On the 26th October The Malta Council for Science and Technology presented the new PF7 Project Pri-Sci-Net co-ordinated by The Council and having 16 partners from different EU Member States.
Pri-Sci-Net is a €2.8 Million project and is about promoting the Inquiry-based approach in Primary Science Education across Europe. The Project is co-ordinated by Dr. Suzanne Gatt who is specialized in primary science education.
In 2007, the European Commission set up an expert group to review the situation of science education and which led to the publication of the Rocard Report about a renewed pedagogy for the future of Europe. This report recognized the need for a change in teaching methods in science at both primary and secondary level of education, and that the inquiry-based approach to science should be promoted across all Europe.
Inquiry involves having children directly engaged in understanding scientific phenomena through direct investigations and group activities. This approach has already been shown to be an effective teaching methodology and it is for this reason that the European Commission has these past years financed projects promoting inquirybased science education across Europe within the Science in Society calls of FP7.
Pri-Sci-Net aims to provide training and professional support to primary teachers across Europe in different ways to help them develop the required competencies in using Inquiry-Based Learning in Science in schools. The project will develop as many as 45 activities in Inquiry-based Science education for primary level children and translate them in 15 different languages to ensure the widest usability. It will also build a virtual network of primary teachers and science education researchers across Europe. This virtual platform at European level will network professionals as well as support the organisation of training courses.
Pri-Sci-Net will also recognise teachers’ and researchers’ achievements in implementing Inquiry-Based Learning in science, as well as provide an opportunity for teachers and academics to share their experiences and successes.
This project comes at an important time in Malta. Government has recently published its Vision for Science Education in Malta. This vision is based on a new pedagogy with the inclusion of an inquiry-based approach in science. Pri-Sci-Net will thus also support this vision in Malta.
The Malta Council for Science & technology is very proud to be leading this project as it aims to support the promotion