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European Science and Technology in Action Building Links with Industry, Schools and Home

Final Report Summary - ESTABLISH (European Science and Technology in Action Building Links with Industry, Schools and Home)

Executive Summary:
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The overall objective of ESTABLISH was to disseminate and facilitate the use of inquiry-based science teaching approaches with second level students (age 12-18 years) on a large scale across Europe (directly across 11 European countries) by bringing together, within a collaborative environment, the key stakeholders in science education across the eleven European countries who constitute the official partners of ESTABLISH.

ESTABLISH has achieved this objective by addressing three key issues associated with the practical implementation of IBSE in the classroom, namely, provision of:
• relevant teaching materials to engage the learner in inquiry based learning,
• appropriate training support for teachers to implement an inquiry-based methodology, and
• sustainable connections with policy makers and scientific and industrial communities.

The ESTABLISH project has effectively carried out all tasks and activities towards achieving the goals originally proposed and the resulting impact of these actions is evident at multiple levels - all collectively contributing towards the increased use of and research into the area of inquiry based science education in classrooms across Europe. The findings, analysis and conclusion of specific ESTABLISH actions and impacts are discussed within the various project deliverable reports. To ensure progress towards achieving the aims of ESTABLISH, each project period had a particular focus and plan; in period one, (P1) the focus was on identification and initialisation; period two (P2) was on development and implementation and in this third period, (P3), on reflection, evaluation and synthesis of project data and information to ascertain the impact of ESTABLISH.

The main outcomes of the project have been:

• greater implementation of IBSE methodologies by teachers in their classrooms;
• greater understanding and positive changes in teachers’ attitudes and greater ability to use IBSE in their teaching;
• increased student motivation and communication during science lessons;
• more informed student attitudes towards science and taking up careers in science and/or technology;
• increased interaction between those teaching and learning about science and those using science.

These are significantly positive outcomes when considered in the context of the need for increased engagement and participation of young people in science and technology, both for industrial and widespread societal benefit in Europe. Through interaction with industry, ESTABLISH has generated examples of how authentic experiences from industry can inform the inquiry based classroom. A range of industrial examples categorised through Industrial Content Knowledge (ICK) have been shown to broaden the scope of industrial interaction with the classroom.

Through involvement with stakeholders, there is now a clearer understanding of the role of IBSE in the curriculum and many countries now have IBSE or other active pedagogies stated within their curriculum documents. This move to inquiry curricula must now be supported by appropriate assessment systems that assess and rewards students for skills developed through IBSE. Through development of teacher education programmes, alternative models of teacher development have been implemented. These models have been shown to be effective in helping teachers develop their approaches to IBSE implementation. However, further continuous programmes for the professional development of teachers must continue in order to maintain and embed these changes in classroom practice.



Project Context and Objectives:
2.1 PROJECT CONTEXT

The overall objective of ESTABLISH is to disseminate and facilitate the use of inquiry-based science teaching (IBSE) approaches with second level students (age 12-18 years) on a large scale across Europe by bringing together, within a collaborative environment, the key stakeholders in science education across the eleven European countries who constitute the official partners of ESTABLISH.

IBSE methodologies have been recommended by research-led teacher educators as a successful way to encourage young people to become more interested and motivated in science and technology, through increased interactive activities and topical challenges. Also IBSE methodologies have been shown to stimulate teachers motivation in the classroom. These methodologies have been heralded by many policy-makers as a key solution to arrest the decline in science and technology careers across Europe. However, the widespread implementation of such a methodology will only occur with inclusion and participation of all partners in education, both formal and informal. ESTABLISH has sought to address this issue by drawing together over 60 expert partners from across 11 European countries to work over the period 2010-2014, in a coordinated manner, to encourage and promote the more widespread use of inquiry-based science teaching methodologies in second level schools. Through actions such as the provision of appropriate teacher education and attractive, yet practical teaching resources, ESTABLISH has sought to bridge the gap between the science education research community, science teachers, students, parents, local industry as well as policy makers in order to facilitate the uptake of inquiry-based science teaching.

2.1-1 STAKEHOLDERS IN IBSE

The ambition of ESTABLISH was to bring together, within a collaborative environment, the key stakeholders in science education across the eleven European countries. Through this strategic action, the project participants, with these stakeholders, generated and implemented innovation in the classroom for the teaching and learning of science and technology. The stakeholders included: science teachers and educators; the scientific and industrial communities, both local enterprises and multinational industries; the second level science students and their parents; the policy makers responsible for science education at second level, including curriculum developers and assessment agencies; and national and international science education researchers. These communities were drawn together to inform education policy, as well as to provide effective pedagogy and teacher training. The expected impact of these collaborations was realised and evaluated at many levels, with the overall outcome envisaged to be an increase in the number of European teachers who are confident and competent to use IBSE in their current teaching practices.

ESTABLISH recognises that these, often disparate, stakeholder communities have a role to play in second level science and that some of these communities have a greater ‘voice’ whilst others have a more direct impact on either performance, policy or the ‘doing’ of science at second level. In fact the relationship between the stakeholders is quite complex given the unequal strength of each relationship. However, it is recognised that all the communities share the desire to maximise the potential in the key community i.e. the students.

Pertinent in maximising potential in the students, all of the stakeholders have to share a common vision for the output. Therefore as part of ESTABLISH, the communities as indicated above have come together to generate a common vision of successful science education (which may lead in some countries to a shared education policy) through an effective pedagogy that is appropriately adapted to take account of cultural and gender issues.

2.1-2 INQUIRY-BASED SCIENCE EDUCATION (IBSE)

Maximising the potential of learners, as suggested by the research literature, is best achieved through restructuring teacher education (both pre-service and in-service) so as to support teachers to adopt an inquiry-based approach (Linn, Lee et al. 2006, Linn, Davis E.A. et al. 2004, Linn, Davis et al. 2004) in the classroom by coordinated intervention among the relevant stakeholders as outlined above. In the past, the stakeholders have pursued their individual goals in isolation (Fensham 1986); in ESTABLISH, however the stakeholders were actively reconnected to establish a way of thinking about how science is learned. Through their involvement in this project all stakeholders focused on and came to understand the educational benefits and implementation requirements of an inquiry based methodology, hence the acronym of the project: ESTABLISH.

Inquiry, can be defined in multiple ways, but for the purpose of ESTABLISH, is the “intentional process of diagnosing problems, critiquing experiments, and distinguishing alternatives, planning investigations, researching conjectures, searching for information, constructing models, debating with peers, and forming coherent arguments” (Linn, Davis E.A. et al. 2004). It requires a mind-set change on the part of the teacher away from a deductive approach where the teacher often presents the concepts and information, including results of experiments even before the student carries them out, to a more inductive approach where the teacher creates the atmosphere to allow for student observation, experimentation, planning, and through teacher guidance, students can construct their knowledge.

Second level students (age 12-18 years) were the chosen age group for this project as these are making career and study choices for University and further education programmes.

2.2 OBJECTIVES

Over the period 2010-2014, ESTABLISH sought to:
2.2.1 Facilitate and implement an inquiry-based approach in teaching and learning of science and technology across Europe, through the following actions (PO1):

i. identify, further develop, trial and evaluate teaching and learning inquiry-based materials and localise where applicable, based on relevance to current industry and research in science, gender considerations, cultural and local pre-conditions.

ii. provide support for teachers to successfully implement this approach.

iii. further develop and implement the teaching and learning materials across Europe.

iv. share and disseminate inquiry-based approaches and teaching and learning materials for science education.

2.2.2 Stimulate learning and promote intrinsic motivation in students and identify career opportunities in science and technology for both men and women, by providing with authentic experiences from across research and industry (PO2);

2.2.3 Foster a mutually beneficial relationship between industries/research, teaching communities and the local education system, for the on-going advancement of science and technology (PO3);

2.2.4 Encourage sharing of experiences from across all the partners over Europe to deliver model(s) of best practice for incorporation of inquiry based teaching in classrooms and in teacher education (PO4);

2.2.5 Evaluate model(s) of best-practice in driving curricula and pedagogical change and this includes the involvement of all stakeholders from parents to policy makers (PO5);

2.2.6 Broaden the dissemination of resources and models of best practice to the wider EU community (PO6).

These project objectives were set out to address three key issues associated with the practical implementation of inquiry-based science education (IBSE), these being the:

• lack of relevant TEACHING MATERIALS to engage the learner and provide authentic learning experiences;
• lack of TRAINING SUPPORT of teachers to implement this methodology and
• lack of SUPPORT OR CONNECTION with policy makers and those who use science.

In PO1(i), resources related to key science topics were reviewed, revised and combined into workable teaching and learning units. The starting point for this were the resources provided by the consortium partners including the existing resource called “Science and Technology in Action” (STA), (www.sta.ie) which had already been developed in collaboration with industry, national policy makers, in-service teachers, parents and national teacher support service in Ireland (see www.sta.ie). STA had been chosen as a starting resource, as it covered a wide breadth of topics and enforced the awareness of the critical importance of science and technology to our economy and society. These links with the stakeholders served as a foundation upon which the adaptation and development of the ESTABLISH materials for European use and for inquiry-based teaching and learning grew.

Other resources which were considered for incorporating into the ESTABLISH teaching and learning materials were those resources developed by industry together with resources from past national and European projects focused on supporting inquiry based science education. In addition, technology-enhancing resources, such as the ICT resource COACH, informed and enriched the development of the resulting materials. This served to extend the development (PO1 (iii)) of the ESTABLISH teaching and learning units with interactive activities, in which students are active with computer-based measurements, video measurements, modelling activities, as well with analytical tools as well numerical tools, and control activities.

