In early July, the European Physical Society [EPS] brought together in Panormo, Greece, experts in science education for a workshop to define the framework for the development of the European Science Education Academy [ESEA].
In 2009, a meeting was held under the auspices of the EPS to discuss among stakeholders how to better coordinate activities in physics education. The participants recognised the need to work together on issues such as ensuring high-level pedagogic content and to increase teachers’ effectiveness in schools. The promotion of a standard-based approach to inquiry-based science education [IBSE] was also recommended. A permanent science education “think tank” was also discussed.
This summer, the Pathway project, in which the EPS is member of the consortium, put forward the idea for the creation of the ESEA. Since 2011, the Pathway project has been analysing models for an effective approach to science teaching by integrating an inquiry approach, science content, teaching methods, standards and a bank of inquiry activities. The Pathway framework is expected to be the main reference point for the development of the ESEA services and guidelines.
The questions addressed by the ESEA workshop participants aimed at exploring the creation of the academy. The discussions underlined the need of a robust vision for a long-term implementation of IBSE. To insure sustainability, the ESEA would have to fulfil a function as a repository for best practice in science education and act as intermediary between European and national levels. The review of teacher training programmes will be an important task of the ESEA.
A report of the workshop, with the detailed conclusions of the workshop will be published in the
ESEA workshop website soon. Another workshop will be organised in November 2013 to work further on the ESEA.
More information is available on the ESEA workshop website.