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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: Pri-Sci-Net

Currently Active: 

PriSciNet is an EU funded FP7 Supporting and coordinating action (Call SiS-2010- on innovative methods in science education, focusing on teacher training on inquiry based teaching methods on a large scale in Europe. The project is coordinated by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) and has 17 partners from 14 countries.  The project aims to support and coordinate innovative inquiry based teaching methods in primary science using networking as a model of professional development for teachers.Dr Jenny Byrne is the lead investigator from Southampton Education School.

Inquiry based teaching promotes the active engagement of children in problem-based learning activities. Key elements include an emphasis on observations and experiences as sources of evidence, the development of questioning, planning and recording skills and the use of collaboration and communication as part of the learning process.

Dr Jenny Byrne and Willeke Rietdijk are leading the project at Southampton, which is one of 14 higher education institutions in Europe involved in the European Union funded project.

Each partner has developed several inquiry-based teaching activities. These have been tested in schools and evaluated, and will be used to create a bank of resources which can be translated for use across the countries involved.

In addition, national and international training events and conferences and an online network will enable teachers to share and develop ideas.

The outcomes will be important in terms of promoting scientific literacy for all, but also in encouraging those with an interest to continue to study science and consider a career in science-based industries. For teachers it will provide new ways of teaching science and create an international community of practice.

This project has received funding from the European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

Associated research themes

Pri-Sci-Net website

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