Common scientific themes that are applicable and relevant across Europe were identified in key areas, such as, energy, environment, genetics, pharmaceuticals, etc. and appropriate materials identified from resources contributed by the consortium partners. These materials were selected and adapted to strengthen the IBSE methodology. Stakeholder input particularly from industry and teachers ensured the relevance and authenticity of the materials. Specific adaptations were applied, as appropriate, to take into account cultural differences and particular circumstances in each partner country (PO3). In total, 18 teaching units were selected and developed to address a variety of scientific and socio-scientific topics in the subject areas Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technology and Multidisciplinary science. The criteria for each teaching unit was that they conformed to the ESTABLISH definition of IBSE and also that they encouraged and facilitated students to be active participants. In preparation of the teaching units, specific attention focussed on gender issues ensuring that all materials are suited to both genders (PO1 (iii)). Each teaching unit was evaluated through a pilot test, and then revised before wide-spread implementation in teacher education across Europe.

ESTABLISH recognises that teachers are key to ensure success in this process, and so the project’s implementation strategy has focused on the provision of the engaging, practical and attractive resources for teachers (as devised, developed, trialled and evaluated through the process outlined above) and the facilitation of innovative science teacher education, at both pre-service and in-service level. All of the ESTABLISH partners brought their expertise and experiences of IBSE to the consortium and this sharing of ideas and experiences informed this implementation strategy for increasing the use of IBSE in schools, particularly through this provision of teacher education.

Each of the ESTABLISH partners was committed to educate a minimum number of teachers (both at pre- and in-service level) using the resources, as described above, for IBSE. Each country utilised slightly different forms of teacher training – from seeking volunteer teachers to being part of the national in-service teacher education, as appropriate for their national context. Following analysis of the effectiveness of IBSE implementation in schools, together with partner experiences and national experiences, the consortium was able to suggest models of best-practice for teacher education in IBSE for dissemination across Europe (PO1(ii) & PO4).

The impact of the implementation of the IBSE resources on both teachers and students was evaluated in detail in terms of impact on teachers and impact on students (PO1, PO2). Continual growth throughout the project was made possible by incrementally increasing the number of teachers involved annually, both pre-service and in-service. This was important as the process of ripple effect will naturally disseminate as well as strengthening the implementation of the project, thus sustaining the impact of the project.

A critical outcome of this project was the identification of those factors that are necessary in driving educational change at a national and at European level (PO5). Recognising that these factors reside at different levels across the education-governance paradigm, this required input from all stakeholders and effective communication strategies to allow for meaningful engagements to raise awareness and generate support in driving education change.

The ESTABLISH project team was committed to sharing and disseminating best practice (PO6) in inquiry-based pedagogy for science education among teachers, science education researchers, teacher trainers, students, parents, policymakers/curricula developers and industry and has devised an extensive dissemination plan to achieve this. The plan included the sharing of teachers’ experiences with existing and future science teachers through European teacher networks, conferences and publications. This also publicised the effectiveness of the cultural adaptation of resources and the role of industry in communicating and promoting science and technology. The project also disseminated findings on the impact of ESTABLISH on young people’s interest in science, including both girls and boys. Significantly, ESTABLISH also hosted a substantial mid-project conference for representative teachers of ESTABLISH from each country to come together to share their experiences of IBSE in their classrooms. This international conference gathered over 200 IBSE practitioners together in 2012 to share and discuss all aspects of IBSE including specific subject aspects as well as general methodology issues. National stakeholders in each country were also invited to attend.

Thus, the ambition for ESTABLISH was to involve as many, of aforementioned, stakeholders as possible, in real and tangible tasks to address three key issues, namely: the development, piloting and provision of appropriate teaching and learning materials (IBSE Units), together with providing appropriate supports for both in-service and pre-service teachers (IBSE Teacher Education Programmes) so as to develop and sustain networks to promote inquiry in the classroom. The achievement of these objectives and the main results obtained is discussed in the next section.



Project Results:
3. DESCRIPTION OF MAIN RESULTS

ESTABLISH has successfully achieved its objective to facilitate and implement an Inquiry-Based approach to Science Education (IBSE) for second level students on a wide spread scale across Europe. This project has successfully engaged key stakeholder communities of second level science education to work together to achieve the specific aim of creating collaborative and supportive environments for science education. The resulting actions and collaborations that ESTABLISH has made possible, have informed the development of the project’s teaching and learning IBSE materials (ESTABLISH Units) as well as educational supports for both in-service and pre-service teachers (ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programmes) designed to promote the use of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) in classrooms across Europe, as well as strategically engaging of key stakeholders in STEM education to, not alone increase awareness of the benefits of IBSE, but also to sustain and support the continued use of IBSE in classrooms across Europe.

The results of ESTABLISH will be outlined and described in terms of the specific project objectives they have sought to achieve.

3.1 TO FACILITATE AND IMPLEMENT AN INQUIRY-BASED APPROACH IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ACROSS EUROPE THROUGH TARGETED ACTIONS (PO1).

The first project objective of ESTABLISH was ambitious, as it set out to develop both teaching and learning materials together with supports for teachers to successfully implement IBSE across Europe. This deliberate decision was taken as it was recognised that the provision of IBSE units alone would not change classroom practice. Thus, ESTABLISH sought to provide both appropriate teaching and learning materials (IBSE Units), together with the opportunity for teachers to attend educational workshops or inquiry teacher education programmes (TEPs), whereby they were allowed the time and space to develop a deeper understanding of the inquiry process and to consider this in the context of their own teaching practices. PO1 has a very broad scope and is therefore discussed under five sub-objectives (i-v) in the following section:

PO1(i) To identify, further develop, trial and evaluate teaching and learning inquiry-based materials and localise where applicable, based on relevance to current industry and research in science, gender considerations, cultural and local pre-conditions.

PO1(iii) To further develop and implement the teaching and learning materials across Europe.

These two sub-objectives were identified so as to provide appropriate teaching and learning units. To realise these, the ESTABLISH consortium partners conducted a review of available IBSE teaching and learning materials to identify examples of “good IBSE” materials. Those that were reviewed included materials related to the industry (business and scientific communities) as well as those arising from current research practices in science. These materials were available from national and international projects, including Science and Technology in Action, PARSEL, Chemie in Kontext, STeAM and COACH. This review, of proven IBSE materials, prompted discussions on the philosophy of IBSE and the subsequent adoption of an agreed criteria for IBSE to be used throughout the lifetime of ESTABLISH. This common understanding of inquiry and IBSE, defined as the "intentional process of diagnosing problems, critiquing experiments, and distinguishing alternatives, planning investigations, researching conjectures, searching for information, constructing models, debating with peers, and forming coherent arguments", was crucial in the planning of ESTABLISH as it was the foundation principal upon which all other project frameworks were built.

The expectation on the ESTABLISH teaching and learning materials was that they would facilitate teachers to develop their own understanding of IBSE, to experience the benefits of IBSE in classroom practice and to inspire them to develop their own IBSE materials, so that they in turn could facilitate their students to experience these IBSE benefits. During this review it became apparent that no single set of teaching and learning materials existed that could meet these expectations and so it was agreed that a suite of teaching and learning materials or “units”, should be developed, either ab initio or by enhancing existing materials to meet these agreed expectations. Given the significance of these expectations, the process of designing, developing, piloting and evaluating of these units consumed a large proportion of the project’s efforts to ensure that the resulting materials were fit for purpose and were a useful asset to teachers wishing to use inquiry-based approaches in their classroom. This extensive process yielded a number of additional reports (referred to within this report as DX.X) and outputs as described in the following sections:

3.1.1 FRAMEWORK FOR IBSE UNITS

A framework that defined the structure, purpose and function of these teaching and learning units was produced early in the project. This framework (D1.1) described, firstly, information relevant for those teaching IBSE, with a second section focusing on classroom materials. In particular, the following information was provided for the “teacher”: unit description, student level target, disciplines involved and estimated time for covering the unit (duration), classroom materials, including: elements of inquiry, levels of inquiry, science knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), industrial content knowledge (ICK), delivery of unit (learning path used), assessment and student learning activities. By following this framework, each of the ESTABLISH consortium partners were able to construct resources which were both comparable and also flexible to take into account cultural differences and particular circumstance in each partner country. ICK is a key aspect of ESTABLISH, as the information presented in this section of the units highlights the linkages between science in the classroom and science in the real world. By providing exemplars activities, which offer a range of engagement opportunities between these often disparate communities, it is expected to make science and technology learning a more authentic and fruitful experience.

In order to operationalise this framework, an important and additional guiding report (D3.4) was developed. By providing information on the designing principles, together with details on inquiry-based approaches, activities and skills, this guide, which was aimed primarily at teacher educators but which has been equally informative for teachers, sought to explain the purpose of this framework for the units and provide an essential link between the framework and the resulting teaching and learning units that were produced over the lifetime of the project.

3.1.2 PILOT IBSE UNITS

The role of the units was central to the facilitation of pre- and in-service teacher education. With this in mind, it was decided to first develop three pilot units to explore and optimise this relationship between the teaching and learning units and teacher education so as to develop concrete examples for the whole consortium to discuss and agree as standards for subsequent unit developments.

To initiate this process, the following three scientific topics were selected, which were developed into ESTABLISH IBSE pilot units:
• Unit 1: Sound (Physics)
• Unit 2: Disability (Biology)
• Unit 3: Invisible Holes (Chemistry)

The development of these first units was a key action in the project so as to consolidate the development process and to provide exemplars for the development of subsequent units.

