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Lektor2 is a national STEM partnership program in Norway offering a multi-year professional development for teachers, and financial support for schools, to involve local STEM professionals in their teaching. Lektor2 aims to promote student learning and engagement in STEM and increase students’ awareness of STEM careers. Teachers and STEM professionals collaborate on developing and implementing curriculum units involving cross-setting STEM experiences, such as a field trip to professionals’ workplaces, use of professional scientific equipment, or visits from professionals in the classroom.
Lektor2 is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and run by the Norwegian Centre for Science Education. All secondary and upper secondary schools across Norway can apply to participate. Since 2009, 650 schools from all over Norway and 800 different STEM organisations have participated, involving about 10.000-15.000 students each year.
The Lektor2 co-design tool
In Lektor2 teachers and STEM professionals use the following co-design tool when they collaboratively design curriculum units:
- The teacher and STEM professional choose a topic that is authentic and relevant to the students, the national STEM curriculum, and the work of the STEM professional.
- The teacher and STEM professional identify a commission for the students that is derived from the STEM professional’s work and engages students in authentic STEM practices.
- The teacher identifies the knowledge (scientific theories, key concepts, etc.) and practices (collecting and analysing data, weighing options, communicating results, etc.) required to complete the commission.
- The teacher and STEM professional discuss how the STEM professional can contribute to authentic experiences for students. The contributions should reflect the STEM professional’s practices and/or workplace practices which students are not exposed to in school.
- The teacher designs the activities in the curriculum unit. Students should participate in activities, both within and outside the classroom, that support them to acquire the STEM knowledge and practices required for completing the commission.
Step 2 in the co-design tool asks teachers and STEM professionals to identify and collaboratively design an authentic task for the students – a commission – where the students are commissioned by the STEM professional to do a specific job requiring authentic, complex problem-solving. To clarify what a Lektor2-commission is, five criteria are developed. A Lektor2 commission is an authentic task that:
- replicates authentic situations and problems from the STEM professional’s work
- requires students to adopt professional practices requiring application of STEM knowledge and practices – i.e. the solutions cannot be “Googled”
- is sent from the STEM professionals’ office, making the STEM professionals “clients” and students “contractors”
- demonstrates the purposes of the STEM professions in society
- engages students in decision-making regarding tools, solutions, approach etc.
The commission is often presented to students in a formal way, such as a commission letter. See example below.