Teaching at the Heart of Learning
Over 240 science and mathematics teachers, educators and policy makers from across Europe and from the USA and Australia gathered recently in Dublin City University to share international experiences in science and mathematics teaching, learning and assessment.
Teaching at the heart of learning, a joint conference of the Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) series and the FP7-funded project ESTABLISH, was hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning, CASTeL, of Dublin City University and St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. The conference provided a forum to address issues pertaining to the teaching and learning of science and mathematics at and across all educational levels, in particular, Classroom Practice, Evaluation & Assessment, Teacher Education and Reflective practitioners. As part of the ESTABLISH project, all eleven partnering countries brought up to 20 secondary level science teachers to share, discuss and exchange ideas about how to teach and assess using inquiry in the science classroom.
The programme included a range of activities including plenary, oral and poster presentations, over 15 workshop sessions, and facilitated round table discussion sessions for teachers to share and compare their experiences with using inquiry based science education in the classroom. Participants also had the opportunity to visit local scientific industries and research centres and meet scientists in their workplace and hear about their needs of future science graduates.
Speaking of the event, Dr. Eilish McLoughlin, Chair of Conference Organising Committee, said
"This is a fantastic opportunity for us all to learn about innovations in the classroom from teachers and educators and we're delighted to have plenary presentations from renowned educators such as Professor William McComas, University of Arkansas, Professor Paul Black, King's College London, Professor Janet Ainley, University of Leicester and Professor Ton Ellermeijer, Centre for Microcomputer Applications in the Netherlands."
The conference included a broad range of contributions from leading Irish and international experts together with examples from other international and European projects such as Fibonacci, Scientix and Inquire.