Discussions on the format and content of these three units took place during group-work sessions in a number of project meetings. The results of these discussions have informed the final versions of the afore mentioned reports on the framework for the units (D1.1) and the guide for developing the units (D3.4)

It was agreed that the process for developing the units would, where appropriate and possible, involve the stakeholder groups (including science teachers and educators, the scientific and industrial communities, the young people and their parents, the policy makers responsible for science curriculum and assessment and the science education research community), influential in the teaching and learning of science at post-primary level. Therefore, aligned with the development of the ESTABLISH teaching and learning IBSE units, suitable key stakeholders are identified for involvement in all units so as to provide tangible contexts of science beyond the school curricula.

Drafts of the 3 pilot units were presented and discussed during the project’s General Assembly meetings. Using the feedback from the consortium, revisions were made to the content and units were piloted and trialled in the period October 2010 – February 2011.

The process of piloting the units involved small groups (up to 5) of expert teachers who were consulted to review the contents of draft units to provide constructive feedback on aspects of their feasibility as teacher education materials and as teaching and learning resources. Unit evaluation reports were completed by ESTABLISH partners and returned to the unit authors for consideration during the finalisation stage of the unit.

Following the piloting phase, activities in the units were trialled in the classroom with teachers providing their feedback to the ESTABLISH partners on the appropriateness of the materials for such use. Presentations of these experiences were gathered from partners through descriptive case-studies and presented to a number of General Assembly meetings, for the benefit of all.

Between February and June 2011, the three initial units were again revised, based on these unit evaluation reports, and were finalised.

The development of these three pilot units was an active and engaging process, enabling important discussions to take place between the partners so as to define and agree on major elements of the project regarding the functions and demands on the units. It also fulfilled the role to set a standard for development of subsequence units. In the external reflection of these units, Prof Marcia Linn, University of Berkeley, USA, commended the ambitions actions undertaken by the project partners while suggesting to limit the number of units so as to focus on inquiry and deepen their development. This was considered, but given the limited reach a smaller number of units would enable, it was agreed to proceed with the development and adaptation of the additional units, with most ESTABLISH partners leading on the development of at least one unit. This was deemed more beneficial and appropriate for the task of disseminating IBSE on a wide-spread scale across Europe, and allowed partners to have more topics available when conducting teacher education to support IBSE.

3.1.3 IBSE UNIT CONTENT AND DEVELOPMENT

Additional units were piloted and subsequently trailed with teachers in other countries represented in the ESTABLISH consortium. Each partner was able to use the framework and associated guide for developing the units to identify existing IBSE resources which were fit for the purpose of the project as well as other sections which required further development. In certain cases, it was decided that the whole unit would be designed ab initio.

The scientific themes of these units were selected so as to be appropriate for the second level science curricula in the participating countries and within each unit, material was offered at a various levels to suit the age range of second level students and to promote different elements of inquiry so as to offer a flexible resource for use in teacher education and in the classroom.

Each unit described essential elements of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to support the unit’s scientific concepts together with elements of industrial content knowledge (ICK), whereby examples, contexts and, or applications from industrial communities are integrated into the unit providing authentic learning opportunities. This section of the units was a key aspect of the projects materials as it highlighted the opportunities where linkages between science within the classroom and science outside the classroom exist. By providing such a range of exemplar activities within these scientific topics, in addition to enhancing the teaching and learning of science and technology, these activities inspired teachers to discover and create their own opportunities for connecting science teaching and learning within the classroom to science usage and development outside the classroom.

The process of developing, adapting, piloting and trialing the ESTABLISH teaching and learning IBSE units, turned out to be a more complex task than originally foreseen. Even working with many existing resources, the choice to develop new units, with more flexibility and more activities, so as to better serve the goals of the teacher education, resulted in greater amounts of effort from all partners. This process however has been an inclusive and rewarding process, with many in-depth discussions and collaborations taking place during the process as well as an additional project deliverable, D3.4 Guide for developing Establish Teaching and Learning Units so as to define and agree on major elements of the project regarding the functions and demands on the units.

The resulting 18 ESTABLISH teaching and learning IBSE units, listed in Table 1 and reported as D3.1 D3.2 and D3.3 vary in size, with some consisting of 2-3 sub-units, appropriate for different user groups: lower secondary, upper secondary, and (some) with research projects for upper secondary, but which all have been informed by the guide (D3.4) and aligned with the ESTABLISH Teaching and learning unit framework (D1.1). In total these 18 units present an extensive array of 281 activities suitable for use in teacher education that can be selected by discipline, level or skill and form the core resource for the implementation of ESTABLISH teacher education programme. These materials serve as exemplary materials for science teachers and instructors of teacher professional development to experience the benefits of inquiry-based science education approach and are offered openly to inspire, guide and stimulate the further development of IBSE resources and practices.

These actions engaged teaching communities (through the piloting with small groups of teachers in each participating country) and industrial communities (through the inclusion and incorporation of scientific contexts, applications and examples into the units).

These units have been made available on the ESTABLISH website in English with downloadable versions available in multiple European languages, which present both translations and adaptations for cultural differences (such as national curriculum, local resources, industries, etc.), so as to extend the impact and usefulness of the website.

PO1 (ii) To provide support for teachers to successfully implement this approach.

As referred to previously, the ESTABLISH units were designed to facilitate science teachers to develop their own understanding of IBSE, to experience its benefits in classroom practice and to inspire them to develop their own IBSE materials. It was agreed, early in the project, that the provision of IBSE teaching and learning materials alone would not change classroom practice, and so the ESTABLISH consortium sought to offer teachers across Europe, opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the inquiry process through a dedicated Teacher Education Programme (TEP). Teachers from across all the beneficiary countries in ESTABLISH were given opportunities to participate in these TEPs – either as continued professional development for in-service teachers or as training workshops for pre-service teachers. The ESTABLISH teaching and learning IBSE units were used as exemplars of good inquiry practices, thus, the role of the units was central to the facilitation of pre- and in-service teacher education.

The purpose of the ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programmes (TEPs) was to inform and support teachers, both at pre-service and in-service level across Europe, to use IBSE in their own teaching practices. Acknowledging that the background knowledge of inquiry varies greatly among teachers, as does the role of inquiry within the national curricula, it was important, early in the development and planning of these TEPs to define a framework for the ESTABLISH science teacher education that would be flexible to suit individual and contextual needs across the participating countries and beyond, yet unifying to ensure that participating teachers would be supported in experiencing and implementing IBSE in their classrooms. This process of development occurred simultaneously with the development of the ESTABLISH IBSE units to ensure the successful adoption of IBSE by teachers in the classroom.

3.1.4 FRAMEWORK FOR ESTABLISH TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME (TEP)

This framework for teacher education (D5.2) was required to set out the overall structure, content and implementation plan of ESTABLISH science teacher education programmes in IBSE at both in-service and pre-service level. It was designed with a large degree of flexibility to accommodate national and local differences, including:

A. CULTURAL VARIATION - From an earlier study, which looked to identify the position and priority of IBSE within national educational policy contexts (D2.1) it was clear that many inquiry skills are explicitly or implicitly stated in national curriculum and assessment criteria of all beneficiary countries in ESTABLISH. This report also highlighted that many new national curricula, within this set of countries, include additional elements of inquiry. Therefore, the ESTABLISH framework for teacher education needed to recognize the varied background and cultural differences within the educational systems of the participating countries.

B. CHALLENGES FACED BY TEACHERS - From an earlier study within ESTABLISH (D4.1) the challenges that teachers may face in implementing IBSE were identified under three areas - Teachers beliefs, Classroom Management and Pedagogical and scientific knowledge. It was paramount that these areas were addressed within the elements of the ESTABLISH TEPs, to ensure that TEPs met the needs of the participating teachers as well as disseminating the benefits of IBSE across Europe.

C. FLEXIBILITY IN DELIVERY – While each beneficiary country in ESTABLISH was committed to facilitate the science teacher education programmes, it was recognised that the timing within each country differed, e.g. short evening sessions, day long sessions, summer courses, face to face, or web-based teaching/learning. Acknowledging that the national provision of opportunities for in-service teachers to participate in inquiry based programmes was diverse across the participating countries, the criteria for TEPs was designed to be flexible so as to accommodate such variations and cater for local needs.

D. SUITABILITY FOR ALL TEACHERS – ESTABLISH recognised that though science teachers within each country have varied experiences of IBSE, varied backgrounds, teaching experience, qualifications and they teach at different levels, often, the issues faced by both in-service and pre-service teachers in implementing inquiry based science teaching/learning are somehow similar and interrelated. Therefore, the framework provided for core content that was suitable for both pre- and in-service science teachers across differing national contexts. The specific needs of either pre-service teachers or groups of in-service teachers was then addressed thorough the provision of additional supporting elements.

3.1.5 SELECTION OF TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME ELEMENTS

The resulting Framework for Teacher Education (D5.2) drew on existing good practice in in-service and pre-service teacher education, outlined core and supporting teaching elements for the implementation of IBSE (Figure 1), and defined the purpose and scope of each of these elements. Together with inquiry activities suggested from the units, this Framework presented sequences to enable the learning objectives of these elements to be realised.

FIGURE 1 FRAMEWORK FOR ESTABLISH TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMMES.

