Raising standards through inquiry:
Professional development in the Natural Environment
The EU funded INQUIRE project developed and offered teacher training courses in 11 European countries over a period of three years with the aim of reinvigorating Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) across Europe. INQUIRE has also aimed to link informal and formal education systems and to bridge the gap between researchers, practitioners and policy makers as well as setting up a European network of IBSE practitioners to support and encourage each other in implementing IBSE.
To mark these efforts the INQUIRE conference was held at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on 9-10th July, 2013. The two-day conference was organised to celebrate the project’s successes, reflect on its challenges and bring together researchers and professionals from schools and LOtC centres to discuss the current status and future of IBSE in Europe.
To highlight theoretical and practical issues involved in delivering INQUIRE courses and IBSE in general the conference focussed on six main themes:
1) Inquiry-based Science Education outdoors.
2) Reflective practice.
3) Professional learning communities.
4) Evaluation of IBSE.
5) Student perspectives on IBSE.
6) Developing training courses at Learning Outside the Classroom (LotC) sites.
The conference was a great success with 124 delegates from 14 countries gathering to take part. The programme comprised two motivational keynote speeches, 60 workshops, paper and poster presentations and a networking session (download the abstracts)
Following the conference, 35 delegates participated in an inspirational one-day tour to Oxford to learn about the education programme run at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and visit some of the city’s historical sights.
nquiry-based Science Education outdoors, reflective practice, professional learning communities, evaluation of IBSE, Student perspectives on IBSE and developing training courses at Learning Outside the Classroom (LotC) sites. - See more at: http://www.inquirebotany.org/en/resources/inquire-conference-proceedings-256.html#sthash.DIJs6XHs.dpufFor an overview of the outcomes of the INQUIRE conference read the conference conclusions.
For more information about the INQUIRE project and to download other resources, including lesson plans and reports, visit the INQUIRE website.