03.10.2017 - UNESCO Venice Office

Science Teachers from South-East Europe and beyond joined together for Ark of Inquiry webinar

Kristina Kravets from Science Centre - AHHAA Students performing inquiry activities

On 6 and 21 September 2017, a webinar was organised by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and the University of Tartu on Inquiry Based Science Education and Responsible Research and Innovation. The webinar, as part of the Ark of Inquiry project activities, targeted primary and secondary school teachers and other professionals in the field of science education from South-East Europe. While topics involving the project’s inquiry model and its application in science classrooms were discussed, there were many lessons learnt for the project team as well.

In its final year of activity, the Ark of Inquiry project had the opportunity to expand its scope beyond its consortium of 12 European countries, in the form of an online webinar on Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) scheduled over two days this month.

The project’s pedagogical scenarios, the inquiry model and the portal of inquiry activities were made available to the 67 participants in the webinars. Countries represented included: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, India, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

During the webinar, the project’s purpose, its goals and its place in the larger context of the UN’s development agenda were outlined, along with a detailed description of the 5-phase inquiry model, its application through a sample online inquiry activity on Ohm’s law, and instructions for using the Ark of Inquiry portal. The interactive webinar saw participants expressing their concerns, through polls, about implementing the investigation and discussion phase of the model, how pupils could use the Ark of Inquiry portal and the inquiry model’s applicability to other subjects.

Via a follow-up questionnaire, the participants of the webinar conveyed positive feedback about the structure and content of the webinars, the project’s inquiry model and the corresponding inquiry activity. They similarly expressed confidence about their ability in incorporating IBSE and RRI in their science lessons. Moreover, there was an overwhelming view that the Ark of Inquiry Portal could be used by both teachers and pupils to develop and evaluate pupils’ inquiry skills. A big lesson learnt by the project was to explain in depth concepts of IBSE and RRI and how it is seen in the project’s inquiry model.

Science teachers and other science education professionals who missed this opportunity can access both webinar recordings on the Ark of Inquiry YouTube channel webinar 1 - 6 September 2017 and webinar 2 - 21 September 2017. All are encouraged to join the Ark of Inquiry Project Community.  

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 “Ark of Inquiry: Inquiry Awards for Youth over Europe” is a research and development project on teacher training, oriented towards raising science awareness, particularly that of youth aged 7 to 18, to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Funded by the European Commission and involving 13 project partners from 12 countries, the project started in 2014 and has a duration of 4 years.

UNESCO with the support of its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is involved in a large number of Work Packages (WP). It is leader of WP7 (Dissemination), and it plays a contributing role to WP2 (Collection of inquiry activities and environments), WPi3 (Supporting community), WP4 (Training), WP5 (Evaluation) and WP6 (Implementation).




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