Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

ESTABLISH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 244749
Funded under: FP7-SIS
Country: Ireland

Improving science teaching and learning

A major European undertaking has advanced necessary changes in classroom practice that improve the teaching and learning of science and technology (S&T). Project work has contributed to increased research into the area and use of inquiry-based science education (IBSE) in classrooms across Europe.
Improving science teaching and learning
Efforts to more effectively engage students in science and mathematics can be successfully achieved with the participation of all partners in education. The 'European science and technology in action building links with industry, schools and home' (ESTABLISH) project thus engaged key stakeholders to develop an enhanced approach to IBSE.

The primary goal was to disseminate and facilitate the use of improved IBSE approaches with secondary school students (aged 12-18 years) across 11 European countries. ESTABLISH achieved this by addressing three key issues associated with the practical implementation of IBSE in the classroom. These covered the provision of relevant teaching materials to engage learners, training support for teachers to implement an inquiry-based methodology, and connecting with policymakers as well as scientific and industrial communities.

Project activities have resulted in positive changes in teachers' attitudes, improved ability to use IBSE in their teaching, and increased implementation of this methodology in classrooms. At the same time, student motivation and communication during science lessons has increased, and students have more informed attitudes towards science and careers in S&T. Finally, ESTABLISH succeeded in increasing interaction between individuals teaching and learning about science and individuals using science.

Through the project's work and its successful outcomes, increased engagement and participation of young people in S&T offer important industrial and societal benefits. The overall approach has engendered a clearer understanding of the role of IBSE in secondary schools' curricula.

Appropriate systems are now needed for assessing and rewarding students for skills developed through IBSE. Alternative teacher development models have proven effective in helping teachers develop their approaches to IBSE implementation. However, going forward, programmes for teachers' professional development must continue so as to maintain and embed these changes in classroom practice.

ESTABLISH has laid the groundwork for meeting these needs and successfully advancing the potential of IBSE methodology. The science education research community, science teachers, students, parents, industry and policymakers across Europe are thus all set to reap the large-scale benefits of this project's work.

Related information

Keywords

Science teaching, science and technology, inquiry-based science education, teacher development
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