The four core elements of the agreed framework were:
I. ESTABLISH VIEW OF IBSE – outlining the ESTABLISH view of inquiry, benefits to learning, role of inquiry in curriculum, providing direct experience of inquiry, considerations to ethical and gender issues;

II. INDUSTRIAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE (ICK) – industrial linking – highlighting the relevance and benefits of ICK to support IBSE; providing learning experiences and contexts informed by industry or real applications;

III. SCIENCE TEACHER AS IMPLEMENTER - MANAGEMENT– preparing teachers for facilitating and implementing inquiry teaching/learning in their own classroom through self-reflection to identify challenges and opportunities; to become effective in asking, owning, managing and encouraging questions that can be investigated; to develop and manage a student-centred classroom, to support student curiosity whilst carrying out different activities and also where the noise level may be higher than in a ‘traditional’ classroom as group discussions may be taking place. Also addressing time constraints within a predefined and packed curriculum.

IV. SCIENCE TEACHER AS DEVELOPER - FEEDBACK, EVALUATION - assisting teachers to reflect on practice of inquiry within the classroom following implementation in classroom for evaluation of classroom experience; demonstrate how to turn traditional structured activities into inquiry-orientated activities; encourage, assist and enable teacher to develop inquiry lessons.

The four supporting elements were:

V. ICT – developing confidence and competence in the effective use of ICT in teaching and learning of science and appropriate use in inquiry-based teaching/learning in inquiry.

VI. ARGUMENTATION IN THE CLASSROOM – addressing skills to develop and manage effective argumentation in the classroom.

VII. RESEARCH AND DESIGN PROJECTS FOR STUDENTS – providing authentic experiences – address the development of these ideas, what aspects provide authenticity, student ownership and endorsement and including evaluation of evidence to address the evidence from scientific experiments to determine the conclusions that can be made from the data, and how these can lead to further investigations.

VIII. ASSESSMENT OF IBSE – addressing assessment of many aspects of inquiry; how assessments can be changed to provide value to the skills (cognitive, affective etc.) linked to IBSE.

3.1.6 PILOT TEP ELEMENTS

The framework (D5.2) described a flexible and comparable description of ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programmes which catered for in-service and pre-service teacher education delivered through face-to-face or online strategies across a variety of cultural, educational and disciplinary contexts. In a similar manner to the development of the unit, a quality process was utilised to gather feedback from participants and partners to determine the effectiveness of the planned implementation of these TEPs and the impact that these would have on participants. The piloting of the TEP involved the hosting of a series of workshops across Europe with both in-service and pre-service teachers, which focused on the first four elements. ESTABLISH partners then provided feedback on the implementation of these workshops, through descriptive case-studies and presentations to a number of General Assembly meetings, for the benefit of all. The dialogue that emerged from the sharing of these experiences was enriching to all consortium partners and informed the purpose and format of the four supporting elements.

PO1(iv) Sharing and disseminate inquiry based approaches and teaching and learning materials for science education

While the provision of the face-to-face TEPs served a very necessary function of the project, to introduce teachers to IBSE and increase their use of IBSE in the classroom, the impact of these was inherently limited due to the finite duration of the project. As previously mentioned, science teachers have varying degrees of prior experiences of IBSE as well as different expectations of the scientific topics covered during the TEPs. Thus, it was decided that participating teachers (both in-service and pre-service) should be provided with additional support and IBSE resources to extend their use of IBSE as their teaching methodology. For this reason ESTABLISH agreed to make the piloted, culturally adapted teaching and learning units available as web-based units on the website, so as to extend the use and dissemination of IBSE across Europe. These web-based materials are described in detail in report D4.4 and D5.4. It is expected that other audiences may also like to engage with the e-platform, and the consortium welcome this sharing of project approaches and materials with other teacher educators in IBSE.

3.2 TO ENCOURAGE SHARING OF EXPERIENCES FROM ACROSS ALL THE PARTNERS OVER EUROPE TO DELIVER MODEL(S) OF BEST PRACTICE FOR INCORPORATION OF INQUIRY BASED TEACHING IN CLASSROOMS AND IN TEACHER EDUCATION (PO4)

3.2.1 MODELS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF CLASSROOM PRACTICE & TEACHER EDUCATION

These aforementioned frameworks and associated guides, Framework for IBSE Teaching and Learning Units (D1.1) Guide for Developing ESTABLISH Teaching and Learning Units (D3.4) and Framework for Teacher Education (D5.2) were critical results of ESTABLISH as they have informed the sharing of experiences to deliver model(s) of best practice for the incorporation of inquiry based teaching in classrooms and in teacher education.

Reported and evaluated through descriptive case-studies, the collective experiences and examples which have emerged from the implementation and evaluation of ESTABLISH TEPs have been empowering for those participating directly in the project and have informed the dissemination activities of the project. Within the reports, D4.6 and D5.6 a number of models (ways in which consortium members have designed and implemented effective teacher education programmes) have been identified and described to account for the variation of cultural and contextual differences that exist across Europe. In summarising the review of these models, the report on Effective Models for in-service & pre-service science teacher training in IBSE (D4.6) concluded that in a successful TEP, teachers have:

• opportunities to discuss and share experience with colleagues;
• opportunities to collaborate with colleagues;
• their ideas challenged and respected;
• time to reflect upon their own practice and upon changes they would consider introducing in their classrooms.

Also, to ensure success, teachers should be provided with good material and resources but also encouraged and guided to develop their own material so that it fits with their actual situation.

Thus, though different models exist, all are focused on supporting the teachers to become proficient and confident in their own IBSE teaching. This strategy for the developing and implementing the ESTABLISH TEPs has led to the participation of 2,090 teachers in TEPs across the eleven beneficiary countries, of which, 591 in-service teachers completed at least 10 hours of workshops while an additional 796 teachers completed shorter programmes, Further details, including the numbers involved, has been reported in D9.1 management report.

3.2.2 COLLECTING OF EVIDENCE TO VERIFY BEST PRACTICE

In order to justify the efficacy and efficiency of the reported models, significant efforts were focused on capturing the impact of the TEPs and the units on teachers.

A profiling tool was developed to assess this impact of the ESTABLISH TEPs on teachers’ attitudes, understanding and learning processes related to IBSE together with their appreciation of the relevance of experiences from research and industry. An extensive review of the literature was undertaken to identify the relevant instruments and tools, proven through other projects and studies ( as detailed in report D5.1) which were synthesised into the ESTABLISH Teacher Profile questionnaires. These profiles were used at key stages during the delivery of the ESTABLISH TEP with both pre-service and in-service teachers to indicate both their inherent and changed attributes as caused by the ESTABLISH TEP. These reports (D4.3 D4.5 for in-services, and D5.3 D5.5 for pre-service) provide interesting insights into the position and relevance of IBSE in each of the participating countries from the teachers’ point of view.

For analysis purposes, teachers were categorised into 3 cohorts based on their self-evaluation of their experience in IBSE and multi-dimensional statistics were used to visual and interpret the data.

The results of these engagements with in-service teachers was reported in detail in D4.5 and was based on 458 teachers (across 13 partners) completing the initial profile and 233 of these completing the final profiles (~51% matched). The results of the engagements with pre-service teachers was reported in D5.5 and was based on 367 teachers (across 8 partners) completing the initial profile and 217 of these completing the final profiles (~59% matched).

Key results showed that following the TEP, all cohorts of the in-service teachers:

• have increased their understanding of inquiry and their understanding of the roles of teacher and student in an inquiry classroom, with the biggest increase by those who classified themselves as beginners in IBSE.

• have shifted their attitudes to inquiry towards overcoming the barriers often associated with IBSE, with again the biggest shift by the beginner cohort.

• have made small shifts in terms of recognition of importance of Industrial links after the TEP, with similar shifts for both beginner and experienced teachers. The beginner cohort agreed more significantly that they wanted their students to know about the latest developments and applications of science and engineering and that they could use more information about industrial process in their teaching.

• In terms of gender; within the beginner group, the male cohort seem to have moved in greater numbers towards the ideal inquiry responses than the female group for each of the attributes; the gender shifts are not as clear for those with experience. However, the gender effects seem to be of a secondary significance compared to the experience level; i.e. the shifts in attributes seem to depend primarily on the prior experience of the teachers with IBSE.

In terms of the pre-service teachers, as these TEPs are embedded into existing methodology modules, pre-service teachers are developing the skills and knowledge that they need in their role as a teacher, while simultaneously learning about IBSE. Large changes are, therefore, not expected due to one intervention on IBSE as the ESTABLISH programme is a short intervention relative to the length of their training. However, some changes have been determined, as follows:

• Their attitudes to IBSE were mainly positive with more than half feeling that inquiry was appropriate to achieving the aims of the curriculum and that it was suitable for all students.

• The majority are also quite positive towards the Industrial Links, with most agreeing that good teachers help students understand the importance of science and technology for our society.

• Following ESTABLISH TEP, they agree that they could easily relate science concepts in the curriculum beyond the classroom, but, they were uncertain whether they effectively show students the relevance of science in industry and whether their students understand the importance of science and technology in our society.

• The skills necessary to implement inquiry within the classroom are increased in the pre-service teachers following IBSE workshops.

Gender was not identified as a determinant in pre-service teacher’s understanding and attitudes to IBSE; however, the sample size, when split into male/female before/after TEP, was relatively too small and made it difficult to make definitive statements on gender effects.
These results provide a European perspective on the process for the development, implementation and impact of ESTABLISH TEPs.

