TRANSFERABILITY OF A EUROPEAN PROJECT IN TEACHER TRAINING TO DIFFERENT CONTEXTS AND LEVELS OF EDUCATION
1 Universidad de Alcala (SPAIN)
2 C.E.I.P.‘Isabel La Católica’ (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The European Project PEC: European Science teachers: Scientific Knowledge, Linguistic Skills and Digital Media deals with training future science school teachers using language strategies in the lessons of science, and using authentic materials selected from Internet
We can justify the need of this project as we now live in a global ‘knowledge society’ which demands the incorporation of ICT into all aspects of human interaction, including education and teacher development
Moreover, there exists a prejudice against scientific subjects among many children and young people, who perceive that studying science is more difficult than studying other subjects. Firstly, a great number of primary and secondary school pupils experience literacy difficulties concerning both comprehension and expression which hinders understanding in science, as in other subjects. Secondly, there is a perceived lack of correspondence between the science taught in schools and ‘real world’ scientific practice
At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence which shows young people to be progressively familiar and expert with information & communications technology (ICT), which is itself increasingly embedded in scientific processes and science education
In the light of these findings, a team of scientists and experts in linguistics and ICT, involved in initial teacher training, from seven European Universities -Alcalá University (Spain), Comenius University (Slovakia), University of Leicester (United Kingdom), Lisbon University (Portugal), Gävle University (Sweden), Helsinki University (Finland) & Karadeniz Technical University (Turkey)- set out to develop a project which would investigate these issues, with a view to developing teaching and learning approaches and materials which could remove some of these barriers. Furthermore, several school teachers have cooperated with this team implementing the produced materials.
The project was to focus in particular on scientific knowledge, linguistic skills and digital media. The PEC project was presented to the European Commission in March 2005, and was accepted and financed by the European Commission under Socrates Comenius 2.1. The Project commenced at end of 2005 ended in September 2008. The focus of the study was primarily on secondary school. However, while the materials developed for the CDs were aimed at this age group, the process by which they were developed, as well as the pedagogical principles underlying the methodology, are readily transferable to the primary/elementary sector. Just as the basic concept of subject literacy is not confined to science, scientific literacy itself is not age-specific. Similarly, while the focus of the project was on initial teacher training, both the model and the resources can relatively easily be replicated in and/or adapted for continuing professional development contexts. It was noted by more than one partner that despite the interest shown in the Project products, embedding their use in real learning contexts requires more than one off’ training events, and for the above actions to take place, thought needs to be given about how best to ensure that the outcomes of the project can be developed and sustained
This paper presents a summary of the development of the Project and describes its aims and some of the most relevant outcomes including some examples of planning language and science lessons since early age at primary school to confirm the transferability of it.
Keywords: innovation, technology, research projects.