European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results
Content archived on 2024-06-16

Renovation of science teaching in European primary education with inquiry methods

Final Report Summary - SCIENCEDUC (Renovation of science teaching in European primary education with inquiry methods)

The development of society requires meeting one absolute prerequisite, the intellectual and moral development of the man. From this point of view, an early education in science, inquiry based should be of great help, not only in order to give children basis in technical knowledge, but also to aim at universalism, research, openness, modesty and civic responsibility, so highly requested in our times of instability and violence.

While in a number of countries outside Europe, a renovation of science education has been launched in the last decade on the principle of an inquiry type teaching, Europe (as a whole) seemed to be absent from the scene of primary science education, despite a number of national projects and initiatives. This situation was quite unsatisfactory under the scope of the Lisbon objectives, i.e. developing education to build a society of knowledge by 2010. The promotion of inquiry science education as contribution for solving this situation was evident. Over the world, the renewal of science education launched on the basis of inquiry-type teaching methods has widely given substantial results, but requires in Europe, major effort on teacher training, resource elaboration, and educational research.

SCIENCEDUC was a proposal devoted to promote inquiry teaching approach on five European countries: Estonia, France, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden. Some actions were extended to Germany and Italy.

Within the framework of the formal education system, SCIENCEDUC main objective was to disseminate the best methods, techniques and practices in science inquiry based teaching in primary schools through the establishment of a European network. In this order, its actions were mainly focused on four topics: teachers training, dissemination of good teaching methods, online collaborative project and evaluation. Coordination actions were transversally carried out to ensure project management, and devoted to reinforce and to develop the existing national programmes in the partners' countries always considering the European cultural diversity. SCIENCEDUC network offered experiments to broad evaluation and discussions inside, between and abroad the partner countries. Because of the network strength, the rate of exchanges between partners progressively increased to succeed into a new common proposal involving all SCIENCEDUC partners (Germany and Italy included) as well as other new five partners. The result was Pollen (please see online), an initiative also founded by the European Commission, fostering SCIENCEDUC approach in twelve Member States.

The fourteen national conferences, the summer school of trainers and the closing general conference organised within SCIENCEDUC framework constituted powerful tools for such network consolidation through exchanges between partners, collection and dissemination of resources. International dimension have also proven to be extremely fruitful, for confrontation of research and current realisations as well as for cooperative work.

Internet, especially SCIENCEDUC website (please see online), the European discoveries website (see online) and the NUCLEUS portal (see online), were key tools for project resources dissemination through Europe, too.
%SCIENCEDUC served Europe ambitions and strategic objectives: It contributed to the improvement of the quality and effectiveness of education and training systems in the EU. It contributed also to facilitate the access to scientific education as well as to open-up education and training systems worldwide; the final aim being to stimulate society interest in science and technology, encouraging scientific literacy. SCIENCEDUC contributed to the establishment of the dialog between high-level scientists and education actors, encouraging the understanding and practice of science and technology by the European society. In many countries new ideas, innovative experiments, and new curricula have recently emerged and these have led to remarkable realisations. The project contributed to enhance science education at primary school level.