3.3 STIMULATE LEARNING AND PROMOTE INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN STUDENTS AND IDENTIFY CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, BY PROVIDING WITH AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES FROM ACROSS RESEARCH AND INDUSTRY (PO2)

In order to determine whether this objective was achieved, it was necessary to develop an appropriate instrument to collect suitable and useful information about the students. Participating teachers in ESTABLISH TEPs are asked to co-operate in collecting this evidence to measure the impact of IBSE on their students. Specifically designed evaluation instruments were developed. Following the piloting of these instruments in five countries which engaged 709 students in this phase, the questionnaires 1 (A and B) were addressed to more than 3,100 students aged in range from 11 to 18 years. Questionnaire A for upper secondary schools was answered by 2502 students from Slovakia, Poland, Italy and Czech Republic,(almost 60 % of girls). Questionnaire B for lower secondary schools was answered by 646 students from Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Czech and Germany (48 % of girls). Almost 900 students participated in pre- and post- testing, i.e. completed Questionnaire 2 (A and B) and these were aged in range from 11 to 18 years.

The instruments, tools and methods offered to teachers, in conjunction with in-service TEPs, for collecting evidence to determine the impact of ESTABLISH on students, is detailed in D6.1. The collected data was analysed (mainly using the Statistica software by StatSoft Inc.) to determine whether the ESTABLISH TEP and units had an impact on stimulating learning, promoting intrinsic motivation in students to identify career opportunities in science and technology.

Key results showed that in the dimension of motivation and communication during lessons:

• Interest/Enjoyment: students obtained scores between 69% and 83%, where 100% would mean that they perceived the lessons as the most interesting and the most enjoyable. So. the general evaluation is positive (approx. 5 to 6 on a 7-point scale for direct items). There is no statistically significant difference between boys and girls, although girls were somehow more positive than boys and consider learning units as somehow more interesting.

• Perceived Choice: students obtained relative scores between 60 % and 69 %. In this case, the general evaluation is average or slightly positive (approx. 4 to 5 on a 7-point scale for direct items).

• Value/Usefulness: students’ scores ranged between 64 % and 78 %. As for the dimension Interest/Enjoyment, the general evaluation is positive (approx. 4 and 6 on a 7-point scale).

• Communication is determined as mostly average or positive (approx. 3 to 4 on a 5-point scale).

When considering the attitudes toward science and cognitive skills, several aspects of the questionnaire were compared using pre- and post-intervention scores to determine any impact on attitudes towards science and on cognitive skills. The results were compared using appropriate statistical testing. Specific groups of questions focused on assessing students’ opinions about science lessons and their attitudes towards taking up careers in science or technology. Statistically significant differences between the pre- and post-test were rare.

A set of 16 questions were used to assess how students perceive the role of science and technology in society. Statistically significant differences between the pre- and post-test were rare as well.

The part of the questionnaire focused on students’ epistemological beliefs contained items involving three dimensions :
1. Structure of scientific knowledge. Is physics and chemistry knowledge a bunch of weakly connected pieces without much structure and consisting mainly of facts and formulas? Or is it a coherent, conceptual, highly-structured, unified whole?
2. Nature of knowing and learning. Does learning science consist mainly of absorbing information? Or, does it rely crucially on constructing one's own understanding by working through the material actively, by relating new material to prior experiences, intuitions, and knowledge, and by reflecting upon and monitoring one's understanding?
3. Evolving knowledge. This dimension probes the extent to which students navigate between the twin perils of absolutism (thinking all scientific knowledge is set in stone) and extreme relativism (making no distinctions between evidence-based reasoning and mere opinion).

Relative scores obtained for each dimension are listed as follows: Relative score of 100% would mean:
1. Students believe that science knowledge is coherent, and a conceptual unified whole (dimension 1).
2. Students believe that learning science rely on constructing one’s own understanding (dimension 2).
3. Students are between the twin perils of absolutism (thinking all scientific knowledge is set in stone) and extreme relativism (making no distinctions between evidence-based reasoning and mere opinion) (dimension 3).

The analysis of the data obtained from students showed that in the dimension:
• Structure of scientific knowledge – score in the pre-test 49 % to 65 %, in the post-test 52 % to 66 %.
• Nature of knowing and learning – score in the pre-test 54 % to 73 %, in the post-test 53 % to 69 %.
• Evolving knowledge – score in the pre-test 43 % to 58 %, in the post-test 50 % to 62 %.

Statistically significant differences between the pre- and post-test were rare.
This data collection, together with a descriptive case-studies, such as the example of “Enhancing students’ interests in science and technology careers based on ESTABLISH units” from Estonia (D5.6) has provided valuable evidence of how to the ESTABLISH units have stimulated learning and promoted intrinsic motivation in students, to identify career opportunities in science and technology for both men and women, by providing with authentic experiences from across research and industry models of best practice.

This insight into teachers’ and students’ attitudes to science, IBSE and impact of the TEP has contributed to a better understanding of the profile and requirements of the participating teachers and has in turn informed teacher education models to support the implementation of curricula and pedagogical change in national contexts. As a result of this analysis, the number of project reports, as well as scientific presentations and publications from the project has increased, from what was originally envisaged for the project.


3.4 FOSTER A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDUSTRIES/RESEARCH, TEACHING COMMUNITIES AND THE LOCAL EDUCATION SYSTEM, FOR THE ON-GOING ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (PO3)

A unique feature of this project has been the desire to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between industrial, research, teaching communities and the local education system, as each is a key stakeholder for the on-going advancement of science and technology. ESTABLISH has sought to foster these relationship, by strategically engaging these partners in, so far as possible, real and tangible tasks such as the development, piloting and provision of appropriate teaching and learning materials (IBSE Units), together with providing appropriate supports for both in-service and pre-service teachers (IBSE Teacher Education Programmes) so as to develop and sustain networks to promote inquiry in the classroom.

An essential feature of ESTABLISH was to include in the process for developing the units, where appropriate and possible, the stakeholder groups (including science teachers and educators, the scientific and industrial communities, the young people and their parents, the policy makers responsible for science curriculum and assessment and the science education research community), influential in the teaching and learning of science at post-primary level. Therefore, aligned with the development of the ESTABLISH teaching and learning IBSE units, suitable key stakeholders are identified for involvement in all units so as to provide tangible contexts of science beyond the school curricula.

For example, within the Chemical Care unit, ESTABLISH consortium members worked with employees from Henkel to adapt previously generated material to the ESTABLISH Teaching and Learning units, providing real-life contexts and applications for the many abstract scientific concepts contained with that unit. Within the Blood Donation unit, ESTABLISH consortium members worked with local blood transfusion departments, recommending the incorporation of a study visit into the teaching and learning materials to reinforce the impact of science on human-life for students. These are, but two, examples of where industrial content knowledge (ICK) has been made available within the ESTABLISH Teaching and Learning units and highlight the multiple opportunities for this integration of real-life science into the teaching and learning of science. A wide variation in the engagement levels are possible and include:

• Classroom reference or contexts; topical contexts; engineering design tasks;
• Visits in – whereby scientists or those who use science and technology in their jobs share their experiences, facilitate experiments, pose scientific problems;
• Visits Out – Site visits – normally once off, short duration – including site visits to industry/ water treatment plant, etc…
• Work experience placements – extended period of time for teacher or student

Each of the ESTABLISH teaching and learning units uniquely highlights ICK content for the unit. In addition, the second ESTABLISH TEP is dedicated to Industry Content Knowledge. The focus of this TEP component was to make participating teachers aware of the relevance and benefits of ICK in IBSE; enabling them to appreciate the variation of ICK experiences possible when teaching; assisting participants to develop ICK for their own inquiry lessons. Through these actions, ESTABLISH has provided a bridge between the science education research community, science teachers, students, parents, local industry as well as policy makers in order to facilitate the uptake of inquiry-based science teaching.

3.5 EVALUATE MODEL(S) OF BEST-PRACTICE IN DRIVING CURRICULA AND PEDAGOGICAL CHANGE AND THIS INCLUDES THE INVOLVEMENT OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS FROM PARENTS TO POLICY MAKERS (PO5)

3.5.1 POSITION AND SIGNIFICANCE OF IBSE

An increased awareness of IBSE amongst all stakeholders was deemed necessary to support its implementation within the classroom. In order to be effective in driving curricula and pedagogical change a review was conducted by the ESTABLISH consortium members to identify the position, significance and extent to which the elements of IBSE are implemented in national curricular criteria and assessment statements.

The report, D2.1 indicated that the nine elements of IBSE, as adopted by ESTABLISH, are included in all pre-service teacher education programmes. It also noted that the opportunities available to the in-service teachers are more diverse across the participating countries, ranging from national programmes to local initiatives.

An overview of projects, focused on facilitating IBSE, funded through the EU Science and Society Calls in 2008 and 2009 (activity 5.2.2.1) showed that there were partners from 29 countries engaged in FP7 projects to address the use of IBSE in classrooms and in teacher education. This indicated that there was widespread involvement of IBSE in teacher education programmes across Europe. Additionally, although each of the countries participating in ESTABLISH have implemented multiple initiatives to promote IBSE, the impact of these programmes on the widespread use of IBSE is difficult to determine.

Following this report, the key forces for driving change in classroom practice across participating countries were examined. The findings from this work, reported in D2.2 identified teachers as playing a central role in enabling and sustaining change in the classroom. Thus, the actions to facilitate teacher education and increase awareness of IBSE and its benefits were justified. Teacher education together with curriculum and assessment were identified as the key forces for driving curricula and pedagogical change. The report also addressed the role of other stakeholders in driving this change, indicating that policy makers have the power to mandate IBSE and so are influential through their control of both curriculum and assessment; school management, teacher organisations and teacher education institutions can bring influence to bear on policy makers as well as on daily classroom practice; and students and parents, as ‘users’ of the education service, have the potential to bring higher levels of influence and support to the teaching and learning of science and technology in the classroom. Thus, the “voice” of each community, as referred to within the project objectives, is distinctly different, but these can be brought together to harmonise a drive in curricula and pedagogical change towards an increased use of IBSE.

