In the past month we conceptualized an application for an Erasmus + project, essentially bringing schools, NGOs and policy-makers together to conceptualize and apply a best-practice process, which enables sustainable education policies through co-creation of the stakeholders. To align the transnational team on the project, we decided on an alignment and learning meeting in June, in Paris. Our secondary goal was to reach out to potential partner organizations in the field.
We had been in touch beforehand with the OECD in Paris and had agreed on a meeting with veteran consultants in education policies. Unfortunately, the meeting was canceled last minute. Nonetheless, a first contact is established and we are still planning a meeting in the future.
We got the chance to meet up with Teach For France during their summer academy, where new “fellows” are being trained to teach in challenging schools in suburban Paris. We discussed with fellows and staff the challenges for transformation processes in the french education system. We presented our association and goals, and broadened our network with potential partners from within the 2019 Teach For France cohort. Their high profile backgrounds in lobbying, the UNESCO and ties to Teach For All made the meeting even more worthwhile.
our project and the impact measurement
Teach For France also enabled us to use their facilities for our alignment three day alignment process about the Erasmus+ project. We used the Erasmus+ own “impact measurement tool”, to be able to use the output of this session for the ongoing application to an even greater extent. The process to apply the measurement tool is structured in four steps:
- Impact+ Exercise Stage 1: Aims, Outcomes and Impacts
- Impact+ Exercise Stage 2: Exploring Indicators
- Impact+ Exercise Stage 3: Data Sources & Data Collection
- Impact+ Exercise Stage 4: Round-up and bringing it all together
First, we defined what we were aiming at, our intended impact, which is to enable the co-creation of policies between the education stakeholders and policymakers. We defined what changes we could bring on different levels: in the system, to our partners, to the project staff, and to the learners.
impact on different levels
For example, we tried to define what a learner – a teacher – would get from the exchange with other education professionals and policy makers. We believe that through discussion with one another, the learners would get new skills (the ability to step back from their own system and be able to look at it from a new perspective and thus get a holistic vision), knowledge (on other education systems for example, knowledge about other existing issues, and also on co-creating processes), and a new mindset (they would feel entitled to impact the policies as they would part of the creating process and would then have the feeling that change is possible).
The staff working behind the project – that is to say us – would get social and management skills, process expertise and the empowerment with regard to impact policy-making. We believe that there would also be some systemic impacts: in our vision, the policy changes will be co-created and thus lead to better and more sustainable education policies, which would be very much beneficial for the sector. After defining the outcome of the process, we discussed the output online with our Icelandic branch, who went through the same process and merged our two models. Going from there, we explored possible indicators and corresponding data sources. Finally we brought all the information together and created a final concept.
potential partners & assets
With this, we were finally able to define reasonable project partner and searched our respective networks for potential future partners we could work with. During our stay in Paris, we tried to gauge our assets and listed out who we could get in touch with. We tried to put ourselves into our potential future partners’ shoes, and defined what we could offer, and why an organization would be willing to join us and take on a partnership with us. We then defined the following assets, in what we are offering:
- a network of people (be them teachers, organizations or associations)
- ground for experimentation
- we are sharing a vision and a will for change
- international perspectives
- the ability to take part in creating process
- access to knowledge
- having a foot in the public sector
- gaining process expertise
- enabling policy-makers, stakeholders and organizations to work with no hierarchy
- gaining reputation in policy-making in the education field
All in all, this offline meeting in Paris gave rise to valuable exchanges and discussions ; they were rich as we confronted our viewpoints and redefined our application to Erasmus + and our next goals for Framework Education.