SYNAPSES International Course 2024

7-12 July 2024

SYNAPSES – Erasmus+ School Heads and Teacher Training Academy
Establishing Teacher Education Networks and Communities of Practice on Teaching for Sustainability Citizenship

The course is Accredited by the University of Bayreuth and endorsed by the European Physical Society, the European Countries Biologists Association and the European School Heads Association.

SYNAPSES Course is part of the International Erasmus+ School Heads and Teacher Training Academy on Teaching for Sustainability Citizenship. Its aim is to ensure and safeguard the long-term impact of the proposed activities. The Academy’s main goal is to expand teachers’ pre- and in-service training opportunities, under a common standard-based framework, in line with the perspective of continuous professional development and lifelong learning principles. The SYNAPSES Academy has the ambition to design and set-up a strong training ecosystem. In such an ecosystem each piece is interconnected thanks to the common standard-based framework that is proposed: formal and informal training opportunities, short term and long term courses, self-paced activities, social learning and mentoring opportunities and involvement in virtual events or practical workshops with physical presence, participation to communities of practice, participation to conferences and seminars, job shadowing activities in other schools, participation in short term summer or winter schools. A series of training activities (at local, regional, national and international level) are organised to help teachers to design the most effective and engaging lessons that will make use of innovative forms of instruction (inquiry-based, project-based, game-based) and tools (e.g., access to rich scientific data archives, virtual and remote experimentations, animations) in their classrooms, and more generally think differently about their students’ learning of and about the environment, science and technology. This is expanded by offering concurrently opportunities for mobilities, such as study visits, job shadowing opportunities, meetings, conferences, contests and competitions with the goal to enable the Academy to become a forum for exchange of knowledge, and an information hub which will support, develop and promote:

  • the development and enrichment of educational activities or events with emphasis to environmental education, but also innovative and effective forms of instructions (e.g., IBSE and PBL) and other learning strategies for all subjects related to sustainability, climate change and environmental education.
  • the integration and coordination of educational activities between all stakeholder groups across different disciplines, regions and cultures.
  • programs, events, activities, and organizations that promote and provide means and tools for environmental education to collect and identify best-practices and outcomes.
  • the scientific community and entities interested in environmental educational activities

The course is organised in cooperation with NEB-LAB and Surrounded by Science initiatives.       

SYNAPSES Academy Courses are grounded on the concept of sustainability citizenship. Climate change-relevant sustainability citizenship skills include the ability to recognise the environmental, social and economic dimensions of climate change, the ability to connect local actions and initiatives to global processes, and the capacity to move from analysis to systematic action on climate change. In the framework of the course will present: a) the concept of Sustainability Citizenship that is rooted to long term research in the field, b) the key drivers of change that could catalyse its integration to the national training curricula and educational systems and finally c) the proposed framework for the implementation that is based on a hybrid approach that builds on the strengths of formal and informal education and d) a series of practical examples to be tested and adopted by the course participants.

The SYNAPSES Course is designed for school heads and teachers of both primary and secondary schools. The objective of this combination is to build school heads leaderships interventions and teachers competences and skills as well as to stimulate teacher motivation on up-taking innovative teaching methods, subjects, and practices to enrich and renew the school’s curriculum to increase students’ interest in sustainability, environmental studies, science, on how science is made and how climate change affects every-day life.

Sunday 7th of July (16.00-18.00)

Keynote Talks on Teaching for Sustainability Citizenship and on the Policy Context related to the Green Competence Framework, the Green Deal, the New European Bauhaus and the Food2030.

Monday 8th of July (9.00-13.00 & 15.00-17.00)

Introduction, Description of the Sustainability Citizenship Framework, Green Learning Ecologies, Harmonization with the GreenComp Framework, Challenge-based Leaning,  Integration to the School Curriculum, Cooperation with external stakeholders.

(18.00-00.00) Visit to Cape Sounion, Temple of Poseidon, Dinner at Cape Sounion

Tuesday 9th of July (9.00-13.00 & 15.00-17.00)

Introducing the Whole School Approach, Key Features for the Development of Presentation of Practices that Promote the Sustainability Citizenship: Schools as Living Labs of the New European Bauhaus, Development of Green Action Plans.