While acknowledging that a significant change in driving such a change requires a long-term strategy, ESTABLISH consortium members have used this information to identify, plan and conduct engagements with strategic partners so as to enhance the ESTABLISH teaching and learning units as well as the ESTABLISH TEPs as detailed within the report D2.3. Within this report, ESTABLISH consortium members have encouraged policy makers to introduce the policy changes necessary by providing evidence of the benefits of IBSE; disseminated IBSE through in-service and pre-service teacher education, and increased the use of IBSE by teachers in the classroom; as well as engaging with other key stakeholders, to proactively promote and disseminate information about IBSE, and support local school initiatives in IBSE.

3.6 BROADEN THE DISSEMINATION OF RESOURCES AND MODELS OF BEST PRACTICE TO THE WIDER EU COMMUNITY (PO6)

The overall objective of the ESTABLISH project was heavily focused on dissemination to, not only, generate an increased awareness but, also to engage audiences so as to bring about a change (increased implementation of IBSE) in the way that science is taught in school throughout Europe.

Throughout the lifetime of ESTABLISH, consortium members have promoted resources, facilitated the implementation of IBSE through TEPs and increased awareness of the benefits of IBSE through a variety of continuous engagements with and between the key stakeholders in STEM education. The variety of levels of dissemination as well as the multiple tools or channels available to conduct this dissemination required planning at both local level, at national level and at a larger (European and international) level to maximise the impact of ESTABLISH.

ESTABLISH consortium members have engaged in a variety of dissemination tasks and actions, aimed at:
• Generating links with strategic stakeholder groups within their own country, and internationally where applicable;
• Agreeing to adhere to a strategy for promoting best teaching practice of IBSE through the use of local dissemination links;
• Piloting and trialling exemplar materials and processes with teachers (both in-service and pre-service) and students;
• Evaluating and reporting on the outcomes of implementing ESTABLISH teaching and learning materials, methods and processes, and highlighting the effectiveness of the cultural adaptation of these resources and the role of industry in STEM education;
• Developing a website presence to facilitate communication between all stakeholders;
• Disseminating ESTABLISH in national and international journals, newspapers, magazines as described in the National Dissemination Plans;
• Disseminating ESTABLISH at local, national workshops and summer schools for in-service and pre-service teachers;
• Disseminating ESTABLISH to the Ministries for Education and Science in each country through forums with both industry and policy makers present to discuss and debate ISBE and to contribute to its wider implementation;
• Organising a large-scale European conference for in-service and pre-service teachers;
• Disseminating findings at international teacher/science education conferences;
• Contributing to the overall project’s operation and dissemination strategy by providing feedback on the national experience of ESTABLISH in their own country as well as the international experience.

The details of this dissemination are available within the report D8.1 wherein objectives, targets, and approaches are presented, together with a number of case-studies to describe particular approaches which partners found successful and useful in promoting the project’s objectives.

ESTABLISH has focused primarily on teacher education and so the initial level of dissemination (and recruitment) has been at the national teacher level. ESTABLISH, however, has sought to look beyond the classroom, to inform and engage all the stakeholders in science education, so as to create a supportive environment for bringing change in the way that science is taught in schools. Thus, there have been overlaps with other work-packages which have focused and reported on the engagement of stakeholders (D2.3).

Different dissemination channels have been used throughout the project depending on particular audiences and contexts. For example, many ESTABLISH partners have conducted workshops to engage teachers, with the result that ESTABLISH partners have conducted over 100 workshops and reached an audience of over 4000 participants. These workshops have been significant for the recruitment of teachers to participate in the ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programme. Also ESTABLISH partners have participated in 253 oral contributions or workshops at national and international conferences. The quality of these contributions has been recognised by conference organisers with invitations issued for ESTABLISH representation at conferences, such as GIREP 2014, ECRICE 2014 and NARST. Thus, the impact of ESTABLISH will continue to grow beyond the life-time of the project.

3.7 PROJECT MANAGEMENT & MONITORING

In order to ensure that the scientific work of the project was achieved, a number of work packages were designed, each of which focused on a specific key aspect of the project, including :

• Selection and development of teaching and learning IBSE units
• Involvement of Stakeholders
• Implementation and impact on Teacher education
• Impact on students

Many of these workpackages were linked and/or developed in parallel during the project and thus required strategic project management to ensure progress. Each period of the project had a particular focus and plan; in period one, (P1) the focus was on identification and initialisation; period two (P2) was on development and implementation of IBSE materials, and the third period (P3), on reflection, evaluation and synthesis of project data and information to ascertain the impact of ESTABLISH on various stakeholders and on science teaching in general.

To assist progress towards achieving the aforementioned project objectives, management of information, in particular internal communications, external dissemination, and financial management was incorporated into the project. For each of these, dedicated strategic plans were developed, by sub-groups within the consortium, to inform and guide partners to effectivily manage each of these activities. Face-to-face general assembly project meetings were held bi-annually, whereby representatives from the consortium presented and discussed project activities and tasks relevant to the period. In addition a number of project steering committee meetings were held in conjunction and between these general assembly meetings to critique, approve and reach decisions on actions to maintain progress throughout the project.

Ongoing monitoring, revision and enhancement of project progress and outputs to ensure scientific and education quality, as well as consideration for ethical and gender issues was carried out throughout the lifetime of ESTABLISH as led by the Quality Assurance Committee. ESTABLISH has also benefited from input from five External Advisory Panel reports, appointed to review and evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of the ESTABLISH teaching and learning IBSE units (Prof. Marcia Linn, University of Berkeley, USA); the structure and methodology for the development and implementation of ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programmes (Prof. Shirley Simon, Institute of Education, UK); the structure and methodology for the evaluation of ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programmes (TEPs) (Prof. Shirley Simon, Institute of Education, UK); the structure and methodology for the development of ESTABLISH on-line content and presence (Mr. Mathy Vanbuel, ATiT, Belgium); and the structure and methodology for the whole project implementation, outcomes and outputs for increasing the use of IBSE (Prof. Dean Zollman, University of Kansas, USA). These inputs have been presented at ESTABLISH General Assembly and Project Steering Committee meetings throughout the project’s lifetime and have informed each of these key aspects of this project.

3.8 REFERENCES

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) and HIGH LEVEL GROUP ON SCIENCE EDUCATION, 2007. Science Education NOW: A Renewed Pedagogy for the Future of Europe. EUR 22845. Brussels: DG Research.

FENSHAM, P.J. 1991. Familiar but different: some dilemmas and new directions in science education. In: P.J. FENSHAM, ed, Development and dilemmas in science education. London: Falmer Press, .

FENSHAM, P.J. 1986. Science for all. Educational Leadership, 44(4), pp. 18-23.

LINN, M.C. DAVIS E.A. and BELL, P., 2004. Internet Environments for Science Education. Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

LINN, M.C. DAVIS, E.A. and EYLON, B., 2004. The scaffolded knowledge integration framework for instruction. In: M.C. LINN, E.A. DAVIS and P. BELL, eds, Internet environments for science education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 47-72.

LINN, M.C. LEE, H.S. TINKER, R., HUSIC, F. and CHIU, J.L. 2006. Inquiry Learning: Teaching and Assessing Knowledge Integration in Science. Science, 313(5790), pp. 1049-1050.

OECD, 2006. Evolution of Student Interest in Science and Technology Studies Policy Report. 18. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),.

OSBOURNE, J. and DILLON, J., 2008. Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflections. 32. London: King's College, London.



Potential Impact:
4. IMPACT OF THE PROJECT

4.1 STRATEGIC IMPACT
ESTABLISH has achieved its project objectives by addressing three key issues associated with the practical implementation of IBSE in the classroom, and provided: 1) relevant teaching materials to engage the learner in inquiry based learning; 2) appropriate training support for teachers to implement an inquiry methodology; 3) sustainable connections with policy makers and scientific and industrial communities.

By bringing together the key stakeholders in second level science education to work together to achieve the specific aim of creating learning environments for science education, ESTABLISH has achieved the:

• training of a large team of science teachers across Europe who are skilled and confident in inquiry based science teaching methodology;

• identification of suitable model(s) of science teacher education, at both pre- and in-service levels, for inquiry based science teaching;

• promotion of inquiry in the classroom, involving the relevant stakeholders in science and science education.

The ESTABLISH project has effectively carried out all tasks and activities towards achieving the original targets and the resulting impact of these actions is evident at multiple levels - all collectively contributing towards the increased use of and research into the area of inquiry based science education in classrooms across Europe.

The outcomes of the project have resulted in: greater implementation of IBSE methodologies by teachers; greater more positive understanding, attitude and ability to use IBSE in their teaching; increased students’ motivation and communication during science lessons; more positive student attitude towards science and taking up careers in science or technology; increased interaction between those teaching and learning about science and those using science.

These are significantly positive outcomes when considered in the context of the need for increased engagement and participation of young people in science and technology, both for industrial and widespread societal benefit in Europe. This overall impact of the ESTABLISH project has been achieved through the adoption of an effective strategy for the management and coordination of resources (personnel and budget), information flow, tasks and activities to deliver internationally significant outputs, outcomes and recommendations.

