OPEN EYES - HOW TO DESIGN INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS STUDENTS IN STEM SUBJECTS
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:The paper presents interim results from the Enhancing Learning in Teaching via e-inquiries (ELITe) project – a Strategic Partnership under the ERASMUS+ framework, which includes higher education and research institutions from Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and Belgium. The overall project goal is to support teachers’ professional learning for competence development, targeting specifically in-service educators in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) domain. It aims to develop, deploy, evaluate and disseminate an innovative approach for teachers’ professional learning via inquiry based learning methodology.
An evidence-based framework for teacher’s competence development is expected to be developed as a tangible outcome of the project that can inform curriculum design for secondary teachers’ continuous professional development. The development of the framework is based on different teachers’ learning activities, structured around themes and scenarios that reflect the needs and interests of teachers. These needs are consistent with recent European Union large scale surveys, which among others include: dealing with diversity and inclusion, fostering students’ achievement, teaching cross-curricula skills, students’ career guidance, teachers-parents relationships and approaches to individualised learning.
Teachers’ learning activities take place in the DojoIBL, an online platform for facilitating personal and collaborative inquiry learning, which builds on the online platform, developed in the frame of the weSPOT project (under FP7 framework). Brief description of the DojoIBL platform, its functionalities and tools that implement IBL methodology, is also included in the paper.
The main part of the paper presents the work of Bulgarian team on one of the scenarios that reflects teachers’ learning needs related to dealing with diversity and inclusion. It is named “Neither seen nor heard, but succeed /researchers with special educational needs (SEN) in school/” and concerns inclusion of students with SEN in the learning process by applying IBL methodology. The main goal of this scenario is to meet not only teachers’ needs of knowledge and skills on how to work with SEN students, but also how to find the best ways to include these students when applying IBL. The presented scenario is a base that prepare the pilot training of STEM teachers in Bulgaria to deal with diversity and inclusion, which is due to take place in April – May 2018.
The different stages of the SEN scenario are presented in the paper. Teachers’ learning activities, according to the scenario, and its structuring in DojoIBL platform, are described. The paper presents also the tasks that teachers have to perform and the expected outcomes from the pilot training.
In conclusion, the benefits and challenges are figured out, which accompany the implementation of (IBL) methodology and high technologies in educational process in STEM domain, and the opportunities that it provides for successful inclusion of students with SEN.
Keywords: Inquiry based learning (IBL), Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), special educational needs (SEN).