In the last three decades, the emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) continued to increase as a potential solution to overturn declining numbers of students choosing careers in STEM disciplines. The emphasis on STEM continues with increasing number of STEM centers in the UK or MINT (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, technology) centers in Germany. STEM literature emphasizes on supporting design, for instance Turkish Ministry of Education made several updates in the elementary and middle school curriculum to add design based thinking into the curriculum. 2023 Vision aims to add design studios in all schools,and the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) also added design based thinking into teacher education. On the other hand, European reports underline the lack a coherent agreement to support design based pedagogy.
Departing from this need, teacher education programs will share thinking about how to leverage design to improve coherence and relevance of instruction In this project. The biggest difference of this project is to change the emphasis on completing the design products to creating a learning environment around design products. Previous studies focused primarily on completing design products. This project aims to change the emphasis on the teaching environment created around the design products. By looking at its nature, the project is the first of its kind about design based pedagogy. The project will offer guidelines for teacher education programs and teachers by presenting activities supporting interdisciplinary thinking and offer assessment items to measure design based pedagogy. The project will start with creating the Booklet of Design Based Pedagogy. Then the Project will shift to Practical Applications of Design Based Pedagogy and Online Learning through eTwinning projects. When creating the Booklet of Design Based Pedagogy, the main goal will be to offer a common framework and set of activities to implement design based pedagogy. The partners collaboratively create the booklet that will include three steps: (1) Reviewing Design Challenges and Design Products across European teacher education programs, (2) Supporting
Scientific and Engineering Practices with Critical Thinking, (3) Assessing Design Based Pedagogy. Reviewing design challenges and design products across European teacher education programs will help to picture the existing practices across European teacher education programs. In the next step, activities that support critical thinking when engaging with scientific and engineering practices will be created. Finally, partners will work on creating tools for assessing the design based pedagogy. After reviewing the existing practices, the booklet will offer guidelines to implement design based pedagogy with critical thinking and ways to assess design pedagogy.