Wednesday 10th of July (9.00-13.00)

Schools as Accelerators in the Transformation of Food Systems. The School Garden, the Green School Canteen and the development of heathier eating habits.
Energy Efficient school buildings, Zero energy buildings, Energy from solar panels, New generation solar panels and school labs.

(15.00-00.00) Visit to Acropolis Museum, to Parthenon, Dinner in Plaka

Thursday 11th of July (9.00-13.00 & 15.00-17.00)

Practical work on the Green Action Plans, Collaboration between participants. Workshop on Nature Based Solutions for the school. Surrounded by Science and design of personalised learning experiences.

(20.00-24.00) Farewell Dinner

Friday 12th of July (9.00-13.00)

Participants Presentations – Plan Ahead – Building a Training Ecosystem, Presentation of ERASMUS+ Programme and Exploring Funding Opportunities for Schools and Teachers.

Registered Participants will receive a set of Training Materials and Resources, including Templates for Developing Green Action Plans for the School and Inquiry Lessons for the Classroom.


Reference Documentation

  • Prof. Dr. Franz X. Bogner, University of Bayreuth, Director of the SYNAPSES Academy: With a PhD in neurobiology and a habilitation in Biology Education as well as a post-doctoral fellowship at the Cornell University (USA), Prof. Bogner’s teaching mainly includes in pre-service teacher education modules and in-service teacher enhancement. Prof. Bogner’s research has a more than two decades’ tradition in cognitive (and emotional/ attitudinal) assessment, psychometric instrument development and pedagogical/curricular framework design.
  • Dr. Margaret Farren, Dublin City University, Co-Director of the Centre for eInnovation and Workplace Learning. Previously she worked in industry and has also taught for 10 years at post-primary and tertiary level in London and Brussels. Margaret has vast experience of supervising initial teachers on teaching practice and supervising teachers who are doing Masters and Doctoral research studies.
  • Dr. Rosa Doran, NUCLIO: Head of the Galileo Teachers Training Programme, Community Builder and key Innovator in the field of Education. Her main field of engagement and research is the empowerment of educators and the transformation of schools towards the adoption of innovative models for digital and inclusive education.
  • Petra Van Haren, European School Heads Association (ESHA), Director of ESHA. Her main area of expertise is education, leadership, entrepreneurship, communication, policymaking and networking.
  • Jan Cincera, Masaryk University, Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Studies (Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University, Brno, Czechia), where he focuses on environmental education theory, research, and instructional strategies. He closely cooperates with environmental education centres in his and neighbour countries, is experienced in the evaluation research and program analyses.
  • Dr. Daithí Ó Murchú, Dublin West Education Center, expert advisor and global consultant in education, sustainability and “disruptive technologies”. He works in teacher training, ‘and has taught at all levels of education. He has extensive experience in international and EU projects. Daithí has expert knowledge of the design, development, implementation and assessment of competence frameworks in whole-school evaluation.
  • Katerina Riviou, Ellinogermaniki Agogi, m. Her research has been in the field of Universal Design for Learning, and more currently on the topic of Food Nutrition Systems (FNS) and the FOOD 2030 Agenda. She is coordinating the Open Schools Food Lab as a site of food experience and food system transformation in the frame of the FoodSHIFT2030 project
  • Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou, Ellinogermaniki Agogi: Director of the Ellinogermaniki Agogi Center for Science Teachers Training. His main research field is the design, application, and evaluation of digital media environments that could bridge the gap between formal and informal science learning. He has been involved in a long series of EC joint research and technology funded projects.

Course fee

The course fee for all ESIA Summer Schools is 480€ (80€/per day) and fully within the funding opportunities of the Erasmus+ Programme.

The course fee covers:

  • Expert lecturers for lectures, seminars and workshops
  • All materials and equipment needed for the course
  • Participation in the social programme & excursions (e.g. Sunset and dinner at Cape Sounio, excursion to the Acropolis and visit to the Acropolis Museum and dinner in downtown Athens, traditional night and farewell dinner, etc.)

Subsistence & accommodation

The Summer School will be held at Golden Coast Hotel & Bungalows, an A-class/ 4-star sea-side hotel which stretches on the golden, sandy beach of the Marathon Bay, near the historic location of Marathon, at the outskirts of Athens.

