International Council of Associations for Science Education


ICASE Projects

-- Professional Reflection Oriented Focus on Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science

PROFILES is currently one of the largest European FP7 funded project in the field of “Science in Society.” The consortium consists of 22 partners from 20 different countries.
PROFILES promotes IBSE through raising the self-efficacy of science teachers to take ownership of more effective ways of teaching students, supported by stakeholders.
The proposal innovation is through working with teacher partnerships to implement existing, exemplary context-led, IBSE focussed, science teaching materials enhanced by inspired, teacher relevant, training and intervention programmes. This is undertaken by reflection, interactions and seeking to meaningfully raise teacher skills in developing creative, scientific problem-solving and socio-scientific decision-making abilities in students.
The measures of success are through (a) determining the self-efficacy of science teachers in developing self-satisfying science teaching methods and (b) in the attitudes of students toward this more student-involved approach. Dissemination of approaches, reactions, and reflections form a further key project target, making much use of the internet and other formats useful for sharing science teacher profiles in an interactive forum.
PROFILES involves the development of teachers on four fronts (teacher as learner, teacher as effective teacher, teacher as reflective practitioner, teacher as leader) consolidating their ownership of society-led, IBSE approaches and incorporating use-inspired research, evaluative methods and stakeholder networking.
The project disseminates its innovation with trained lead teachers spearheading further teacher development at pre- and in-service levels and initiating a series of workshops for key stakeholders nationwide.
The project focuses on open inquiry approaches as a major teaching target and pays much attention to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of students in the learning of science.
The intended outcome is school science teaching becoming more meaningful, related to 21st century science and incorporating interdisciplinary socio-scientific issues and IBSE-related teaching, taking particular note of gender factors.

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-- BrEaking New Ground IN the SciencE Education Realm (ENGINEER)

ENGINEER will support the widespread adoption in Europe of innovative methods of science teaching and provide extensive teacher training on inquiry-based methods. It will be based on the proven ―Engineering is Elementary‖ (EiE) program developed by Boston‘s Museum of Science (BMOS) since 2003-04 and now widely used in primary schools throughout the U.S. Evaluations of EiE have found that incorporating engineering in science teaching, using inquiry-based pedagogic methods, results in highly desirable impacts on students and teachers, raising students‘ interest in science and engineering. BMOS will play an instructional and advisory role in ENGINEER.
ENGINEER will develop 10 engineering design challenge units suited to European environments using EiE‘s Engineering Design Plan model. Each unit will focus on one engineering field and will use inexpensive materials for student-led design problem-solving. ENGINEER will adapt and enhance EiE teacher training materials. Project materials will be tested in pilot applications and refined before use in outreach.
Science museums will lead the outreach effort that targets schools, teachers and science museums. Teachers trained in using ENGINEER‘s materials will incorporate the units into science teaching in their classes. Museums will offer programs for student groups as well as for the general public. Training will be provided to 1,000 teachers, and trained teachers and school/museum activities will reach 27,000 students during outreach.
Dissemination activities will increase awareness of ENGINEER and help promote participation. An advocacy program is specifically aimed at influencing education policy makers throughout Europe. Its major goal is to promote the much more widespread future deployment of ENGINEER‘s tools after the project formally ends.
ENGINEER‘s consortium features 10 science museums and 10 schools, as well as universities and other organizations that will contribute expertise to project tasks.

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-- Popularity and Relevance of Science Education for Scientific Literacy (PARSEL)
To promote scientific literacy and to enhance popularity and relevance of science teaching and learning. The main objectives of PARSEL are to develop, test and disseminate pan-european science education modules for teaching in grade 7 upwards. These modules are being developed, according to a common model, by a consortium involving 8 Universities (from Estonia, Denmark, Germany(2), Greece, Israel, Portugal and Sweden) and the International Council of Associations for Science Education (UK). PARSEL modules are intended to promote scientific literacy and to enhance the popularity and the relevance of science teaching. Teachers are being asked to try out some of the modules in each of the countries and to report back to PARSEL team on their suitability for enhancing the popularity and relevance of science teaching.

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