Equipping the Next Generation for Active Engagement in Science

Project: Research

Project Details


The key to engaging the next generation to participate in scientific issues is to change how science is taught. Students gain an image of science as a body of content whereas RRI deals with uncertain areas of knowledge is uncertain, where values and argument matter as much as facts. The shift is hugely challenging. High stakes education systems marginalise teaching about the nature of science. The greater challenge is to help teachers develop the beliefs, knowledge and classroom practice for RRI teaching.. This requires adopting a more inquiry-based methodology, which gives students opportunity for self-expression and responsibility for coming to informed decisions. The literature demonstrates a poor record of success for attempts to build an RRI teaching force, and transformations generally occur with only small numbers.
ENGAGE synthesises contemporary models of professional learning and curriculum development. Going beyond training events, its three-stage path will propel teachers in their own inquiry to become expert with RRI. The path requires a first stage, Adopt, which achieves take-up on a massive scale. We use a proven approach to provide an easy entry into inquiry-based teaching. It combines science-in-the-news contexts with strategies from informal learning to get students talking. An online community of practice supports teacher reflection, while online courses and workshops add coaching and feedback. At the next stage, Adapt, they learn an expert’s toolkit of examples, explanations, anecdotes and activities to help students learn effectively, In the third step, Transform, open-ended Projects put teachers and students into partnership with practising scientists, to learn about RRI directly.
Our partners bring extensive track records in teacher development and curriculum design. Building on best practice from previous projects, we intend to influence 12,000 science teachers across Europe, and extend this to pre-service teachers and their trainers.
Effective start/end date1/03/131/03/17