WASO described

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Write a Science Opera (WASO) is a creative professional development approach to inquiry-based music and science education in which pupils of different ages, supported by teachers, opera artists and scientists, are the creators of an educational performance. WASO is an application of the widespread Write an Opera method, which has been successfully implemented in many countries during the past three decades. WASO integrates science education into the original method by involving scientists who lead an inquiry-based creative process demonstrating common impulses shared by science and the arts. The WASO concept was developed by Associate Professor Oded Ben-Horin and Professor Magne Espeland at Stord/Haugesund University College (Norway), based on meetings with RESEO, as well as the Royal Opera House (London)’s Education department.

The first WASO project, realized by Bergen National Opera, received much positive media and policy-maker attention.

Context and Framework: WASO emerges at a time when the following science and creative education trends hold true: The European Union is facing challenges recruiting students to Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) careers. At the same time, there is European determination to explore ways in which creativity may be supported, as put forth in the European Ambassadors’ Manifesto of the European Year on Innovation and Creativity (2009), underlying the need for integration of science education, creativity and culture and the arts. These tendencies are strengthened by further European and American policy documents regarding future research in the field. Accordingly, WASO presents the following qualities:
• Fusing inquiry-based arts, science, and education in creative ways, thus providing an innovative look at opportunities of transversal activity.
• Providing potential and framework for original ways of questioning and knowledge creation in the classroom.

Support: WASO was developed with financial support by the Norwegian Research Council, Stord Haugesund University College, the University of Bergen, UH nettVest and Music West.

WASO for you? For further information about WASO or how to realize a WASO project in your country/school/university, please contact Oded Ben-Horin at oded.ben@hsh.no

For information regarding WASO in Asian countries, please contact Ms. Thanh Dao: tt_dao@hotmail.com

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