1 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2 Institute of Marine Sciences, Spanish Research Council (ICM-CSIC) (SPAIN)
3 Institute of Marine Sciences-Spanish Research Council (ICM-CSIC) / Open University of Catalonia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 10008-10016
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.2414
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Current sustainability issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution affect human and ecosystem health and activity and undermine the function and cohesion of local communities. The inherent difficulty of addressing such challenges requires a range of interventions as well as their integration at various levels. Citizen science and environmental education can both address and promote sustainability by developing synergies to engage people, youths in particular, with learning about and dealing with them. In this paper, we argue that developing synergies between citizen science and environmental education is not only possible and compatible due to their many common points of reference, but also for the benefit of education and the collective efforts towards sustainability.

The work presented here has been conducted in the context of the European project Cos4Cloud. The Cos4Cloud vision is to boost citizen science through the support of citizen observatories. Citizen observatories are community-based environmental monitoring and information systems that invite citizens to collect and share observations mainly of an environmental content. They are characterised as including participation of citizens in environmental monitoring, “in situ” citizen-generated observations and the use of mobile and web technologies. Among the project’s goals is to help expand the realms of current citizen science practice based on citizen observatories through their integration into school-based environmental education. The paper focuses on the co-design of 6 educational scenarios by 6 groups of Greek teachers respectively, who were given the challenge to think in terms of the synergies they needed to develop to incorporate some of the citizen observatories’ platforms participating in the project into their environmental education practices with the aim to support their students’ environmental, scientific, citizenship and digital literacy. Each scenario focused on a different theme and environmental issue, and offered a detailed description of a proposed way of implementing citizen science in schools, using the project’s citizen observatory platforms. All scenarios were accompanied by creative and pedagogically informed activities and employed a range of integrated and interdisciplinary approaches to learning, encouraging students to engage in action learning and to use the outcomes of their learning to improve their school and local environments. In this paper, we describe the co-design process and its outputs -the scenarios- and we discuss the four levels of integration they propose for integrating the Cos4Cloud citizen observatories into school-based environmental education projects and activities.
Citizen science, environmental education, sustainability, educational scenarios, citizen observatories, co-design, Cos4Cloud project.