Partium Christian University, Oradea, hosted the PUNTE International Conference and Workshop from 31 March to 2 April 2023.
Date of the conference: 31 March to 2 April 2023 (from Friday afternoon to Saturday).
Place of the conference: Partium Christian University, Oradea, (Primariei Street, no. 27, and Sulyok Istvan Street, no. 14–16, Oradea, Romania)
The languages of the conference: Hungarian and English
The main objective of the conference was to present the game Poly-Universe, used in the Erasmus+ project PUNTE-POLY-UNIVERSE in TEACHER TRAINING EDUCATION (2020-1-HU01-KA203-078810), to professionals, teachers and researchers in the field of mathematics and computer science didactics, to familiarize the participants with the methodology booklet prepared during the project and published in English and Hungarian during the last academic year, to gain an insight into the methodology courses launched during the last academic year and the PUNTE interdisciplinary good practices collected during the project.
The methodological tool has been tested over the last 10 years by thousands of teachers and students at different age groups (6-18 years), in hundreds of institutions and events (schools, math festivals, museums) across Europe. Its successful predecessor, PUSE (Poly-Universe in School Education), which introduced the game at different levels of school education, has already proven that the tool is an excellent instrument for teaching mathematics, making it fun and the learning process motivating.
The aim of the PUNTE project is to collect best practices in the use of the Poly-Universe game family in different fields and to introduce them into higher education, teacher education and teacher training, thus stimulating a paradigm shift in methodology. It also aims to develop students with special educational needs and those from different social backgrounds through the use of games.
Although the most evident field of application of Poly-Universe is mathematics education, it is certainly interdisciplinary in its approach – it seeks to identify and develop pedagogical aspects that will allow it to be used in a wide range of other fields: physics, geography, IT, music, economics, but also in arts and literature education. The methodological resource presented here brings together a collection of exercises that can be carried out with the Poly-Universe game family for teacher training students in different subjects and disciplines. The focus here is on those multidisciplinary and development skills, abilities and competences that are essential for future teachers.
On the first day of the conference, the plenary lesson was held by Maria da Piedade Vaz Rebelo, Maria Graça Bidarra and it was entitled Motivation and engagement in achievement contexts. After this came a cultural program, a performance by the Hungarian Heritage Award-Winning dance ensemble „Csillagocska”.
Following registration, on 1 April, participants were introduced to the different applications of the Poly-Universe through the following presentations:
Ilona Oláhné Téglási, Zoltán Kovács: The Impact of an Interdisciplinary, Tool-based Course on the Motivation of Teacher Training Students
Carolina Martins, Vanda Santos, Sandra P. Ferreira, Teresa B. Neto: Task Design with Poly-Universe: a STEAM Approach
Miklós Hoffmann: Representation of Microeconomics Problems with Poly-Universe
Eleonóra Stettner: How can Colors and Proportions Become Music?
Gordana Stankov: Games and Inclusion with Poly-Universe
János Szász Saxon, Kristóf Fenyvesi, Panna Petró, Balázs Humayer: Development of STEAM Educational Tools Based on the Creative Reinterpretation of the Poly-Universe Math & Art System
The afternoon program ended with the workshop of Zsuzsa Dárdai & all PUNTE partners together, entitled Poly-Universe + PUNTE Good Practices.
Over the two days, 90 participants gained insight into the different applications of the Poly-Universe.
On the third day of the event, 2 April, the partners also discussed the next steps of the project, the upcoming tasks and the meeting.
The three-year PUNTE project will run from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2023. The partners are: Eszterházy Károly Catholic University, Eger, Poly-Universe Ltd., Szokolya, Partium Christian University, Oradea, János Selye University, Slovakia, Subotica Tech – College of Applied Sciences, Experience Workshop, Finland, Universidade da Coimbra, Portugal, and Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria. Coordinating institutions of the project: the Eszterházy Károly Catholic University, Eger, and six other universities, including the Partium Christian University, cover the whole spectrum of teacher education.