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This is the official website of the STAR Intensive Programme funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.

From July 20 to August 3 2014 this summer school will bring together students and teachers from Spain, Turkey and Germany to train Systems Thinking and Assessment with Reflectories (STAR).

Coordinated by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schrüfer (University of Münster, Germany) this Intensive Programme is supported by our partners Fisun and Selahattin Aksit from the Erciyes University (Turkey) and Roser Badia and Miquel F. Oliver Trobat from the University of Balearic Islands (Spain). Partners from the coordinating university (University of Münster) include Tillmann Buttschardt, Gesine Hellberg-Rode, Armin Stein und Nina Brendel.

Find our official STAR poster with further information here .

Now open for application! See "application form".


Please find here the official summary of the STAR IP:

Main objective of this intensive programme, named STAR (Systems Thinking and Assessment with Reflectories), is to provide an opportunity for European bachelor and master student teachers to gain systems thinking and decision-making competence in interdisciplinary and intercultural groups. Both competences are crucial skills in fast-paced times of ubiquitous networking. To be able to understand and solve pan-European problems, student teachers must comprehend the complexity and interrelations of systems in an interdisciplinary approach. Consideration of various standards of evaluation, which shall be reflected through collaboration in intercultural groups, plays a major role here. This first STAR intensive programme will deal with the topic of “energy” as an example and address ecologic, economic, social and political aspects on different spatial levels and in terms of sustainability.
First of all, the students set their own objectives for the team work in intercultural teams. Every team will work on a specific topic related to the field of “energy”. On that basis, they choose a basic situation (e.g. “which valley should be flooded to generate hydroelectricity for the region?”) and discuss and reflect on several possible solutions and their respective consequences. To research the facts for their project, on-site learning including interviews und discussions with experts will be conducted. The final product of each small group will be a so-called “reflectory” (a portmanteau word derived from “reflection” and “story”), an innovative teaching method which aims at fostering systems thinking and decision-making competence. A “reflectory”, i.e. a kind of interactive podcast, begins with the description of a situation, which requires a solution. The user can now choose between different options by selecting corresponding audio tracks. The consequences of this decisions lead to differing, new situations which require again well-informed decisions. To make a reflected choice, the user has the opportunity to resort to additional material such as videos, audio files, tables or statistics.
Working in interdisciplinary teams facilitates the understanding and depiction of interrelations within and between systems for the participants. Since the teams will also be multicultural, participants are given the chance to experience and give reasons for diverse options for decisions based on a multitude of values. Until the termination of the STAR IP, all groups should have designed the audio tracks including several solution options and additional information material using tablets and web 2.0 tools, which foster a “new media literacy”. Afterwards, bachelor students of Information Systems will develop and implement at least six “reflectories” in four languages (English, German, Spanish and Turkish) and publish them on a web platform and as an app. In this way, the “reflectories” can be accessed online and used as free teaching material for teachers and educators in schools, universities and other educational institutions worldwide. In addition, all participating universities will offer teacher trainings on how to implement reflectories in class, train teachers as multipliers and connect them with educators around the world.
In these critical times, we think it is essential for young people in Europe to be educated from a European point of view, considering differing European values and norms and thinking in systems. Nowadays, the problems of one country are never isolated, but intertwined with other countries in Europe, especially whenever a sustainable solution is at stake, e.g. in the fields of energy resources. If we can teach Europe’s students to keep that in mind, we arm them well to face the challenges as Europe’s new generation.

This project is funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union and supported by the National Agencies of the participating countries.

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