ESIA has made special arrangement with the hotel and are happy to offer to all participants a single or double room with all-inclusive services (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and free of charge services for outdoors sports and recreational activities).

The costs for subsistence are also within the ceilings of the Erasmus+ programme for KA1 mobility actions.




  • Per person in SINGLE:  138 €/per night
  • Per person in DOUBLE:  95 €/per night

Extra persons (All Inclusive)

  • TRIPLE room: 85 €/per person/per night


EXTRA SERVICES (the following refers to other project participants that don’t pay the course fee)


Cape Sounio Tour (Price:  90 €/per person)
Monday @ 18:00

    • Transport by bus (Golden Coast – Cape Sounio – Golden Coast)
    • Guided tour of Poseidon temple with Professional and Lisensed guide
    • Entrance fees of the Temple of Poseidon
    • Lunch at local tavern
    • All taxes


Athens tour & Acropolis Museum (Price: 120 €/per person)
Wednesday @ 16:00

    • Transport by bus (Golden Coast – Athens – Golden Coast)
    • Short panoramic tour by bus of historic center of Athens
    • Services of a Professional and licensed guide
    • Entrance fees of Acropolis museum
    • Lunch at local tavern
    • All taxes

+ Entrance fees to the Acropolis Archaeological Site ticket cost of 20 €/per person.

*** The above prices are calculated based on current costs, tickets to museums / archeological sites, fuel cost, VAT

The Summer School will be held at Golden Coast Hotel & Bungalows, an A-class/ 4-star sea-side hotel which stretches on the golden, sandy beach of the Marathon Bay, near the historic location of Marathon, at the outskirts of Athens.

It is the area of Marathon, that has hosted since the times of myths when Theseus killed the terrible bull of Marathon, to the times of the Persian wars and the Battle of Marathon, further on to our days and the marathon race and Marathon Run, the emblematic symbol of man’s quest for freedom and the will to defend his most noble deeds which constitute the foundations of the Human civilization. The plethora of natural, historical sites and museums of the area reveal in all details this unique historical voyage.

Participants are expected to arrive through the Athens International Airport, approximately 25 km (15,53 miles) distance from the hotel.

Learn More…

School Heads and Teachers participation in the summer courses can be funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme.

In case your school or organization does not have the funds to cover the costs of your participation in the Summer School, there is another option: you can apply to be funded by by the ERASMUS+ Programme.

Please note that the Erasmus+ KA1 application can only be submitted by the school or the organization – no individual applications can be submitted.

The deadline for application is 20 February 2024.

What is ERASMUS+?

Erasmus+ is the European Commission’s Programme for education, training, youth, and sport for the period 2021-2027. As an integrated programme, Erasmus+ offers more opportunities for the mobility of learners and staff and cooperation across the education, training, and youth sectors and is easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules and a structure that aims to streamline the administration of the programme.

Erasmus+ Key Action 1 (KA1) provides a unique opportunity for teachers, headmasters, trainers, and other staff of educational institutions to participate in international training courses in different European countries. Schools, universities, vocational education and training, and adult education organizations are all eligible to receive full funding to attend courses under a KA1 mobility grant. The Erasmus+ KA1 grant covers all the costs to attend teacher training courses: including travel, subsistence, and course fee.

For up-to-date information about Erasmus+ please check the Programme’s website. Your school will need to apply to your country’s National Agency, who is also the one who will evaluate the proposal. Therefore, your National Agency is also a very good point to start for more information.

Don’t forget to go through the the New Programme Guide and you will have all you need to know.

The steps to apply for an Erasmus+ KA1 School Education Staff Mobility grant are:

  1. Fill in the registration form to our Summer School with your details. This is an individual registration form, so if there are more than one participant from the same school, each one will have to submit a separate registration form. This way you have reserved a slot in the course in case your application for Erasmus+ funding is successful!
  2. Register your school/organization here: , if not already registered.
  3. Check the compliance with the programme criteria
  4. Check the financial conditions
  5. Fill in and submit the application form
  6. Respect the deadline
  7. Do not forget to inform us as soon as you get notified from your National Agency whether your grant application is accepted or rejected.

You can find all related information about submitting an Erasmus+ Application HERE.

We will be happy to guide you through the process.