This impact is identifiable through: 1) teacher training; industry and science organisations; 2) engagement with policy makers; and 3) national or international science education activities. The details of this impact will be described, in terms of each of these, in the following section.

4.2 IMPACT THROUGH TEACHER TRAINING, INDUSTRY and SCIENCE ORGANISTIONS

4.2.1 Teacher participation in ESTABLISH:

18 ESTABLISH IBSE units have been developed, piloted and implemented in teacher education programmes which provide an extensive range of activities appropriate for use in IBSE across the science disciplines and levels. These actions have engaged teaching communities (through the piloting with small groups of teachers in each participating country and trialling of materials in the classroom) and industrial communities (through the inclusion and incorporation of scientific contexts, applications and examples into the units). Through their involvement both communities have become more invested and have taken more responsibility to ensure that the use of these materials is successful. The process for developing these ESTABLISH IBSE units was informed by advice received from the independent evaluator Prof. Marcia Linn who facilitated the consortium to define the purpose and criteria for developing units and the guide for developing the IBSE units – that is an invaluable resource for all curriculum developers. Indeed Prof. Linn recommended that ESTABLISH focus on the provision of professional development activities that enable teachers to critique existing materials, and develop criteria for identifying effective materials.

Thus, the entire collection of 18 ESTABLISH IBSE units, with a total of 281 activities, now provides an extensive bank of fit-for-purpose resources for teachers and educators in adopting IBSE. Their effectiveness has been further validated by virtue of the fact that educators in other countries (e.g. Spain, Romania, and Egypt) have requested access and have translated many of these teaching and learning resources into their own native language for use in their own TEP programmes.

To avoid the pitfalls of these IBSE units being used in a didactic or non-inquiry way, Prof. Linn recommended that the IBSE activities are incorporated into a dedicated Teacher Education Programme (TEP). The strategic development of this ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programme (TEP), outlined a flexible framework (D5.2) to address the challenges that exist when implementing change and interventions in the classroom such as IBSE (as identified in the report D4.1) as well as the priority of IBSE in national contexts (identified in the report D2.1) while also incorporating instructional models (such as 5E, Bybee et al., 2006, National Research Council, 1996, 2000) from literature to guide curriculum design.

In some of the ESTABLISH countries inquiry-based science education was a new or relatively new idea while in a few it was a well-established idea (as detailed in D4.6). Thus, significant support for teachers was necessary to meet the overall goals of ESTABLISH and this was provided mainly in the form of teacher education programme.

The aim of the TEP was to address specific elements of teacher education that are required or desirable to facilitate IBSE. Partners from different countries formed groups to discuss the objectives of each of the elements and to review the associated IBSE for each element. This was a fruitful pursuit as many additional IBSE activities were identified and the discussions served to illustrate critical issues relating to each framework element. Overall there was a consensus that a view of IBSE developed within the TEP through experiencing the inquiry activities, rather than as a result of a theoretical input about inquiry. However, what such an approach would look like varied according to the needs and experience of teachers in different settings. The resulting models for implementation have shown the variation that exists across the participating countries in how IBSE is perceived, suggesting the importance of cultural issues when preparing such a pan-European approach to driving change in the classroom.

The process adopted for the development and implementation of the ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programme (TEP) has been inclusive, involving all partners to work within existing pre-service and in-service teacher education programmes, where available, or to establish new programmes where none previously existed.

This process was informed with expert input from Prof. Shirley Simon on both the successful implementation models for teacher education as well as input regarding the evaluation of these models. The resulting diversity of models that have emerged from this process has been educational and enabled the consortium to define criteria to structure a framework for teacher education that could be delivered both face-to-face and online, with the resulting collective efforts greater than the sum of the individual parts.

As observed by the independent evaluator, Prof. Dean Zollman, the coordination of the efforts to ensure that the units and TEPs were applicable and appropriate across all participating countries was successful. As described in the example of the development and use of the “Sound” units, developed by partners located in the Netherlands, this unit was used in Slovakia, firstly as a teacher training activity and then used as instructional materials in 14 secondary school physics classes. The unit was also use as a teacher training activity in Italy, while in Ireland it was used within a pre-service teacher training course. In each of these cases an evaluation of the students’ learning and attitudes was conducted and the results showed that the unit was effective in meeting its goals across these different cultures and different ways of using it in instruction.

The impact of these TEPs has been primarily on teachers. The TEPs have provided the opportunity for teachers to increase their awareness and understanding of IBSE, while also changing their attitude towards IBSE so that they are more confident to implement it in their classrooms.

As the results, from the questionnaires and case-studies, have indicated, the impact of these TEPs has been to:
• increase teachers understanding of inquiry,
• promote the role of the teacher and student in an inquiry classroom, and
• positively shift teachers attitudes towards overcoming the barriers often associated with implementation of IBSE.

As observed by Prof. Dean Zollman, the ESTABLISH workshops and other training have met the goal of increasing teachers’ confidence and understanding of the inquiry methods so that they can provide the environment for students to explore and learn science in an inquiry manner. In ESTABLISH a unique aspect of the Teacher Education Programmes have been the effort to help teachers see the value of the role of inquiry in science teaching and learning. For both pre- and in-service teachers the results indicate that the programme had a positive effect on having teachers think about this aspect.

The provision of ESTABLISH TEPs will continue to inform science teacher education in each of the participating countries. Also noted by Prof. Zollman, the TEP framework was sufficiently flexible to be adapted to many different situation and cultures. The framework for TEP was studied and improved over the duration of the project so that it could be effective in these different environments and will provide a legacy for the project. As reported in D5.6 the model for implementing the ESTABLISH TEPs has been adopted by the national Ministry for Education in Slovakia and expanded so that it is now the national strategy for in-service teacher education.

The ESTABLISH TEPs have been supported with online content, so that more teachers can participate in IBSE teacher education, through use and sharing of IBSE resources and experiences. For this purpose, the website has been revised to serve as a self-guided on-line support for the ESTABLISH TEPs. The resulting impact will be that other audiences, as well as previous participants, may engage with the website to use and share the project’s IBSE approaches and materials across Europe.

ESTABLISH has sought to enhance its dissemination efforts and activities when possible. In addition to hosting of TEPs and small meeting with teachers, ESTABLISH hosted a substantial teacher education conference in Dublin City University, in June 2012. The teachers who contributed at national level, through the development, piloting of the units or through the TEPs, were invited and facilitated to attend the international Science and Mathematics Education Conference hosted in conjunction with ESTABLISH. This conference was focused on gathering these teachers to network and to share their experiences of implementing inquiry in their classrooms, through a series of round-table discussions and poster presentations. There, they were given the opportunity to learn and also to inform the science education community as well as one another of their experiences of implementing IBSE in the classroom. This has been a very positive outcome of the project, enabling teachers to see their value and position in increasing scientific awareness and knowledge in younger generations.

4.2.2 Student participation in ESTABLISH:

While the TEPs were focused primarily on engaging and educating teachers, they also had a significant impact on students. In order to assess the impact of the ESTABLISH approach to IBSE on second level students in the classroom, participating in-service teachers were asked to implement student questionnaires in their classrooms (D6.1). Again the development of these instruments was informed by similar instruments reported in literature.

The results for motivation have been generally positive with a few statistically significant results. The motivation studies measured very little gender differences and very little difference across countries. Results for attitudes and cognitive skills are also generally positive with a few statistically significant differences between countries. No measureable impacts on science role in society and careers choices were found. Prof. Zollman commenting on these results pointed to two variables that could play a role in the context of these results, both related to the relatively short time span during which these studies of impact were made.
“As a result of the short time period many (perhaps most) of the teachers had limited experience with inquiry-based science education. Thus, even though they had completed teacher education programs, they were still learning how inquiry worked with real students in real classrooms. Second, each module is relatively short. Thus, the intervention of context-based, inquiry teaching and learning is a small part of the students’ science education and an even smaller part of their overall educational experience. To expect more than a small change with a short intervention is not realistic. Thus, the small shifts in motivation and attitudes are an indication of success. I would expect that further studies completed over several years would be likely to show a bigger change.”


4.2.3 Progress of compliance with the relevant ethics review

As ESTABLISH involved the recruitment and collection of data from human participants (teachers and students), each beneficiary conducted an ethical review of the project, to ensure that the project’s activities adhered to national data protection laws. Teachers and students were recruited on a voluntary basis and were free to withdraw at any given time. In certain circumstances, due to national contexts, it was not possible to administer the project evaluation instruments across all beneficiary countries. In these circumstances the scope of these project evaluations was revised and at times supplemented with descriptive case studies as provided by the project partners, where available.

4.3 IMPACT THROUGH INDUSTRY AND SCIENCE ORGANISATIONS

All ESTABLISH partners have directed a significant amount of their effort and activities towards the engagement of stakeholders with the generation of two reports, D2.3 and D8.1 to describe these efforts. D2.3 describes a full report on all ESTABLISH engagement with stakeholders, while the details of the dissemination activities as provided on SESAM are presented in D8.1. An overview of engagement in dissemination activities showcases that 536 dissemination activities have been carried out with an estimated audience of 161,684 individuals.
These included 346 dissemination activities for scientific community (the most active partners - CUNI, CMA, IPN and UNIPA), 229 towards civil society, especially JU and UMEA, 102 for industry, 70 for policy makers, with many activities serving one or more of these communities. Partners often used those channels that were most familiar to them. For example the SME’s have been prominent in conducting more of the industry-type activities with AGES hosting 51 meetings with various industrial partners such as Bord Gais Networks, Boston Scientific, Cordis, CRH, Novartis, Leo Pharma, Pfizer, TEVA. As many of the ESTABLISH were sourced from the science research community, it was expected that many of the activities were also appropriate for the scientific community. Project partners gave 253 oral presentations at national level and international level. All partners were engaged in workshops and conferences at national, European and international level to share project process, outcomes and examples of best practice. Among them the most active were: IPN, MAH & UMEA, CMA, DCU and UNIPA. Workshop targeted smaller audience such as 15-30 people, while conferences organised by partners up to 240 participants. All together 114 workshops and 26 conferences have been organized by ESTABLISH partners.
Communications between partners have always been encouraged and have resulted in partners working together on many activities to achieve tasks such as developing and refining the teaching and learning units (WP3 activities), or through the provision of teacher education (WP4 & WP5). Also where multiple national partners exist, partners have communicated with one another to coordinate and reinforce their activities.

