There is no doubt that nowadays science is no longer a matter merely of scientists, but concerned citizens in general. However, the scientific culture of the majority of the population does not allow the understanding of the benefits of scientific development in everyday life. This situation can only be overcome with a solid scientific culture for all citizens. The introduction of the basic concepts can, and should start in infancy to stimulate the interest of the greatest number of children to pursue further studies in science. Moreover the teaching of science should be based on experimentation and should not arise as something tight, without any connection to other areas of knowledge. In fact, it may promote reading at the time of research, stimulate the design and writing when performing records and develop logical-mathematical thinking when making classifications, measurements and calculations.
It is indisputable that in the whole process of learning the teacher has a key role. In fact, the way knowledge is perceived depends on the orientation that children receive, the encouragement to reflect, test ideas, improve techniques. Despite the progress already achieved in teacher education it is still necessary to develop measures to provide training on science education. Indeed, the vast majority has not had specific training in this area and, on the other hand teaching practices of science education are still incipient both on the methodologies adopted and in curricular time that is destined for them.
In this context the present proposal aims to provide teachers with new tools for the experimental teaching of science. The actions will be directed primarily to teachers of the 1st and 2nd cycles; besides being the basis of the educational system they share several issues in terms of curriculum which will allow, with similar activities benefit a greater number of teachers / students.
Implementation of a program aimed at improving science education and the promotion of the scientific culture.
- Develop of appealing and efficient teaching methods through the sharing of experiences and good practices;
- Personal and professional development of teachers;
- Creation of a bank of resources for the sciences (laboratories kits, books, teaching materials, games, puzzles, etc.);
- Organizing science outreach events;
- Promotion of an integrated teaching method by linking the various areas of knowledge;
- Bring together civil society and scientists.
All project activities will be focused on teachers (of the 1st cycle and 2nd cycle) and are mainly intended to meet their expressed need to update theoretical and practical knowledge. The project will be implemented in three main phases:
1-Capacity building: training activities will be developed; these actions will have a large practical component and will address the main themes of science school programs. These activities will be held in schools/classrooms in order to capitalize on existing resources and will be carried out throughout the project, according to the needs / requests.
2-Content development: according to the main needs and priorities identified in schools a database of educational resources (manuals, laboratory kits, games, blogs, webpages…) will be created, making use wherever possible of new the technologies. These materials will be made available to schools/teachers as support tools to the development of experimental activities in the classrooms.
3-Monitoring: being aware of the difficulties that arise in the implementation of new activities outside the training context, we propose to also guide and support teachers during a pilot phase in which the contents and approaches taught in the courses will be implemented and applied in the classroom.
By the end of the project it is expected that:
- schools and teachers have acquired confidence and autonomy not only to continue but also to change and adapt the procedures / operations based on the realities and requirements of the school population and the socio-economic context in which each school operates;
- the training actions created and validated under the project will be made available to new groups of teachers;
- experimental activities developed under the scope of the project can be applied in other schools / groups.
- established the basis for the implementation of a network between various members of society (schools, colleges, research institutes, companies ...) to exchange experiences and set up collaborations and partnerships.
- Regular meetings between the partners: sharing experiences and good practices, defining strategies, evaluation of the activities and making the necessary adjustments. Depending on the needs these meetings will be global (with all partners) or partial. If necessary may be held by video conference or skype.
- It is expected the realization of a project closure workshop, organized by all partners, open to the entire community and where the teachers will be invited to present works developed within the project.