01.09.2015 – 03.08.2018
Quality of urban life and reduce of the urban negative impact on the environment are important economic indicators of municipal services. The EU is widely promoting urban management sparing technologies. In this regard, it seems essential to implement environmental education of young people and the dissemination of ideas of the EU in Russia and other countries.
However, EU policy priorities and best practices on environmental issues of municipal services are not covered widely enough in the educational process of Russian universities.
The Project objectives are the development and implementation of educational module «Environment and ecological technologies in urban areas: EU policy and best practices» (ECOPOLY) in Master`s programs «Ecology of megacities», «Human & Social Biology», «Sociology», «State and municipal management», «Pedagogy» and «Journalism», as well as the dissemination of the EU best practices among students, schoolchildren and teachers to raise environmental awareness of young people in accordance with the priorities of EU policy and to foster the development of existing and new teaching and debating activities.
This project contemplates the following activities:
- development and implementation of educational module with environmental practitioners, city officials, EU professors;
- creation of distance learning education electronic module;
- holding Ecology Summer School in Berlin;
- as part of the pedagogical practice, conducting thematic lessons, workshops and discussions in Moscow and the Moscow region schools for the dissemination of knowledge about policy priorities and best practices;
- initiation of university and school environmental projects;
- roundtable debates for Russian and former Soviet Union countries universities staff to implement the Module in the educational process with the use of Internet technologies (webinar);
- creation of project website for dissemination of information in social networks.
Impact: promotion and dissemination of EU studies on environmental awareness of students, staff and schoolchildren in the spirit of EU policies and priorities in the field of environmental management of municipal services; preparing analytical recommendations report for the Ministry of Education and Science (Russian Federation) and Moscow Government Department of Education.
THE SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
The implementation of Module ECOPOLY contributes to achievement of several objectives related to the dissemination in Moscow, the Moscow region and Russian Federation knowledge of the EU policy priorities and the EU best practices in the field of urban space ecology.
- Promotes research and first teaching experience for young researchers and scholars and practitioners in European Union issues.
The basis of the module «Environment and ecological technologies in urban areas: EU policy and best practices» is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the EU best practices in the field of urban economy ecology. EU cities are considered as social and ecological systems related to a single structure on the basis of EU standards and requirements for environmental conditions. Therefore, the area of research lies at the intersection of ecology, psychology, sociology, planning, architecture, management, and others. Introduction to the educational process of the Module «Environment and ecological technologies in urban areas: EU policy and best practices», based on a multidisciplinary approach, will involve young scientists (masters) of various professional orientations: ecologists, architects, sociologists, psychologists, managers, teachers and journalists into the study of the Module and research in this field.
The following professional knowledge and skills are to be developed as the main outputs of the Module implementation and the research done:
- Knowledge of the principles of the EU structure and the EU policy priorities;
- Knowledge of the EU best practices and ideas in the field of environmental and urban management;
- Ability to conduct a comparative analysis of the test data;
- The ability to use this knowledge during the development and implementation of student projects in the field of urban ecology and involvement of urban residents in the process;
- Ability to disseminate the knowledge gained about the ideas of the EU in wide youth audience.
Research papers and master’s theses will be written as the outcomes of teaching and research in the framework of the Module.
Familiarity with the ideas and best practices of the EU in the field of ecology of municipal services within the module will both improve the professional knowledge of students and enhance the interest and motivation of young researchers to the independent study of this experience which will make them more open to accept the ideas of the EU.
- Creates interest in the EU and constitutes the basis for future poles of European knowledge, particularly in Partner Countries.
Conducting seminars for teachers and students in Moscow and Moscow region in the framework of pedagogical practice will enable students to acquire first experience in teaching and in the formation of ecological consciousness of young people based on the ideas of the EU.
EU countries are leaders in attracting people to the solution of problems related to environmental protection. On the basis of studying of the EU countries best experience on urban residents involvement in environmentally friendly urban management will be initiated university and school projects to improve the ecology of urban management in Moscow and the Moscow region with the involvement of the inhabitants of these regions. Design specification of these projects and their outcomes will be published on the website and in the social networks.
