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.
In a number of countries (USA: Hands on, France: La main à la pâte, Sweden: NTA, China: Learning by doing….), a renovation of science education has been launched in the last decade on the principle of an inquiry type teaching (building hypotheses, experimentation, team work and written expression). This renovation, which has already given substantial results, requires in Europe major efforts on teacher’s training, resource elaboration and educational research.
The framework of Europe is most adequate for such an endeavor, taking into account the educational ambitions and goals fixed in the work program for the horizon of 2010. This can be enhanced by common cultural ground of EU countries combined with stimulating differences as far as pedagogy is concerned.
Scienceduc (finished on October 2006) was a two-year project proposed and supported by Estonia (Tartu University), France (La main à la pâte – Académie des sciences), Hungary (Apor Vilmos Catholic College), Portugal (Ciência Viva) and Sweden (NTA- Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences). The project aimed at renovating science education in elementary schools through the establishment of a network, allowing exchanges and enhancing the development of good practices: teacher’s training, evaluation, on line project and dissemination.
This network acted in the frame of Nucleus. The Ecole Normale Supérieure (France) hosted the NUCLEUS-Scienceduc network coordination.
The network created in Scienceduc is now running a new project called Pollen. Pollen aims to stimulate and support inquiry based science education in European primary schools by providing tools, training, coaching and assessment, as well as a specific strategic model based on the involvement of all local actors in the Seed city.
The project is focussed on the creation of 12 seed cities for science: Brussels (Belgium), Tartu (Estonia), Saint-Etienne (France), Berlin (Germany), Vac (Hungary), Perugia (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Loures-Sacavem (Portugal), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Girona (Spain), Stockholm (Sweden), and Leicester (United Kingdom). Also three new observer seed cities have joined the project: Luxembourg (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), Bucharest (Romania) and Trnava (Slovakia).
Further information on Pollen:
Scienceduc Outcomes from 2005-2006:
Download Scienceduc brochure (pdf)
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