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Hands-on learning turns children's minds on to science
Date:3/2/2011

Coordinated by Innsbruck University Botanic Garden, with support from London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), INQUIRE is a practical, one-year, continual professional development (CPD) course targeted at qualified teachers working in eleven European countries. Its focus on inquiry-based science education (IBSE) reflects a consensus in the science education community that IBSE methods are more effective than current teaching practices.

Designed to reflect how students actually learn, IBSE also engages them in the process of scientific inquiry. Increasingly it is seen as key to developing their scientific literacy, enhancing their understanding of scientific concepts and heightening their appreciation of how science works. Whereas traditional teaching methods have failed to engage many students, especially in developed countries, IBSE offers outstanding opportunities for effective and enjoyable teaching and learning. It provides stimulating environments for students to explore their learning in authentic situations. Knowledge is built through testing ideas, discussion with teachers and peers, and direct interaction with scientific phenomena. In fostering a practical, hands-on approach, IBSE can lead to a 'minds-on' comprehension of scientific concepts.

INQUIRE's partner institutions will offer IBSE training and support to teachers and educators and help them become reflective practitioners. The participation of two of Europe's leading science education research institutions King's College, London and the University of Bremen BRD is also critical, providing an analytical framework and standards benchmark for the programme.

Biodiversity loss and global climate change, among the major scientific as well as political challenges of our age, are core INQUIRE concerns. It is envisaged that, with IBSE training, teachers will be encouraged to find engaging, innovative and practical approaches to these subjects throug
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Contact: Suzanne Kapelari
suzanne.kapelari@uibk.ac.at
43-512-507-5943
University of Innsbruck
Source:Eurekalert  

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