4.4 IMPACT THROUGH ENGAGEMENT WITH POLICY MAKERS

Many of the ESTABLISH partners involved members of their local, regional or national educational system, showcasing the impact of the ESTABLISH TEPs on science teachers, as well as hosting multiple stakeholder events across Europe. Necessarily, this type of involvement varied by country because of the different types of educational systems, with a number of case-studies described in the report D2.3. ESTABLISH has informed policy makers and other stakeholders in science and science education on the factors that affect innovative and sustainable change in classroom practice across Europe, in particular through consideration of the role of IBSE in curricula and assessment policies and the need for appropriate and continual teacher professional development.

4.5 IMPACT THROUGH NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION ACTIVITIES

The evaluations of the impact of IBSE units and teacher education programmes which have been conducted during the course of this project have been research-led and research-informed and have indicated interesting comparative and collective results on change in teacher’s understanding of inquiry, attitude towards inquiry and personal skills in relation to inquiry and practice in the inquiry classroom. This approach was adopted so as to share these results back with the science education research community and to ensure that the materials and supports developed during the lifetime of ESTABLISH were practical and fit for purpose so as to engage current and future teachers to adopt them into their own teaching. This process has enabled multiple collaborative relationships to flourish not only across the international research community but also across the educational continuum.


Through their participation at a variety of national and international conferences and events, ESTABLISH’s consortium members have actively promoted and disseminated the project’s outputs and achievements to a wide audience. In addition as ESTABLISH has matured it has contributed to other European projects to inform their project objectives and also to initiate further projects, building and contributing to relationships and networks to support the widespread implementation of IBSE in classrooms.

Information on training opportunities and events organized within the projects were available on the project website and platform. All partners contributed to the applicable sections of the website (news, fora, activities, teaching materials, events, reports, etc.). The project website and platform was developed and maintained by beneficiary Across Limits Malta. Website statistics have indicated (available in D8.1) the total number of visits increased from 934/year in 2010 to 7028/year in 2012.

4.5.1 Other projects

ESTABLISH is committed to supporting the implementation of inquiry-based science teaching across Europe and has contributed to this vision, by facilitating networking opportunities for projects to communicate as well as contributing to multi-project collaborations. Communications have occurred with other FP7-SIS consortia to support and reinforce the activity of supporting teacher education in inquiry-based science education across Europe. For example, representatives from S-TEAM and Fibonacci led short presentations during the second general assembly meeting (GA2) to share their experiences and approaches to deliver inquiry based teacher education. Also representatives from ESTABLISH were present at the S-TEAM conference project (Glasgow, October 2010), to meet with and discuss such issues with representatives from projects such as Primas, Scientix, Fibonacci and S-TEAM, as well as other LLP-funded projects in the areas of supporting the teaching and learning of science and mathematics.

As mentioned previously, ESTABLISH hosted a teacher education conference in conjunction with the 5th biennial Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC 2012) which took place on 7-9th June 2012 in Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. Also in attendance at this conference were, representatives from other pan-European (EC-FP7 funded) projects involved in supporting and coordinating actions to promote innovation in the classroom. Thus workshops and oral presentations from the INQUIRE, Fibonacci, and Scientix project were included in the programme of this teacher education conference.

ESTABLISH are contributors to the Comenius network project, INSTEM, (http://instem.tibs.at/ 527333-LLP-1-2012-1-DE-Comenius-CNW) which brings together the experience and learning of a wide range of projects in European STEM education to link research, practice and policy in a unique way are very powerful in providing platforms for collaboration and communication at European level. Indeed the INSTEM project has developed as a consequence of the formation of a pan-European network for project Coordinators in STEM Education (ProCoNet) which was initiated by ESTABLISH Coordinator (DCU) inviting the S-TEAM project manager to present on the S-TEAM project at the ESTABLISH kick-off meeting. The INSTEM project includes two of ESTABLISH partners (DCU and MLU) as consortium partners to contribute insight and outcomes from ESTABLISH for the development of accessible synthesis reports and briefings to promote and facilitate the implementation of inquiry as a teaching methodology at pan-European level.

4.5.2 Internal impact

The formation of ESTABLISH pan-European consortium has provided culturally and educationally rich contexts in which to form meaningful collaborations (involving the development of strategies and frameworks) to promote the use of IBSE in the second level classroom. The consortium makeup of twelve third-level universities and three Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has offered both challenges and opportunities for innovation and development. The mix of disciplines – physics, chemistry, biology – and experiences in IBSE and teacher education, across pre-service and in-service, in IBSE has provided an exciting platform for exchange of ideas and experiences amongst science teacher educators and researchers. The strategy adopted by the project has been for all consortium partners to be involved in all work packages and therefore required the need for regular forums for exchange of ideas and experiences through bi-annual general assembly meetings. The milestone achievements outlined in the project work plan have provided a road map for the execution of this project and have achieved their objectives in guiding the work of the project at key stages of implementation.

The resulting ESTABLISH outputs of frameworks, models and evaluation of teacher education which have been developed, piloted and culturally adapted for local contexts, have enhanced partners’ own teaching and learning activities in numerous national projects and teacher education programmes. This engagement, extended over the 51 months of ESTABLISH, has had a positive impact on the science education and researchers involved. As an example, members of the JU team have, as a result of the common theme of activities, frequency of meetings, common travel and participation in project meetings and conferences, come to know each other better and because of the cooperation and direct contact with foreign partners, have been able to expand their knowledge of modern science education, the diversity of education systems, and developed key skills, especially communication in foreign languages.

The opportunities that ESTABLISH has provided to the project participants and collaborators have been vast and the wealth of knowledge gained and outcomes achieved have only been made possible by using a robust and appropriate management strategy for this type of project, i.e. Coordination and Support Action. Through continuous dissemination activities, key stakeholders have gained an appreciation of the value of the materials and supports that ESTABLISH offer teachers to support the use of IBSE across Europe. The scale and scope of the impact of projects such as ESTABLISH, however, are limited by the level of resources/funding provided.

This project has led onto and contributed to a number of other European collaborative projects including SAILS (FP7-2012) coordinated by DCU; INSTEM (Comenius-2012) with DCU and MLU partners; FaSMEd (FP7-2013) with UmU partners, ASSIST-ME(FP7-2013) with IPN partners. In addition, multiple national initiatives in which education and industry are working together to support science teaching have arisen (AMGEN Science Teacher Training Initiative). Significantly, Ministries of Education across Europe have supported the adoption of the ESTABLISH TEP model into national programmes and implemented changes in national curricula to sustain the use of IBSE. Indeed the ESTABLISH model for engaging the key stakeholders in STEM education as a core focus of enhancing science education resonates in other FP7 funded projects (InGenious-2011).

In particular one of the first calls of the new EU Framework Programme, Horizon2020, is focussed on “Innovative ways to make science education and scientific careers attractive to young people” (SEAC.1.2014.2015) to address the specific challenge:

“The Union needs all its talents to boost creativity and competitiveness. It needs an innovative science education which shall enable todays' and tomorrows' citizens to play a more active role in the Research and Innovation process, to make informed choices and to engage in a democratic, knowledge-based society. It needs young boys and girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), while at the same time adhering to the values embedded in Responsible Research and Innovation. In such a manner, the Union will reach the objective of a R&D intensity of 3% of GDP which is essential. Yet it has been increasingly difficult to attract adequate numbers of young people, to these domains and to avoid a brain-drain of talent from Europe. Therefore, a shift to innovative and effective methods is necessary, so as to raise the attractiveness of science education and scientific careers and boost the interest of young people in STEM”.

The scope for proposals is described as:

“The proposals shall focus on innovative, forward-looking science education methods and/or on incentives and measures to make scientific and technological careers attractive to young students, including actions addressing the challenges in offering long term career perspectives. They may inter alia make young people work with open-access educational resources; become familiar with the use of science media; make the link between creativity and science; appreciate the relevance of gender balance and dimension in research; understand the practical value of research ethics and integrity; actions. The proposals shall also foster sustainable and cross-cutting interaction between the different levels of the education system, research institutions and other establishments, industry, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Such proposals shall improve the attractiveness of science education and scientific careers to young people; address challenges in offering long term career perspectives, as well as raise awareness of the importance of trans-disciplinary research and Responsible Research and Innovation in the education system”.

The inclusion of this call in H2020 further supports the need for the continuation of projects such as ESTABLISH and calls for the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships to work together to address one of the grand challenges currently facing society. Such projects are ambitious but essential. However, given appropriate opportunities and resources these goals are achievable and the benefits can be sustained well beyond the lifetime of the project.




List of Websites:
http://www.establish-fp7.eu