.: +49761682346
Record Number: 199657 / Last updated on: 2017-06-20
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