This proposal is addressed to supporting the development of a european information society taking into account the changes that it brings to the life of citizen. This Project, through a collaboration of five national research groups, addresses the objectives of the TSER Workprogramme in Area II (2.3.5, 1.2.1, 2.3.2) concerning the capacity for change and adaptation to innovation of a crucial sector of the education system - science education and is also relevant to Area I (1.2.4, 1.2.1) concerning "Information society: assessment of individual and societal needs for information and knowledge, within the bullet point: The impact of innovation and the diffusion (of technologies). This is the nature of the transversality of the project.
In our proposal, two issues are specially relevant having in mind a society where a large amoullt of information comes to each citizen easily and quickly:
a) The need of mastery of technological tools and of interpreting many messages cannot be easily acomplished for many learners. Basic scientific education is a privileged* context to achieve this goal and consequently the need to prepare adequately future science teachers is of high priority.
b) The great amount of information received has to be well managed for each citizen. As information is selected prioritised, interpreted and decisions based on it are taken, the act of understanding is always transformative.
The process of transformation of information by users is still poorly known but thousands of decisions are taken with the interpreted information as well students learning according to their interpretation of messages. We wish to investigate the process of transformation in a very specific field since we can go deeper and better gain knowledge when reducing variables*. In our case the transformations of the intentions of designers of innovations are the crucial point. We will infer rules of transformation of information from results of small scale intensive studies.
Science teachers at Secondary school will be investigated during the implementation of 3 process of innov:
- process of implementing the use of several technological tools
- process of adapting to students' interpretations of different symbolic language
- process of implementing new teaching strategies proposed in specific subject matters.
The results got from teachers at secondary school in 5 countries will be able to be compared since there is agreement between partners about the approach, the topics, the informatic tools, and the representations. Some rulles of transformation of innov. will emerge having removed the context dependency as a variable.
The main envisaged tasks are:
- Analysis of teachers' difficulties in:
- implementation of innovative teaching strategies; use of symbolic languages; use of Information Technology tools.
- Diagnosis and synthesis of difficulties in assuming innovation into school practice.
- Construction and evaluation of strategies and materials for training programs for teacher trainers.
- ldentifying rules of transformation of innovations operating in the context of school innovation, but with implications for other kinds of innovation (e.g. managerial)
- Elaboration of guidelines for policy makers, teacher training agencies and diffusion agencies in order that can decide more adequate policies of training or dissemination of information.
Practical and theoretical products are expected. The main practical products, with a focus on information Technology based tools, will be materials for teacher training in innovative educational strategies and materials for teacher training programmes for teacher trainers. The theoretical products will be, at a conceptual level an inventory of the main problems of adaptation between innovations and teachers and, as an outcome recommendations and guidelines for policy makers and training and diffusion agencies. As Science Education researchers we can contribute from multiple points of attack: familiarity with the use of new technologies, habitual use of many ways to display information (data, process, concepts), expertise in analysing difficulties in understanding, experience in dealing with teacher training interventions.
The expertise of the researchers of the team is a warranty of the quality of the research. Also the experience in management of the coordinator assures good administration of the resources and the achievement of the plan.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BN1 9RH Brighton - East Sussex