For this tool you will need the following resources:
- IJ-1 PowerPoint
- Additional materials (as detailed below)
This tool promotes reflection on teachers’ current teaching practices and analyses what learning approaches may best address current educational demands. Teachers will discuss the current trends in science education from an international and national perspective, reflecting on the knowledge, skills and values that students are expected to acquire through science education.
The additional materials needed for this tool will be:
- Extracts from the Eurydice report (2012) and from the TIMSS report (2011)
- National science education standards or national curriculum (to be provided by educators, according to any national contexts)
The key questions concern the way in which IBL relates to the teachers’ particular science curriculum (as shown in the text).
The Eurydice report “Developing key competences at school in Europe” (EACEA, 2012) shows that 19 European countries (or regions) have a national strategy to explicitly promote the development of the key competences in science.
The innovative literacy concept associated with the definition of key competences concerns with the capacity of students to analyse, reason and communicate effectively as they pose, solve and interpret problems in a variety of subject matter areas.
According to the TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Studies) 2011, conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), high quality science education requires students to:
- Apply knowledge and understanding to explain phenomena in everyday and abstract contexts
- Apply understanding of scientific processes and show knowledge of scientific inquiry
Using the information provided by the Eurydice and TIMSS reports, promote discussion with the group about current trends in science education. Raise questions such as:
- What does it mean to acquire the key competences in science? What should a competent individual in science should be able to do?
- What are the implications of a competence-orientated education?
- What kind of learning situations or contexts trigger the development of competences
Ask teachers to work in pairs to review the science education standards in their national curriculum and identify the knowledge, skills and values that students should acquire through science education. Is there any reference to the key competence in science? How is it described?
The groups should discuss the following questions:
- What do your science lessons at school look like?
- What do your students usually do during the science lesson?
- How often do your students conduct the following activities?
- Pose questions and formulate problems
- Search for information and propose strategies for problem solving
- Simplify situations
- Use science knowledge to explain daily situations
- Design and conduct experiments
- Discuss results and alternative explanations
- Draw evidence-based conclusions
- Build models
- Communicate results
Ask each teacher to think about a lesson they have planned to teach in the next week and consider the demands on students. After the lesson they should reflect on the opportunities that occurred for the types of activity discussed in this session and be ready to share their reflections at the next session.