Publication of the main outputs of the Project on the website, as well as the dissemination of information in social networks will contribute to the emergence and enhancement of interest in the ideas of the European Union. In addition to using of the Internet, the dissemination of the EU best experience and knowledge of the EU will occur as a result of new partnerships emergencies. Formation of program social partnership will take place within the university, in the students` home regions and, in the future, at the level of the city of Moscow, the Moscow Region and the Russian Federation as a whole.
- Delivers tailor-made courses on specific EU issues relevant for graduates in their professional life.
The Module will serve as a platform for development of distance learning courses enabling graduates to gain knowledge about the EU best practices in the field of ecology in rural and urban areas, which can be applied in their professional life.
As the main outcome of the Module implementation in the educational process, the analytical guidelines note for the Ministry of Education RF and Science and Moscow Department of Education is to be written.
Competence and socio-cultural approaches constitute the basis of the methodology for the design and implementation of educational module.
Competence-based approach orients the learning process to achieve educational outcomes — competencies that are defined in advance. Following the results of the implementation of the module students and trainees gain the following competencies: knowledge of the principles of the EU and device policy priorities of the EU; knowledge of best practices and ideas of the EU in the field of environmental and urban management; ability to carry out a comparative analysis of the test data.
Competence-based approach also involves the formation of students and trainees` experience in the field of professional activity. As a result of the module implementation students gain experience in the use of knowledge to develop and implement their own projects in the field of ecology urban economy; experience of involving citizens in the process of transforming cities; experience spread over a wide youth audience knowledge about the European Union studies.
Socio-cultural approach is philosophical basis of pedagogical work. Skills, formed as a result of the module, raise the level of ecological culture of the person of students and trainees and, consequently, the level of ecological culture of society.
Competence and socio-cultural approaches require the use of special educational technologies. Therefore, the implementation of the module uses the following technologies and forms of work:
- interdisciplinary approach — within each section communication between different subjects is implemented: ecology, urban issues, management, biology, which allows to employ a comprehensive analysis of cases and problems, moreover, to find the best way to address them;
- communication technologies, including the problematic discussion, social networking, ensure the development of the students and trainees` ability to justify their arguments and defend their own opinions, while respecting the position of colleagues;
- technologies of students activity management on their own projects, allowing to unlock the creative potential of each student;
- students` extracurricular work on the project activities, providing socially important results: the involvement of citizens in the process of transforming cities;
- students pedagogical practice, during which they gain experience in conducting thematic lessons, workshops and discussions in Moscow schools as well as in the Moscow region for the dissemination of knowledge about policy priorities and best practices of using teaching materials module, also to initiate the development of school environmental projects;
- implementation of the principle of openness of education — in the context of openness to EU studies, openness to peers, openness to students and teachers of schools and the broad masses of residents of urbanized areas who are interested in the ecological well-being and sustainable development.
EXPECTED IMPACT OF THE PROJECT
- Students, enrolled in master’s degree programs
«Ecology megacities», «Human & Social Biology», «Sociology», «State and municipal management», «Organization of work with young people», «Pedagogy» and «Journalism» in full-time, part-time and distance learning. Planned number of undergraduates to be trained within the module in full-time and distance, for the entire duration of the project.
Outcomes at the university level:
— Development of a module for inclusion in the educational process Master’s programs;
— Development of distance course;
— Development of students’ knowledge about the structure of the EU policy priorities and best practices in environmental management in EU cities;
— creation of basis for tailor-made courses for advanced training in the field of environmentally friendly urban management.
- Holding annually a summer ecology camp for students of Moscow and the Moscow region under University staff guidance.
The main objective of activities within the framework of this project — bringing students to best EU environmental and raise of environmental awareness of young people.
- Staff of Moscow, Moscow region and other regions of Russia.
To attract this target audience, a round table activity «Environment and ecological technologies in urban areas: EU policy and best practices» will be implemented. Internet technology platform will be used for participants from other towns.
Number of planned roundtable participants — 100.
Outcomes — to familiarize the participants of the round table with the priorities of EU policies and best practices in environmental urban management, with the results of the project, with results of student and schoolchildren projects implemented during the project.
- Issuing analytical paper with recommendations for Moscow Department of Education and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
- The population of Moscow and Moscow region, Russian regions.
Dissemination of information in the Internet and publications in the youth print media, as well as their involvement in the implementation of student initiatives, projects and actions in the framework of the project which will motivate the residents of Moscow and regions of Russia and introduce them to EU studies in the field of environmentally friendly urban management.